Even among the few odd, nerdy children who want to be speechwriters when they grow up (I was one), none dream of writing a State of the Union address. These tend to be long and shapeless affairs, lumpy with random policy, carried along by strained applause lines, dated before they are transcribed.
The Obama administration's latest revision of its contraceptive policy was welcomed by some religious people as a breakthrough, even a "miracle." Upon reflection, it seems less like the parting of the Red Sea than a parlor trick.
President Barack Obama has grown testy about reporters who have a "default position" that policy debates have two sides.
A young reporter who has only covered President Barack Obama's first term has already witnessed several political epochs.
Just before noon on Jan. 14, Mitch Daniels ceased to be governor of Indiana. By 2 p.m. he was in West Lafayette conducting a meeting as the soon-to-be president of Purdue University. A true Hoosier calls that a promotion. But his elevated new stage is a smaller one. And as national Republicans contemplate the second half of the Obama era, they wonder what might have been.
Following the "Les Miserables" incident on Christmas Day, I suspect I will never persuade my teenage sons to attend a movie with me again.
This is a Christmas season shadowed by sorrow. We know, of course, that human beings, even small ones, sometimes die in horrible, unfair ways. But all the horror and unfairness seemed to arrive at once in Newtown, where some parents wake on Christmas Day, if they slept at all, to mourn their absent children
The intercom had been switched on. "At first we heard a bunch of kids scream," said a therapist at Sandy Hook Elementary School, "and then it was just quiet and all you could hear was the shooting."
In order for an ambitious budget deal to emerge, an awkward conversation must take place. House Speaker John Boehner needs to tell President Barack Obama: "I can give some on rates for the wealthy, but I need cover on serious, structural cuts in entitlement programs."
It is a particularly bad election when a party's principal source of confidence is also its main form of self-deception.
The Petraeus affair like some Ethics 101 thought experiment is an exceptionally difficult test case in determining the proper relationship between personal ethics and public trust. When should you forgive an indispensable leader a fatal flaw?
During his campaign and the early part of his administration, Barack Obama offered a theory about the disorders of the greater Middle East.
The 2012 presidential election raises two seemingly contradictory questions: First, given a stagnant economy and a sour public mood, why isn't Mitt Romney doing better?
It is the recurring temptation of self-confident, insular elites to assume that that whole country loves what they love, hates what they hate and believes what they believe. "The American people are not going to elect a 70-year-old, right-wing, ex-movie actor to be president," explained Jimmy Carter's aide Hamilton Jordan in 1980. This view was universally shared, except by voters in 44 states.
"Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky." Albert Camus, "The Plague"