July 12, 1992 |
On Manchester Road it is father against son, husband against wife, brother against brother. Few issues could divide the families on this close-knit street in Washington Township. But on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in New York City, one thing has. Presidential politics. As they sit around kitchen tables in their immaculate two-story tract houses, they argue and disagree, good-naturedly, on the subject: In these tough economic times, who should be the nation's next leader?
January 28, 1992
Trust levels, comfort levels, whatever you want to call them, are always a big part of the sorting out on the way to the White House. The ball takes crazy bounces: Ed Muskie's tears, Joe Biden's cribbing, Bob Dole's dark flashes of anger. The voter gets bits and pieces. It's hard to assign a weight to each one. The Big Story out of New England over this weekend was in the same tradition, yet somehow more depressing. We refer, of course, to Bill and Hillary Clinton's interrogation on CBS's 60 Minutes, hard on the heels of the Super Bowl.
August 10, 1992 |
Most of us have been in the uncomfortable position of being unwilling witnesses to a domestic quarrel. It can happen at a party, with a couple suddenly snapping at each other. Or maybe the pair at the next table in a restaurant, with him snarling and her bursting into tears. Or her snarling and him bursting into tears. Or both snarling and bursting into tears. But who would think we would have to be exposed to this sort of embarrassing stuff in a presidential campaign? I'm referring to the relationship between Mary Matalin, deputy manager of President Bush's campaign, and James Carville, a top strategist in Bill Clinton's campaign.
May 9, 1993 |
On Election Day, 1992, when George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot were awaiting the results of their respective campaigns - all of which tried to capitalize on a wave of populism across the land - Ivan Reitman and company were in Washington, making a movie. Dave, a political comedy about a lookalike who is recruited to stand-in for the real chief executive, was shooting in the nation's capital with Kevin Kline in the title role, Sigourney Weaver as the first lady and Frank Langella as a Machiavellian White House chief of staff.
January 24, 1996 |
What happened here last Thursday night demonstrates why millionaire publisher Steve Forbes has gone beyond his lavish self-financed television campaign and become a personal force to be reckoned with in Republican presidential politics. Almost 300 people jammed a crossroads restaurant on a foggy winter night to listen to and cheer the political novice from New Jersey, drawn simply by newspaper ads and the word-of-mouth interest in his seemingly quixotic effort to rewrite the tax code and shake up the Washington political establishment.
October 2, 1991 |
Democratic presidential candidates are popping up almost daily, it seems, and the summer columns suggesting that no one would be brave enough to challenge President Bush look pretty silly in retrospect. We should have known: Ambition is the one thing that is never in short supply in our politics. That is the theme of one of the most original and entertaining studies of the current political system to appear this year, Alan Ehrenhalt's book, The United States of Ambition. A longtime writer and editor at Congressional Quarterly, Ehrenhalt was smart enough to realize that most political analysis has been too focused on the makeup of the electorate and the mood of the voters.
May 10, 1988 |
The exhibit booths stretched across two cavernous halls at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Some tout futuristic communications gear: satellites, digital editing equipment, computerized graphics. Dozens of others offer "software," or what was called in a more simple time "programming. " They sell everything from wrestling and exercise shows to soft-core pornography to educational and religious fare to entire networks devoted to one subject such as sports, news, movies, fashion, even the weather.
March 23, 1988 |
The superiority of sports to politics never has been clearer - especially to those of us who are fated to cover the latter even though we love the former. Jon Margolis, the top political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, has had the courage to announce that once the 1988 presidential campaign is over, he is quitting the smoke-filled rooms of politics for the liniment-scented air and stimulating conversation of the baseball, basketball and football locker rooms. He is the envy of all the rest of us, who wish we could write our way onto the sports pages and get out of what we're doing.
April 11, 1992 |
He did a great Jack Kennedy, and a lousy Ronald Reagan. He had the George Bush body language, but he didn't nail the voice. And - appropriate for Montgomery County - he looked like a skinny Jon Fox, without the hair. The New York primary is history and it's on to Pennsylvania, but don't think we've left the circus behind. Tom Kolsky - self-proclaimed "Montco court jester," professor of political science and Yakov Smirnoff wannabee - launched the Pennsylvania presidential primary in proper fashion Thursday night with a mix of wit, irreverence and dramatic incompetence.
March 31, 1995 |
What's wrong with the Keystone State? Why hasn't the cradle of liberty been more of a player in presidential politics? All these years. Just one president: James Buchanan, 1857-1861, a Democrat from Republican Lancaster who won by carrying the South because he was soft on slavery. No Pennsylvanian's gotten close since. Arlen Specter's entry into presidential politics makes him the third Pennsylvanian in recent history to look seriously at the office. None, so far, lit up the night.