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Cracking the Code of Campaign-Speak

From the Left / Mark Shields /

"Do you ever get the feeling," asked humorist Robert Orben, "that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?" But even after real, live Americans actually do vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, somehow we always seem to be left with more winners than losers. Because you, dear readers, are busy enough, your faithful ...Read more

Donald Trump: Sore Loser

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was the shortest speech anyone can remember him giving. He was clearly in a state of disbelief.

How could it be?

Whom could he fire?

The great Donald had lost. It could not be true. He made it all the way to Wednesday before the Great One finally made it official.

Donald Trump was robbed. That's right. Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa; he "...Read more

Free-Falling Countries

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- One of Donald Trump's stock campaign lines is that the Iran nuclear agreement was "terrible." I'm beginning to wonder if that's true, but in a sense opposite of what he means. Iran has ended up with a much worse deal than it expected. Remember, Tehran entered the negotiations in the heady days of high oil prices. As the Iranians are ...Read more

GOP Candidates Slash And Bash

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Heading into New Hampshire, the race for the nomination of the once-genteel Republican Party seems to have entered a kind of Mad Max phase.

It is no surprise that Donald Trump is doing his best to create political mayhem. Trump was uncharacteristically subdued Monday night when he underperformed in Iowa, getting beaten by Ted Cruz...Read more

Rubio, Averse to Risk, Averse to Mentioning Trump

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

BOW, N.H. -- Marco Rubio is in an enviable position among mainstream Republican presidential candidates after his strong finish in Iowa. Yet the man is running scared.

The young Floridian is stumping through New Hampshire as if he's campaigning to win the Cautious Caucus. He gives the same speech everywhere. The most tightly managed candidate ...Read more

The Best of Clinton, The Worst of Clinton

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Wednesday night's televised town hall with Hillary Clinton featured the candidate at her best -- and her worst. Clinton and her campaign ought to study the lessons of both.

The candidate at her worst was obvious, and all the more painful for its predictability. When Clinton is pressed on big-dollar donations and hefty ...Read more

Trump Vs. Cruz: Armageddon, Iowa-Style

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

KEOSAUQUA, Iowa -- "Awaken the body of Christ that we might pull back from this abyss."

When Sen. Ted Cruz closed his prayerful plea to a crowd of about 150 people here late Tuesday night, the "abyss" he had in mind was something larger than the prospect of a Donald Trump victory in Monday's caucuses. But the final days of the battle for Iowa ...Read more

It Takes a Movement

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

"I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, 'We shall do this, and we shall do that,'" Hillary Clinton said recently in response to Bernie Sanders' proposals. "That ain't the real world we're living in."

So what's possible in "the real world we're living in?"

There are two dominant views about how ...Read more

Cut Clinton Some Slack

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

NASHUA, N.H. -- Q: When is a win not a win?

A: When the winner is Hillary Clinton.

The Iowa Democratic Party confirmed in its final tally Tuesday that Clinton had won Monday night's caucuses. She not only beat Bernie Sanders but got more votes than any Republican candidate, and she becomes the first woman ever to win the Iowa caucuses. Clinton...Read more

Rubio's the One

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

You can pick your headline for Iowa: "Trump Didn't Win!" "Hillary Didn't Lose!" "Rubio's the One!"

I prefer the third.

Of course I've left some out, like "Bernie Almost Ties Hillary" or "Ted Cruz Wins," but those are easy. On the first, we'll have months to discuss whether this is really a reflection of Hillary Clinton's weakness or a ...Read more

Justice for Caroline Small, a Small Step Toward Justice for All

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Last week, a group of church friends held a town hall meeting in Brunswick, Ga. Their purpose is embodied in their name: Justice For Caroline Small.

Chances are, you've never heard of her.

She was a waitress, a mother of two girls, and a woman with mental health issues who was in and out of drug treatment programs for much of her life until ...Read more

A Humble Trump? Sorry, 'Loo-zahs'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Ever since Donald Trump entered the Republican presidential race, I have been waiting to see him lose. I wanted to see how he would handle it. Humility, after all, is not an emotion with which the Donald appears to be intimately familiar.

Remember when his rival Ben Carson, the retired brain surgeon, was running neck-in-neck with him in polls ...Read more

Rubio and Sanders Are the Real Winners in Iowa

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

DES MOINES-By the numbers, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, by a millimeter, won the Iowa caucuses. Still, the race for the top spot was not the big news of the night -- or, in Clinton's case, far into the following day, when the Associated Press finally called the race for her. The real winners were Marco Rubio, with his remarkably strong third-...Read more

The Self-Proclaimed Winners Of Iowa

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- The only thing missing from Marco Rubio's victory speech Monday night was the victory: In Iowa's Republican caucus, Rubio finished not first, not second, but third. Was he expecting a bronze medal?

Overall, it was a long evening that offered too many declarations of triumph -- I counted four -- and too little clarity about what ...Read more

It Takes a Movement

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

In 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama promised progressive change if elected president, his primary opponent, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, derided him.

"The skies will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect," she said sarcastically, adding ...Read more

The GOP Establishment Strikes Back

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WAUKEE, Iowa -- The establishment struck back.

The headlines will show that Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, but the more significant message out of Iowa was that Marco Rubio was neck-and-neck with Donald Trump for second place and within a few points of the lead: It showed that mainstream Republicans are, at long last, pushing themselves back ...Read more

A Campaign That Cuts Down the Truth

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Monday was Parson Weems Day. This is my designation to mark the voting in Iowa as the end of the first lying season. The Rev. Mason Locke Weems (1759-1825) is the source of the story about George Washington and the cherry tree. When asked by his father if he had cut down the tree, the young Washington confessed. "I cannot tell a lie," he said. ...Read more

The American Dream Has Not Been Stolen

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- There is one issue on which the whole ideological range of campaign 2016 seems to agree. "The American Dream is dead," says Donald Trump. "For many, the American Dream has become a nightmare," says Bernie Sanders.

Even discounting for the apocalyptic mood of many candidates -- like John the Revelator with a toothache -- this is a ...Read more

Dry Eye

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I had to go buy a little bottle of artificial tears for my mother tonight. That's an odd thing to be buying in America right now -- crying is very nearly forbidden.

She's 87. She has dry eye. The rest of us don't cry because it means we're weak and we have feelings for things. School shootings. The homeless. The poor. We argue over those ...Read more

The Challenge Of Being Hillary

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- It has never been easy to be Hillary Clinton.

Evidence for that proposition is already in the minds of many who are reading this: What do you mean Hillary hasn't had it easy? Would she even be in this race if she hadn't been married to Bill Clinton? Would she have been elected to the Senate from New York? Would she have received ...Read more