Monthly Archives: October 2009

Another Crappy George Bush Speech

Former president George W. Bush deployed his down-to-earth charm and humor to wow a crowd gathered for a speech in Fort Worth the other day. According to the Washington Post, “Bush did not appear to have an overarching theme, but strung anecdotes and jokes together and frequently mentioned his faith in God.” No overarching theme? […]

The Irreplaceable Dick Cheney

Former vice president Dick Cheney continues to be the most effective opponent of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. Last week, receiving the “Keeper of the Flame” award from the Center for Security Policy, he again laid out a case for why President Obama is misguided on Iran, relations with Russia, missile defense and our allies […]

Call Hate By Its Name

One of West Wing Writers’ founders, Tom Rosshirt, has a thoughtful piece in the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend, entitled “Making Hatred a Virtue.”  Tom argues that the spread of hatred is the greatest danger to society, and that the most alarming development today is not the rise of hateful ideas, but the silence, acquiescence, […]

Summers: Sometimes Good Ideas Have to Wait

I think it’s refreshing when someone in Washington who has some skin in the game — a politician, an Administration official — tells a basic truth plainly. The latest example is Larry Summers, President Obama’s top economic policy adviser, who addressed economic recovery, debt, and stimulus at yesterday’s Reuters Washington Summit. Asked whether stimulus measures […]

Democrats are Keen on One War

In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama reminded Americans that last November we “went to the polls in historic numbers and demanded change.” We “sought a change in our politics: a politics that too often has … fostered division.”  Oddly enough, he said this mere seconds after claiming that America’s health insurance industry is “deceptive […]

David Cameron’s Unorthodox Rhetoric

British Conservative leader David Cameron delivered the capstone address at last week’s party conference in Manchester. The speech was designed to reassure British voters, who seem ready to vote out Gordon Brown and his Labour majority next year, that Mr. Cameron – a rather youthful 43 – is ready to lead. He also, of course, […]

Make ‘Em Laugh

My colleague Jeff Nussbaum was quoted in a piece in this morning’s New York Times, regarding late night comics’ increasing willingness to poke fun at the president.  Exhibit A:  Jay Leno calls Obama’s Nobel Preace Prize his biggest accomplishment as president so far. Key passages below: …from the outset, Mr. Obama has been praised as […]

Not Necessarily the News

NEW YORK — Responding to this morning’s stunning announcement that U.S. President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Mr. Obama has also won the 2009 World Series. The remainder of baseball’s playoffs will be canceled. “I think we all saw when the president threw […]

Who Needs Action When You’ve Got Words?

Apparently I underestimated the power of President Obama’s speeches. They just won him a Nobel Peace Prize. You may recall that Barack Obama was elected president of the United States less than a year ago and since then, well, it’s been tough. Economy’s been roughed up; automakers needed bailouts; he can’t figure out what to […]

What We Can Learn From Dave

A few weeks ago, in the days of Joe Wilson II vs. the president and Kanye vs. Taylor Swift, I spoke to a college communications class. Having seen so many recent public apologies, one of the students asked me how I’d go about writing a convincing apology for someone. Frankly, I have no idea. I’ve […]

Channeling Peggy Noonan

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Peggy Noonan should be blushing right now. On Friday, in her Wall Street Journal column, Noonan lamented the recent passing of the greats of the media and commentariat – Safire, Irving Kristol, Walter Cronkite. “The Elders” she called them, and asked if anyone angling to replace them […]

Obama, Copenhagen and Chicago: Unpresidential

Like most Americans, I have been charmed and beguiled by President Obama’s presence on the stump.  His winning persona and powerful rhetoric are his best weapons.  But is that all there is to him? President Obama’s decision to go for broke in Copenhagen was reckless and unpresidential.  It betrays a confidence in his rhetorical power […]

A Muscular Meeting Strategy

Politico’s Mike Allen prints a White House statement about the National Security Council meeting held yesterday to discuss the president’s options in Afghanistan. Conclusion: The best way forward is more meetings – at least three more in the White House and many more with Congress, a process that will take weeks. This is the president’s prerogative. […]