From the Left



'Changing Places': The 2016 Election

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Since 1952, there have been 10 national elections in which there was no incumbent Republican president seeking a second White House term. In nine of those 10, Republican voters and the party settled early on a consensus favorite, who led the field in the Gallup Poll one year before the party's national convention, and then ratified their early...Read more

Early Returns From Ohio

From the Left / Mark Shields /

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- How important politically is Ohio? Of the nation's first 10 Republican presidents, seven of them -- from Ulysses Grant to Warren Harding -- were native sons of Ohio. In fact, no Republican has ever won the White House who did not first carry Ohio. And in the most recent 13 presidential elections, Ohio has voted for the winning ...Read more

Henry Hyde and the 2016 Republican Race

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Yes, it is true that, as a political reporter, you do find yourself liking some people you cover a lot more than you like others. For example, in my 50 years in Washington, of all the House members I have met, the late Henry Hyde -- a conservative Illinois Republican probably most widely remembered today for the amendment bearing his name, ...Read more

Improving Our Presidential Debates

From the Left / Mark Shields /

By wide consensus, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was one of the two breakout stars in the last Republican presidential debate (Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was the other). Cruz is clearly a very smart man who is capable of saying some really stupid things.

The GOP griped about the CNBC debate format and questioning. During a debate recap on Fox News, Sen. ...Read more

Who Wrote the 2016 Campaign Script?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It first hit me on a Tuesday morning in March at a Washington presidential forum sponsored by the International Association of Fire Fighters. One 2016 White House contender spoke the following: "We've seen over the past number of years two Americas emerge. At the very top, top 1 percent today, with the largest federal government we've ever had...Read more

Why Republican Voters Are Not Acting Like the GOP

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the important matter of choosing their parties' presidential nominees, Republicans and Democrats have behaved entirely differently. Republicans have preferred their presidential candidates to be familiar and well-credentialed and to have previously run well, if unsuccessfully, for the nomination.

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor ...Read more

House Republicans, Meet Haley Barbour

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Haley Barbour, the former two-term governor of Mississippi and, before that, successful Republican Party chairman, is a candid and witty man who, in newspaper slang, "gives a great quote."

An example: At a Republican Governors Association meeting right after the 2012 election, Barbour identified the political problem GOP nominee Mitt Romney, ...Read more

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

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