WASHINGTON -- Especially in an election year, federal employees make a tempting target. They are, in the popular imagining, entitled and entrenched, unresponsive to the public for whom they work and uninterested in anything but collecting a paycheck and a cushy pension. You never hear the phrase "bureaucrats in Washington" in a sentence that ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- American voters have received, we are told, all they are going to get from their presidential candidates in the way of medical information. In light of Hillary Clinton's initially (and, if she had her way, permanently) undisclosed pneumonia, in light of Donald Trump's unhealthy body mass index and buffoonish physician, in light of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There are many better reasons to oppose Donald Trump than his rampant sexism. But the brazenness of Trump's recent comments, and the not-so-subtle piling on by the Republican National Committee, demand some attention. The remarks are worth noting not only because of what they tell us about Trump & Co., but also because they ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The president, as he prepared to leave office, was dead broke. So broke, in fact, that he had to take out a loan to get him through the transition. Bill Clinton in 2001? No, Harry Truman in 1953 -- and the resemblance ends there.
Back then, although Truman had only a monthly Army pension of $112.56, he was adamant about not ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas, the old saying goes. If so, Donald Trump should be awfully itchy.
Trump has just augmented his ever-changing cast of mostly second-string campaign operatives with a new deputy campaign manager, conservative activist David Bossie. "A friend of mine for many years," Trump told my Washington ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- On the subject of the Clinton Foundation and newly disclosed State Department emails, let us first dispense with Donald Trump's unhinged calls for a special prosecutor to investigate what he terms a corrupt "pay for play" arrangement.
"The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant numbers of times it was done require ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump -- he who likes to fly home at night in the comfort of his own plane to sleep in the comfort of his own bed -- is at it again on the question of Hillary Clinton's stamina, or alleged lack thereof.
"To defeat crime and radical Islamic terrorism in our country, to win trade in our country, you need tremendous physical ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump says his daughter, were she a victim of sexual harassment, should "find another career or find another company." His son Eric Trump said that his sister Ivanka "is a strong, powerful woman" who would not "allow herself to be subjected to that" treatment.
How nice for them. How nice for her. In the real world -- the ...Read more
PHILADELPHIA -- The Democratic National Convention here was Broadway to the summer stock production that Republicans put on in Cleveland. The Democrats' show was polished and uplifting, while the grand spectacle Donald Trump had promised to produce was amateurish and angry.
The chants of "USA! USA!" -- even if they were, at times, a device to ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There is no equivalence -- none -- between the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton when it comes to mistreatment of and contempt for the media. The Trump campaign's latest outrage on this score involved the hassling of a Washington Post reporter, Jose A. DelReal, at a rally for vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. ...Read more
PHILADELPHIA -- Even as President Obama prepares to speak on her behalf at the convention here and to campaign for her this fall, a big element of Hillary Clinton's electoral case hinges on the implicit argument that she can somehow succeed where Obama failed: overcoming partisanship and dislodging Washington gridlock.
This tricky path is made ...Read more
CLEVELAND -- Donald Trump's botched convention made Hillary Clinton's task in Philadelphia easier. Not necessarily easy, but easier.
The Republicans' four days here were marked by disorganization, division and darkness. This was the Ronco of flubbed conventions: But wait, there's more. After the plagiarism debacle, a preventable problem made ...Read more
CLEVELAND -- Ted Cruz, vanquished presidential candidate, coughed up the name of the man who defeated him for the Republican nomination precisely once in his convention speech Wednesday night. "I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination," the Texas senator managed to choke out. Then, in a line not contained in the prepared ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Well, Donald Trump can't tell his wife she's fired. Nor should he.
The evident plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech doesn't reflect poorly on Melania Trump, at least from what we know so far. Its presence, and the handling of it after its predictably swift disclosure, reflects poorly on the Trump campaign.
It demonstrates, as if ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's admittedly "ill-advised" remarks about Donald Trump weren't only bad for the justice and her reputation. They were bad for the Supreme Court and, consequently, for the country.
Ginsburg was correct in her scathing assessment of Trump -- and correct to express her "regret" for voicing it publicly. But ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Law enforcement officials tend to inhabit a universe that is both binary and terse: Prosecute or don't prosecute. Let the facts in the indictment speak for themselves. No further comment.
So the remarks by FBI Director James Comey accompanying his announcement that he would not recommend bringing charges against former Secretary ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Loretta Lynch's tarmac conversation with Bill Clinton wasn't just stupid, although it was certainly that. It was a colossal misjudgment on both sides, most especially hers.
The encounter was toxic. It adds to the already settled conviction among too many voters that the system is, to use the essential word of the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- How do you write a platform for a party whose candidate's positions span the unfortunate gamut from nonexistent to offensive to flatly at odds with those of the party?
Such is the thankless task consigned this year to Sen. John Barrasso. The Wyoming Republican is a Yale-trained orthopedist with a voracious appetite for history (he...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Along came the alligator. A horrifying story at the end of a horrifying stretch, a heartbreaking coda befitting a nation on perpetual edge.
That the story would go viral was guaranteed: a 2-year-old grabbed, his father trying in vain to fight off the primordial beast, an unforeseen danger lurking in what is supposed to be the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Somehow, it's always the parents' fault. We are too lax, except when we are too helicoptery. We coddle the kids too much, except when we drive them into neurotic overachievement. We are enablers. No, we are Tiger Moms. The societal urge to blame is matched only by the parental instinct to second-guess -- ourselves as much as our ...Read more