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
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
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
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
Before ever running for the White House, our typical presidential candidate has already won and held high public office, having served as a governor, mayor or member of Congress. These candidates have almost always known previous political success before nearly every one of them fails in the presidential quest and leaves the campaign. And it ...Read more
In addition to winning more primaries, more convention delegates and 2 million more votes than any other Republican presidential candidate running this year, billionaire developer Donald Trump has won a significant national following with his repeated pledge, as a shrewd negotiator, "to beat China, Japan and Mexico at trade." Trump offers a ...Read more
Shortly after the cooling of the earth, I happily spent many years working on political campaigns. One of my least favorite campaign duties was asking rich people to contribute to my candidates. In fact, raising money made me politically anti-Calvinist: I persuaded people that God gave money to the least interesting and least appealing ...Read more
Steve Berman, a 59-year-old screenwriter who voted for Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but enthusiastically backed Donald Trump in the March 15 Missouri presidential primary, is exactly the kind of voter who, Trump supporters argue, will win the White House for Trump next November. Berman, one of a dozen St. Louis-area Republican and ...Read more
A Song ApartJeffrey H. Baer
A SONG APART revolves around Shannon Kistler, a teenaged pop singer, and Kevin Derow, her 19-year-old biggest fan. They met and fall in love unexpectedly while wishing society would accept them as they are. Then they realize they don’t need anyone else’s approval ...
For the presidential campaign of 2016, the best estimate is that the candidates, their political action committees, the political parties and so-called "independent" committees will raise and spend $5 billion -- which would be twice as much as was spent in the 2012 presidential campaign. With the singular exception of Sen. Bernie Sanders of ...Read more
Boy, do I miss Ronald Reagan's robust sense of self-confidence, which enabled him to use self-deprecating humor to confound his political adversaries. In 1987, after his presidency had hit a serious rough spot with the exposure of the Iran-Contra weapons-for-hostages deal and with a publicized feud between the first lady, Nancy Reagan, and the...Read more
Panic has become the uninvited visitor to every meeting of elected Republican officeholders. With Donald Trump now the clear favorite to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Republicans whose own fate and future could well be determined by whether they are forced to run on a November ballot headed by the controversial billionaire are ...Read more
Immediately after the combative Houston, Texas, Republican debate, Donald Trump, the clear front-runner for the 2016 GOP nomination, sought to dismiss Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's fiery attacks on Trump's business ethics. Rubio accused the real estate billionaire of hypocrisy on immigration in his own hiring and production practices. Trump's ...Read more