From the Left



It's Midnight in America

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In 1984, Hal Riney, a San Francisco advertising man, wrote and narrated "Morning in America," which became the signature television commercial of Republican Ronald Reagan's winning re-election campaign. In Riney's calm and reassuring voice, the script began: "It's morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever ...Read more

A Steppingstone to Oblivion

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The first very first "presidential" test in public for every nominee for the White House is the selection of a vice presidential running mate. Right after the 1968 Miami Beach convention where he had won the Republican nomination, Richard M. Nixon explained why he chose his running mate: "There is a mysticism about men. There is a quiet ...Read more

The Campaign Post-Comey

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Even though Democrat Hillary Clinton continues to lead Republican Donald Trump in nearly all major public polls, the answer to one question in the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll had to trigger panic attacks throughout the entire Clinton campaign. Respondents were asked whether Trump or Clinton "would be better" on "being honest ...Read more

The 'Death' of the GOP

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In 1986, some 34 years after he had first been elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona, Barry Goldwater, the hero of the conservative movement that made possible the eventual election of Ronald Reagan, retired. As Sen. Goldwater cleaned out his Capitol Hill office, I was privileged to listen as he reminisced about the 1964 presidential contest ...Read more

Pennsylvania to Washington: The 2016 Election Is Not Over

From the Left / Mark Shields /

"Everyone in Washington wants to write that this election is over," cautions respected pollster Peter D. Hart, that Republican Donald Trump -- after six weeks of highly public unforced errors -- has effectively shattered his chances of winning the White House. Hart, after conducting a two-hour focus group of 11 blue-collar and service industry...Read more

American Elections and the 'Biblical Imperative'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

History offers little encouragement to either major American party this election year. Sobering for Republicans is the fact that in the past 87 years, no GOP ticket that did not have on it either a Bush or a Nixon has won any presidential election. Democrats live with their own distressing jinx: In the past 179 years, their party has won a ...Read more

History Is Watching

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On Nov. 30, 1967, I stood in the caucus room of what is now called the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill and heard Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota announce that he would indeed challenge the renomination of Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson. His issue was the U.S. war in Vietnam. "I am concerned that the administration ...Read more

Iron Rule of Politics

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Having worked, as a younger man, in three losing presidential campaigns and having been lucky enough to cover the past 10 presidential campaigns as a journalist, I have been forced to learn a few semi-iron rules of politics that might even be helpful in trying to understand our bizarre presidential year of 2016.

The most reliable test I know ...Read more

Character Truly Is Destiny

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It turns out that Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, knew exactly what he was talking about some 25 centuries ago when he wrote: "Character is destiny." Consider American presidents who have disappointed, even failed, in office -- theirs were not failures of intellect or education. Most almost certainly aced their SAT tests. Almost without ...Read more

Bernie Sanders Deserves Space and Respect

From the Left / Mark Shields /

You're Bernie Sanders, and you'll turn 75 on Sept. 8. You are gruff and, even your greatest admirers concede, no charmer. The Wise Guys sneered when, barely 12 months ago, you began your long-shot presidential campaign. The polls were discouraging. Hillary Clinton was the preferred candidate of 65 percent of Democrats, while only 3 percent ...Read more

No Negative Mandate To Govern

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On the eve of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, I asked former GOP chairman and then-Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour who would win that year's presidential campaign. Barbour said, "Mark, if this election is about John Kerry, then George W. Bush will be re-elected." I then asked, "But what if the election instead were ...Read more

The Crackpot Idea of Free College Tuition

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Prominent opinion-leaders and leading American politicians have roundly rejected the unrealistic and impractical idea, championed by a member of Congress from Vermont, to provide a four-year college education at no, or very low, tuition cost to every American high school student who qualifies for admission.

What many of the critics either ...Read more

No Pander Bear

From the Left / Mark Shields /

At the tricky art of pandering -- a candidate's seeking the support of a specific group of voters by telling them what the candidate calculates that group wants to hear -- nobody in 2016 has been more blatant than Sen. Ted Cruz's recently named running mate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Competing in this year's first-in-the-nation...Read more


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