Author Archives: Mark W. Davis (WHWG)

We Had a Bad Candidate, Redux

Hey kids, see if you can pick the correct line in tomorrow’s talking points for White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Will it be” “Last night’s election was a fluke”?  Or? “It was indicative of nothing more than a single vote on a single night.” Or?  “It was a snapshot.” Or? “We had a bad […]

Hooray for Google!

When faced with intellectual theft or subversion by the regime in Beijing, many Fortune 500 have spines of Jello. This is bad enough when a company quietly allows its hard-earned competitive products to be lifted.  It is immoral when companies cooperate with Chinese authorities by helping them crack down on democratic dissidents. One company has […]

Michael Steele

Washington is getting a case of the vapors over Michael Steele’s new book, Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda.  The Republican establishment heaped coals over Steele’s head in a front-page Washington Post article for getting the GOP off message in the face of what should be a historic midterm rebuke of […]

Whole Foods Republicans

At last, we have been recognized. For years, my wife and I have driven Volvos.  We go to a liberal church, vacation in liberal places, once lived in San Francisco, and watch Showtime’s Californication. And yes, we shop at Whole Foods. Something about our consumer profile prompts liberal activist groups and Democratic precinct captains to […]

John Mashek: Gentleman Reporter

John Mashek, who has died at age 77, set himself apart from the journalistic pack by taking a deep and deliberative approach to the White House beat at U.S. News & World Report. I first encountered him as a student at the University of Texas at Austin, where John gave talks that, with dry humor, […]

Ruth Marcus: Under the Volcano

  Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post argues that the New Jersey and Virginia elections predict nothing for President Obama and the Democratic Congress. Her case is superficially convincing.  She does a good job of showing how these two races, historically, have not been good predictors of how the next election will turn out.  Two things […]

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 […]

Obama’s (Truly) Soft Power

Wesley Pruden has a column quoting WHWG’s own Clark Judge at the Global Security Review conference in Geneva. Clark said he was surprised by the depth of the skepticism about the President abroad.  “The impression emerged for me,” Clark says, “that Mr. Obama’s riveting rhetoric is in danger of turning from a plus to a […]

Tehran Talking Points

The Today Show had a segment this morning that brought forward family members of the three hikers who wandered into Iran and still remain in custody. The hikers have been imprisoned for months now.  Their understandably distraught families brought a predictable element of pathos to this interview that seems to supercharge ratings.  But this story […]

William Safire, Reporter

When the Gray Lady hired William Safire, it set off a lot of nabob-nattering about the propriety of giving a column to a former PR flack who had worked for Nixon.  Many speechwriters have become columnists, but none has matched Safire for his tenacious dedication to uncovering the truth.  Over the years, Bill Safire proved […]

Matt Latimer’s Speech-Less, Round Two

Bruce Bartlett lists my prior response on Matt Latimer’s Speech-Less as being among those reflexive, circle-the-wagons Republican responses to criticisms of George W. Bush. Actually, my reflexive, circle-the-wagons reaction was against speechwriters betraying the trust of their presidents.  On substance, I have to agree with Bartlett that Latimer offers disturbing corroboration of what appeared to […]

Matt Latimer’s Speech-Less

William McGurn of The Wall Street Journal skewers his former hire, Matt Latimer, for writing a kiss-and-tell about his tenure in the Bush White House. McGurn writes: “Bringing him [Latimer] into the Oval and getting him on Air Force One was a (losing) attempt on my part to get the president to warm up to him. […]

Obama’s Health Care Speech

Several quick impressions. First, it was the best effort President Obama could possibly make.  The speech–whether you thought the argument was spot-on or deceitful–was a well-crafted, rousing St. Crispen’s Day appeal that managed to both offer an open hand to Republicans, and slap them in the face with it. Second, Washington should not get a […]

A Symphony and a Meal!

Sen. Max Baucus, after leaving lunch with the president yesterday, had this to say to Roll Call. “It was a, really, a wonderful meeting, led by a terrific man, our president, Barack Obama.  And one of the Senators was saying to me as we walked out, ‘You know, it’s just so wonderful to hear him […]

The Multiplatform President

I’ve asked here in much earlier posts if President Obama is grossly overexposed.  Contrary to the Reagan Method, Obama seems to be always “stepping on his message.” In the days of the Great Communicator, the administration always had one clear message of the day or the week, reinforced by Michael Deaver’s imagery and the speechwriters […]