From the Left



Wanted: A Speaker of the House

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It used to be considered a great job, back in the days of Sam Rayburn and Tip O'Neill. The speaker was powerful. No more.

John Boehner is as pro-life as you can be. But imagine this: He was reluctant to shut the government down over a symbolic vote with no other consequences. It's not like he hadn't done it before. He had; and it wasn't ...Read more

The Super-Delegate Primary

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was January 1982, and the Hunt Commission was meeting in Washington, D.C., to decide on the rules that would govern the selection of the nominee in 1984. I was a "Kennedy" member of the drafting committee, which was basically comprised of Kennedy members (those loyal to Ted Kennedy and determined to protect his interests for '84) and the ...Read more

A Message to Hillary Supporters

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Do not panic.

Of all the candidates in this race, Hillary Clinton is the only one that most Americans could imagine being president. Think about it. Every day, people ask me, "Could (Trump/Carson/Sanders) ever be president? Could (Paul/Cruz/Rubio) ever be president?" Most of the time I just shrug, because winning the White House is only one ...Read more

Modern Family

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There is a lot going on in the world, and most of it seems frightening, depressing and utterly beyond our control. So if you have not heard, let me tell you about a really wonderful thing that happened this week, a reminder of what matters most.

It's the story of a wedding that took place in Ohio last weekend. The father of the bride was set ...Read more

The 25 Percent Problem

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The last round of polls are leading the more optimistic members of the chattering class to wonder if Donald Trump may have peaked. He's still ahead of the pack, but he seems to have hit a plateau at around 25 percent with Republican voters, which isn't going down (except in the Quinnipiac poll, where he went down from 28 percent to 25 percent)...Read more

The Law of Unintended Consequences

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The first rule of "reforming" the system for selecting a presidential nominee is that the best-laid plans lead to unintended consequences. So it was that the Democrats in the 1980s, stung by repeated losses, decided that the answer was to give Southern states more influence in the process by creating "Super Tuesday." The idea, pushed by the ...Read more

Planned Parenthood Politics

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It wasn't just the Republican candidates who, with one exception, went out of their ways to outdo one another in their condemnation of an organization that is the sole provider of basic gynecological, obstetric and preventative care services to millions of American men and women.

That's 5 million people worldwide, and 2.7 million in the ...Read more

The Doctor Is In

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Given that it is September, when summer love fades and fall sets in, you might expect to see someone drawing even with Donald Trump. But you wouldn't expect that person to be one of the other least-likely-to-succeed candidates in the race: retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Between a retired doctor and a debt-ridden developer, who is least ...Read more

The Lesson of Kim Davis

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Raising her arms in a sign of victory, Kim Davis -- the now-famous Kentucky clerk who was jailed for contempt when she refused to obey a court order that she (and every clerk in the state) issue licenses to same-sex couples -- was released from jail this week. Her freedom came not because the district judge concluded she was right, but because...Read more

Labor Day Politics

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

In the old days, Labor Day was the kickoff to the fall campaign -- that is, the fall of the election. I'll never forget the Labor Day kickoff in 1984, when it rained on the picnic in Wisconsin, and the sound equipment didn't work in California, and when someone in the crowd collapsed. I had the awful sense that the campaign was doomed. It was....Read more

The Summer of 2015

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

In politics, this has been the summer of discontent, of revolt against Washington and established politics and, most of all, experienced politicians. How else to explain what is happening in both parties? Among Democrats, Independent Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. And among ...Read more

President Trump?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The new polls showing Donald Trump in a strong lead for the Republican nomination tell you just how much trouble the Republican Party is in right now. I'm not saying that the Republican Party will nominate him, but it's hard to dismiss the new frontrunner as "not serious," which is what most Republican leaders and elected officials would like ...Read more

President Bernie?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /


For Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with surprise hit of the summer season Donald Trump, some people are really beginning to ask: could it happen?

Could Bernie Sanders win Iowa? He could. Mike Huckabee, who had launched his campaign on a weight-loss platform (I was a fan), won Iowa, and everyone spent the whole night figuring out how much it ...Read more

Epic Care

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Are you one of the 54 percent of all Americans whose medical records are typed and stored on Epic?

If you don't know, let me ask you this: does your doctor look at you when you are there for a visit, or is she (or if she's lucky, a "fellow" or assistant) typing the whole time? That's Epic.

It is, of course, a brilliant idea, and made its ...Read more

Why I Like John Kasich

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"Oh no," Kasich supporters must be thinking. "Just what we need. A liberal endorsement."

Worry not. I do not like John Kasich because I agree with him. Heavens, no. I disagree with him about almost everything.

I do not think he is a liberal. He is hardly my definition of moderate. He only looks moderate compared to some folks who make their ...Read more

Presidents Vacation ... So Do the Rest of Us

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Every time the president goes on vacation, roughly half the talking heads jump all over him. They tally up how many days he's spent on vacation, or how many rounds of golf he's played since he became president, and then manage to remind us that we're not taking vacations on fancy islands in houses that rent out for a princely sum.

When I say ...Read more

Carly's Ego Isn't Enough

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Surprise. The one woman in the crowded Republican field, Carly Fiorina, turns out to be articulate and well informed, thoughtful and independent, actually the standout in the second-tier debate and really, if you're judging, the best debater of the night.

Actually, many of the reporters covering the debate did appear a little shocked at how ...Read more

Could Hillary Clinton Lose?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The chattering class, fed by the drumbeat of conservatives and the criticism of look-alike Republicans, is actually acknowledging that the former Secretary of State is not made entirely of Teflon. Some of her support is soft. Some Democrats don't like her. Never have.

Inevitability is generally a curse in politics. "Is he inevitable?" It was ...Read more

Stunt Time

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

What should you look for if you happen to be one of those dedicated Americans who watches "primary" debates? For sheer entertainment value, of course, everyone will be watching "The Donald." His just showing up should help raise the ratings meter even as it lowers the gravitas quotient, which would be hard to maintain anyway, given the crowd. ...Read more

Don't Go to Law School

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Seriously. Don't go to law school unless you actually want to be a lawyer. Sure, "thinking like a lawyer" -- that is, analytically -- is useful, but probably not as useful as spending three years actually doing or studying what you are interested in, not to mention the $200,000 in debt you'll probably owe, more or less making your only option to...Read more

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