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Politics and Religion Make For an Uneasy Coexistence

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Regular readers may remember the "Shields rule," about the tension between organized religion and politics. It goes like this: With but one exception, ministers, priests, rabbis and imams -- men and women of the cloth -- should stay out of all partisan American politics. The one exception, of course, is any major political fight in which the ...Read more

Marco Rubio vs. The New York Times

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- who, according to polls of Republican voters nationally, wins higher favorable and lower unfavorable ratings than any of the potential 2016 presidential candidates -- has shown some real nerve and more than a little brass. After The New York Times reported on Rubio's unorthodox personal finances -- including his use...Read more

The Bush Who Got It Right

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Long before he, as President George W. Bush's first secretary of state, gave the world a detailed description of Saddam Hussein's weapons program, which did not exist, and made a persuasive case for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Colin Powell was a young Army officer who had served two combat tours in Vietnam. There he had held in his arms a ...Read more

Tap-Dancing on Immigration

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Let me begin by confessing my own prejudices on the matter of immigration: I never personally had any decision to make, but -- to my great good luck -- my ancestors made the bold decision to leave their homeland and be Americans. So I benefit, every day, from the precious and totally unearned gift of being an American citizen, not by any act on ...Read more

Not Your Father's Republican Party

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Let us stipulate that Republicans have consistently been a lot more orderly than the Democrats. For example, in the past 60 years, the Republican presidential candidate who was leading in the polls one year before the party's nominating convention has become the GOP's nominee 12 months later in 13 of the 14 elections. The lone exception was ...Read more

Chris Christie Channels Ralph Perk

From the Left / Mark Shields /

History, just by what it selects to remember, can indeed be cruel. Consider, for example, Republican Ralph Perk, who, during the 1970s in heavily Democratic Cleveland, was elected mayor three times. But what Mayor Perk is mostly remembered for was that day in 1972 when, while using a blowtorch to cut the steel ribbon to ceremonially open the ...Read more

Surviving Graduation Day

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It's graduation time once again. And by some unwritten but strictly enforced law of nature, every graduation must have a speaker. Before I gave my very first graduation speech, some 25 years ago, I was frankly nervous. But the advice of a priest friend calmed me down. Remember, he counseled, that the role of the speaker at any graduation can ...Read more

Answer to One Question Unnerves Democrats

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Hillary Clinton, according to the reliable Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released earlier this month, defines the 2016 presidential race. A plurality of voters now find the former secretary of state being "knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency," "effective" and able to get "things done," "willing to compromise and ...Read more

Voters Prefer Governors Over Senators for White House

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the past 94 years, American voters have elected a total of two United States senators -- John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Barack Obama -- president. By contrast, before Obama, four of the past five men elected to the White House -- Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- were either sitting or former governors.

Why the ...Read more

A Brother's Death

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Tom Shields, my big brother, lived a long and good life. When he died earlier this month, he was widely -- and deservedly -- praised for generously giving millions to fund struggling inner-city Catholic schools and scholarships for hundreds of kids who hadn't been so lucky in life's lottery as he, our wonderful sister, Ann, and I were to be ...Read more

Wisconsin's Semi-Favorite Son

From the Left / Mark Shields /

MADISON, Wis. -- Why, during a recent visit here -- while asking some trusted Wisconsin sources for their candid assessment of Scott Walker, the state's governor, an undeclared but leading 2016 Republican presidential candidate -- did I keep thinking about a conversation I'd had 17 years ago with one of my favorite American politicians and the...Read more

The Clinton Record Unmasked

From the Left / Mark Shields /

About the time the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn for Los Angeles, my savvy precinct captain drilled into all her workers this rule: A week is a lifetime in politics, and a month is an eternity. This should be a warning for all wise people handicapping the 2016 presidential race who have already conceded the Democratic nomination to former ...Read more

Stop Invoking Reagan; Start Heeding Him

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It was not a pretty sight. Republican officeholders in Indiana and Arkansas, having been charged by not just their political opponents but also their strongest corporate allies (think Wal-Mart and NASCAR) with damaging the states' images and the business climate by passing legislation to effectively give legal sanction to discrimination ...Read more

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