Politics, Moderate



How Trump Could Still Win

WASHINGTON -- As the final presidential debate looms like a Halloween pinata full of October surprises, voters may be less committed to one or the other candidate than the numbers suggest.

And this, my fellow sufferers, could bode better for Donald Trump.

Lest you suddenly seek the highest perch from which to hurl yourself, this is strictly my...Read more

The Greatest Fear of All

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- If I were to distill a recent public discussion about the state of our nation to one word, it would be "worried."

Not fearful, not angry, but worried -- about the future; about an election season that has made evil-clown sightings seem weirdly apt; but mostly about what will happen after the election. How do we mend the ...Read more

Who's the Worst Person in the World?

WASHINGTON -- It should surprise no one that this presidential election -- the first ever to involve a female nominee from a major party -- has devolved into a contest of man's ultimate metaphor.

I'm not referring to a spitting competition, if you're struggling here.

Rather, the race apparently is to determine which is the worst man on the ...Read more

Thinking Dangerously

ELON, N.C. -- When I first heard that some Elon University students were protesting my invitation to speak on campus and saying my thoughts were "dangerous," I was, of course, thrilled and immediately amended my bio.

No one has ever considered me dangerous that I know of, other than a couple of dozen ungrateful birds I mysteriously ...Read more

Whither, Comma?

ELON, North Carolina -- My favorite bumper sticker I've never seen: Commas matter.

So I've always thought, and do still believe with the passion of one whose knuckles were rapped for grammatical errors. I mean this only metaphorically -- no bloody fingers -- but using incorrect grammar was the Eighth Deadly Sin in my childhood home.

How ...Read more

Permission to dissent

WASHINGTON -- Only in the strangest-ever presidential election could a former beauty queen's weight be considered a deal-breaking issue of, if I may, gargantuan proportions.

Pretend it's two weeks ago: Who is Alicia Machado?

Now: How happy is Alicia Machado?

If I weren't paid by the word, I'd be speechless.

The former Miss Universe of 1996 ...Read more

Sniffles and The Cyber Go to Town

WASHINGTON -- My heart went out to Donald Trump Monday night when it appeared that he was under the weather.

What could be worse than to be sick, sniffling through his first presidential debate just days after he was challenging Hillary Clinton's health and, during the debate, taunting her lack of stamina. Trump's own stamina was not, shall we ...Read more

Eyes Wide Open on Debate Night

WASHINGTON -- It's here, at last. The showdown we've all been waiting for: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.

For what seems like years now, we've been building up to this moment -- the ultimate battle of the sexes. The first woman vs. the last man.

For days, talking heads and pundits have been telling us what to look for. (Ink on Clinton's ...Read more

The Trump Letters

WASHINGTON -- As the first presidential debate approaches, fists clench, jaws tighten and invectives giggle in anticipation.

Game on!

To half the country, it's a sure win for Hillary Clinton, who will expose Donald Trump's shallow store of knowledge, his intemperate habit of insult and insouciance, his division of diversity into us and them. ...Read more

Trump's Truth Sets Us Free

WASHINGTON -- At long last, Donald Trump has set himself free.

At a highly choreographed event Friday, the Republican candidate for president of the United States finally issued his verdict on the birthright of our two-term president, who, it turns out, is a real American!

"Barack Obama was born in the United States, period," Trump intoned to ...Read more

Hillary's Bad Cold Demonstrates the Double Standard

WASHINGTON -- She didn't want to say she was sick.

Hillary Clinton, that is, who recently has suffered coughing fits followed Sunday by a near collapse during New York's 9/11 memorial ceremony. She left the ceremony early, claiming over-heatedness, and appeared to weave, lose her footing and pitch forward as she approached her car, as captured ...Read more

The Week That Was ... Embarrassing

WASHINGTON -- America has had better weeks than the one just past.

Only days away from the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates convened for what was dubbed the "Commander-in-Chief Forum," sponsored by NBC News and hosted by "Where in the world is Matt Lauer?"


And then ...Read more

If Animals Could Vote

WASHINGTON -- The animal kingdom will have lost one of its staunchest defenders when the Oval Office is abandoned by Barack Obama, who through a series of critical, administrative rulemakings has done more to protect animals than any other president in recent memory.

This will be especially devastating if Donald Trump replaces him -- not only ...Read more

'The Blacks'

WASHINGTON -- When Donald Trump says he has a great relationship with "the Blacks," I wonder if he also gets along well with the Smiths. We know he's tight with the Whites.

But what's with the definite article?

During a brief dalliance with Google, I learned that Trump has used "the" before whites at least once -- when commenting that Black ...Read more

The GOP's Trumpian Deflation

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump. Would that it were unnecessary to mention his name except, say, as a Viagra pitchman.

Despite such casting perfection, this isn't intended as a personal metaphor for the man, though it is for the GOP. Cue sound of balloon losing vigor. The erstwhile party of Lincoln has rendered itself impotent by its clammy-handed ...Read more

Hillary's Heel

WASHINGTON -- When I wrote the headline "Hillary's heel," I was thinking of Achilles, not Bill, though the former president is usually within nipping range of his wife's pantsuit hem.

Hillary Clinton's Achilles' heel is her very Clinton-ness. Rather than tell the truth as soon as possible, a reluctance shared by her husband during his ...Read more

A Nice Column About Trump

WASHINGTON -- When my syndicate editor told me a few clients had been asking, Don't you have anyone over there who can write something positive about Donald Trump?, I thought, well, that could be fun. But hard.

Then, as if the Muses and Fates had conspired to help me in this Olympian task, everything in Trump World changed. Not only did ...Read more

Beach Burkini Bingo

WASHINGTON -- Once upon a time, a scantily clad lass padding down a beach might cause a riot -- at least of eyeballs eager to extend the sidelong glance.

Today, it's the fully clothed woman who overheats the passions in France, where three towns have banned the burkini. Leave it to the French to criminalize modesty.

Latest to the ban-wagon is ...Read more

Driven to Distraction

OXFORD, Md. -- Reflexively, I type "Dru" and The Drudge Report pops up. I hate myself for going there but as a columnist ever in search of the zeitgeist's ultimate wave, I am behooved.

Breezing past the latest tricklings about The Hill & Trumpie Show -- I'm not proud of this -- I click on "Weiner still at it?"

Hey, it's August. It's what ...Read more

Hurray for John Oliver

WASHINGTON -- Every couple of years or so, I feel the need to whine about the plight of newspapers. It's August. I'm Trumped out. So today's the day.

Except that HBO's John Oliver beat me to it with the best defense of newspapers -- ever. His recent "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" monologue about the suffering newspaper industry has gone ...Read more


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