Like countless other viewers, I wondered which Donald Trump would show up to debate Hillary Clinton: hyper Donald or sedate Donald.
Hyper Donald is the one we usually see on the campaign trail screaming himself hoarse or delighting crowds with his ad-libbed speeches like a stand-up comedian. Hyper Donald is the one we usually read in snarky ...Read more
Days before the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture near the Washington Monument, a couple of bizarre political developments illustrated why we Americans need it.
And I do mean all Americans. "Even if you think this isn't your story," as the museum's director Lonnie G. Bunch III recently told the politics/fromtheleft/clarencepage/s-1876383">Read more
Really? Are there undecided voters left?
Yes, as hard as it may be for most of us to believe, after putting up with the ads and sound bites of the presidential race for more than a year, polls show almost 10 percent of voters still haven't made up their minds.
That's typical. I used to make fun of such voters. I thought they were ...Read more
News Flash: Donald Trump now believes that President Barack Obama was born in the country of which he is president.
That news may be a relief to the president, although I doubt that he was losing much sleep over it.
After a night of oddly competing statements from Trump and his own campaign team, the Republican presidential nominee's announced...Read more
Hillary Clinton kept her pneumonia diagnosis under wraps for two days because she "didn't think it was going to be that big a deal." Right. That's what she used to say about her private email server.
Yes, I know Clinton's email server is an obsession that her rivals on the right will not let go. Fear and loathing motivate great political ...Read more
"Hey, more than 500 people have been murdered in Chicago this year," says one of my conservative friends. "I can't wait to see what you write about that."
Why? You didn't listen to me the last time. Are you really listening or just waiting for your own turn to complain?
"Jeez, why are you so touchy?"
I'm just tired of hearing your usual one-...Read more
Rest in peace, Phyllis Schlafly. I respected her for her leadership skills, even when she campaigned against almost all of the causes that I supported.
I also was often bewildered by her contradictions. In that I was not alone. Schlafly, who died Monday at age 92 in her home in St. Louis, was the quintessential anti-feminist leader in the 1970s...Read more
In this summer of raw identity politics, it is ironically appropriate that everyone's favorite fake black woman, Rachel Dolezal, is back in the news.
Dolezal, you surely recall, was the local NAACP president in Spokane who was exposed last year by a local television station and by her estranged parents as a white woman who was only passing for ...Read more
Fenton's DeathS. Elizabeth
Emm and Francine grew up with Fenton. He was their neighbor, best friend and big brother all in one. Fenton thought he loved both his friends equally but one day as a young man he realized he had to make a choice. But what would his choice do to the 3. And then...Fenton died. Fenton's Death ...
Donald Trump is a political commentator's dream in the usually news-challenged weeks of late summer when we're looking for someone to complain about.
For example, he rejects "political correctness." He says it takes too much time. That reminds me of an old nugget of good advice: If you don't have the time to do it right, when will you find time...Read more
Today's presidential race unfortunately reminds me of the bitter 1991 gubernatorial runoff in Louisiana, a state long associated with colorful politics.
That was the runoff that pitted former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, then a Republican state legislator, against three-term governor Edwin Edwards, a Democrat who had been acquitted in two ...Read more
As Donald Trump expressed "regret" for saying "the wrong thing" sometimes in his campaign, I thought he was going to break into song:
"Regrets, I've had a few/ But then again, too few to mention...."
Yes, that line from Frank Sinatra's "My Way" (actually Paul Anka's rewrite of a French song) reflects the wealthy developer-turned-Republican ...Read more
Back in the early 1990s, when our son was 4 years old and accustomed to seeing his dad on a certain Washington-based public television talk show, he'd annoy us by skipping through the house singing, "Bye-bye! Bye-bye...!"
John McLaughlin, creator-host of "The McLaughlin Group," was delighted to hear that news. "Watch out, Clarence," he said in ...Read more
When I caught up with J.D. Vance, he still sounded a bit bemused by the success of his colorfully titled book, "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis."
"I was just hoping to get some attention," he told me in a telephone chat as he prepared for a network TV appearance in Washington. "I wasn't expecting nearly this much ...Read more
When you've dug yourself into a hole, as an old saying goes, stop digging. Most people are smart enough to follow that advice. They aren't Donald Trump.
In the two weeks after their parties' conventions, the Republican presidential nominee has been digging himself into a hole, falling badly behind his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the ...Read more
Is Donald Trump becoming what he, among many other conservatives, warns us against?
In his economic policy speech to the prestigious Detroit Economic Club on Monday the Republican presidential nominee sounded a lot like a tax-and-spend Democrat. Call him a "tax-and-deduct Republican."
Aides billed his speech as a blueprint for stimulating ...Read more
It is a sign of how poorly Donald J. Trump is doing in the polls that he already is working on his reasons to be a sore loser.
The system, he says, is "rigged" against him and his voters.
"I'm afraid the election's going to be rigged, I've got to be honest," he warned in a rally in Columbus, Ohio last Monday, a sentiment he echoed later that ...Read more
It is not enough to succeed, Gore Vidal once said; others must fail. As presidential nominee Hillary Clinton enjoys a bump in her polls after the Democratic National Convention, she's getting a boost from her Republican opponent Donald Trump's epic fails.
First, there was his ugly and self-destructive denigration of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the ...Read more
PHILADELPHIA -- New York's late Gov. Mario Cuomo used to say, "We campaign in poetry, we govern in prose." That line's been quoted quite a bit these days. We like to talk about things we miss -- and poetry in politics is one of them.
It comes to mind in assessing Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech Thursday night at the Democratic National ...Read more
After attending the unusually raucous and divided National Republican Convention in Cleveland, I expected a reasonably sedate coronation of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Maybe I should have known better.
But who would have expected a cascade of internal Democratic National Committee emails to be released...Read more
Where's the pivot?
That's what I was wondering throughout Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's lengthy and surprisingly humorless acceptance speech Thursday at the Grand Old Party's national convention in Cleveland.
Ever since Trump won enough delegates to clinch the nomination in May, I've been waiting to see if and when Trump would...Read more