WASHINGTON -- Could Joe Biden be the man for this season?
The vice president has been running for president since Hillary Clinton was first lady of Arkansas. His first campaign, in 1988, fizzled over allegations of plagiarism.
His second, in 2008, limped to a humiliating close with Biden winning less than 1 percent of voters in the Iowa ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Dear Secretary Clinton:
Your email problem has mushroomed from a self-inflicted nuisance to a self-inflicted wound. The reason is simple: At every decision point, you and your staff have made the wrong choice about how to proceed, erring on the side of secrecy and self-righteousness.
The damage can't be entirely undone. But some ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's immigration proposal rests on three assumptions: that immigration hurts American workers; that illegal immigration, in particular, is linked to violent crime; and that illegal immigrants drain government resources. Each of these beliefs is belied by the available academic evidence.
(1) "The influx of foreign ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Carly Fiorina says some, well, interesting things while waiting to go on camera.
In 2010, the then-GOP Senate nominee went all middle-school-cafeteria on her Democratic opponent's hairdo. "God, what is that hair? Sooo yesterday," Fiorina, already miked up, commented, quoting an aide's assessment. Two years earlier, in the makeup ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Obama says those who oppose the Iran nuclear deal are either ideological or illogical. I support the deal, yet I think this assessment is incorrect and unfair. It diminishes the president's case for congressional approval.
That case is strong but not overwhelming; it is not, to use a loaded phrase, a slam dunk. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Everything that is wrong with Donald Trump -- that makes him such a danger to the Republican Party and to the country -- emerged in the opening minutes of Thursday's debate in his response to Megyn Kelly' question about misogyny.
"You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs' and 'disgusting animals,'" Kelly noted...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Maybe Joe Biden can help Hillary Clinton get her groove back.
Or, get her groove at all. It's been sorely missing this campaign.
Clinton is at her best, or at least does best with voters, when she's down. See the misty-eyed moment in New Hampshire 2008. Clinton challenged and vulnerable is more appealing to voters than Clinton ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I have to admit that my first reaction to the Planned Parenthood videos was to cringe and try to avoid the topic.
Even for those who support abortion rights, there is a stomach-churning aspect to the surreptitiously taped conversations with Planned Parenthood officials -- the coldblooded discussion, between bites of salad and sips...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The latest controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails -- the allegation that classified information was improperly transmitted on her private email server -- is, or should be, a non-scandal.
Clinton has only herself to blame for a lot of the email mess. She should have behaved like other government officials and used an official ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Do not worry about Donald Trump becoming president. Worry, instead, about what his current -- emphasis on current -- stratospheric standing in the polls says about two things: the Republican Party and the other GOP candidates.
Granted, the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll has Trump at 24 percent among Republican and Republican...Read more
WASHINGTON -- For all the understandable attention devoted to removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, a civil rights struggle with far more practical consequences is playing out one state away.
In a trial that just began in a federal courthouse in North Carolina last week, lawyers for the Justice Department and civil ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Ask Sen. Lindsey Graham his greatest political accomplishment, and the South Carolina Republican does not point to any individual piece of legislation. Rather, he says, it is that "I have not become job scared. I have not been so enamored with the job that I'm scared to lose it."
It is possible to respond to this with a shot of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Heroism tends to be understood as a matter of public display -- the bystander racing into a burning building, the soldier braving fire to rescue a comrade. But there is heroism, as well, of a quieter, more self-effacing variety -- the unintentional hero, quiet but determined, who acts in the vacuum of others' complacency.
This is ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Writing a judicial opinion can be like fencing. One of the most effective ways to jab at an opponent is to use his -- or her -- words to make your own case.
Thus, Chief Justice John Roberts, warning in the same-sex marriage case about the harmful results of the court's intervention:
"There will be consequences to shutting down ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Chief Justice John Roberts knew a torrent of conservative invective was headed his way, so perhaps praise from a left-of-center columnist is the last thing he needs.
Sorry, chief, here goes.
Roberts saved the Affordable Care Act, a second time, for the man who voted against confirming him. It was the right decision, a wise one, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Forget all the focus on the one ugly word President Obama used. Pay attention, instead, to the rest of the words in his podcast interview. They offer a remarkable self-portrait of a president in the second half of his second term, both chastened and liberated.
I must confess a sniffy preference for presidential sit-downs with ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The sloping red line offers a sobering prognosis for American democracy. Contained in a new report on improving the presidential debate process, it charts the precipitous decline of viewership: from above 60 percent of the voting age population in 1960, when the first televised debates were held, to under 30 percent in 2012.
In ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- On Saturday, I was impressed with Hillary Clinton. On Sunday, I was disappointed. Something tells me that the rest of this presidential campaign is going to be more of the same roller coaster.
First, the peak. Clinton's roll-out speech laid out an overarching rationale for her candidacy -- as a fighter for the middle class. She ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It has come to this: The chairman of the Federal Election Commission and a fellow Democratic commissioner have filed a petition asking their own agency to do its job.
Don't hold your breath.
It's not news that the campaign finance system is out of control. It's not news that the FEC has watched, haplessly, as candidates and their...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "The Stress Cost of Children."
It's all in the headline -- or, in the case of academic papers, the title -- and this one, released recently by the National Bureau of Economic Research, somehow was more alluring than its competitors coming to my attention: "Does Exporting Improve Matching? Evidence from French Employer-Employee ...Read more