From the Left



A Crying Shame

From the Left / Mark Shields /

With no prompting, the stranger standing next to you in line will volunteer, after checking his pedometer, how many steps he has already taken today, as well as how many miles per gallon his hybrid is getting. You may already know that among the baseball teams in the playoffs, the St. Louis Cardinals' pitching staff has the lowest earned run ...Read more

Spreading the Ugly Truth

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Political Washington just got a welcome dose of refreshing candor. Democrat Fred Yang, one of the bipartisan team that conducts the respected Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, took a look at the most recent numbers -- showing Democratic favorite for 2016, Hillary Clinton, in a statistical tie with two less famous newcomers, a retired ...Read more

Has Anybody Thanked John Boehner?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Has anybody bothered to thank House Speaker John Boehner for Pope Francis' even coming to the United States? Let history note that it was Boehner, as a lowly second-term member of the House minority, who in 1994 organized a petition to then-House Speaker Tom Foley requesting that Pope John Paul II be invited to address Congress. Boehner ...Read more

The 'Me' Generation

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The most recent Republican presidential debate from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library brought to mind one of my favorite anecdotes. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in April 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia, a train carrying his remains made the 700-mile trip back to Washington's Union Station. From there, six white horses drew the...Read more

Correcting the Record

From the Left / Mark Shields /

William McGurn is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal who, according to his company bio, "writes speeches for CEO Rupert Murdoch. Previously he served as Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush." McGurn is, from all indications, quite a smart man, but he recently wrote something both ignorant and mean-spirited that I cannot let go ...Read more

Lamenting Mitt

From the Left / Mark Shields /

You're Mitt Romney, and today you have to be upset with yourself. Eight months ago -- when you, a non-candidate, were leading in all the polls for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination -- you paid too much attention to a Wall Street Journal editorial that began, "If Mitt Romney is the answer, what is the question? We can think of a few ...Read more

Pat Moynihan Explains the 2016 Republican Race

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- four-term U.S. senator from New York, ambassador and White House adviser -- was that rarest of combinations: a gifted public intellectual and a talented, practical politician. He alone, in January 1980, during the depths of the Cold War, dared to say, "The defining event of the decade might well be the breakup of the...Read more

Why Bernie Sanders' Big Crowds Count

From the Left / Mark Shields /

When Democratic presidential candidates have campaigned in Los Angeles, it has usually been around a private fundraising event featuring Barbra Streisand or Steven Spielberg or George Clooney -- or some combination of the three. What it has not been about -- especially some 15 months before Election Day -- is a long-shot, underdog candidate's ...Read more

Missing Richard Nixon

From the Left / Mark Shields /

John P. Sears, before he was manager of Ronald Reagan's 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns, had spent the years from 1965 through 1970 working as a top political aide to Richard M. Nixon. Sears, a bright and witty man who found Nixon both complicated and fascinating, spoke about accompanying Nixon, then an unannounced presidential candidate,...Read more

Yes, Debates 15 Months Before Election Day Do Matter

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Presidential debates, even those with 10 candidates held some 15 months before Election Day, do matter. Just recall the Aug. 11, 2011, GOP debate in Ames, Iowa, when Byron York of The Washington Examiner, in discussing the proposed combinations of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the federal budget deficit, asked former Sen. Rick ...Read more

The Importance of the 'Like' Factor

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Bill Cohen, the former three-term Republican U.S. senator from Maine who served as secretary of defense in Democratic president Bill Clinton's second administration, offered this key to the art of winning tough elections: "I don't care how great your ideas are or how well you can articulate them. People must like you before they will vote for ...Read more

The Trap of Becoming Only a Congressional Party

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In five of the past six presidential elections, the Republican Party has lost the nation's popular vote to the Democrats. In those same six presidential contests, 18 states and the District of Columbia, totaling among them 242 electoral votes (you need only 270 to win the White House), have voted every time for the Democratic ticket. This, ...Read more

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