Mon, March 03, 2014
Dispensing With Indespensability
"To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace"
Having commanded an unprepared, poorly supplied army, George Washington ...
Mon, February 24, 2014
Giving Up on Washington
MINGO JUNCTION, Ohio -- The roar is gone.
Five years after Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel's once-thunderous mill went idle, the only sound here is that of the oldest ...
Tue, February 18, 2014
Traces of Andrew Carnegie
Despite the crisscrossing expressways overhead and the post-industrial surroundings, you can feel that something extraordinary happened here.
You can easily summon ...
Mon, February 10, 2014
PA House Race Dem Bellwether
Sometimes the smallest races tell the biggest stories.
Take Pennsylvania Democrats' primary race to replace Allyson Schwartz in suburban Philadelphia's 13th ...
Mon, February 03, 2014
Iowa's GOP Family Feud
On one side you have a popular Republican governor, Terry Branstad. He is pushing a more inclusive brand of GOP politics by encouraging folks not usually associated with activism to get interested in ...
Mon, January 27, 2014
West Virginia House Race a Bellwether
Nothing better crystallizes the deep disconnect between Washington and Main Street America than the peculiar narrative surrounding Nick Rahall's re-election bid for a U.S. House seat.
Mon, January 20, 2014
Allegiance to Party Wanes
ELLWOOD CITY - Scores of churches line this charming community of streets punctuated by stately homes and trees. They even stretch out along the state routes leading into and out of town.
Fri, January 17, 2014
GOP Chances Good in '14 Cycle
Republicans are likely to keep – and maybe even expand – their majority in the U.S. House in the midterm elections, experts say.
President Obama's ...
Mon, January 13, 2014
Cyclical Politics Can Lift GOP
Mon, December 30, 2013
Kane is Democrats New 'It' Girl
A former midlevel prosecutor's ambition and rise in Pennsylvania politics is a sign of the times in American politics.
In under a year, Kathleen Kane has gone from ...
Mon, December 23, 2013
Gianni Ronald Samuel beamed with relief as, one by one, his extended family crowded around a large wooden table at Penn Brewery on Pittsburgh's North Side to celebrate the Feast of St. ...
Tue, December 10, 2013
Little Change in Main Street Life
CHESTER, W.Va. When the family of seven sitting near the front of Connie's Corner restaurant discreetly held hands and bowed their heads in prayer before their meal, no one in the bustling diner ...
Mon, November 25, 2013
For Obama Everything is About Politics
WASHINGTON - Two minutes after the start of an event he was scheduled to headline, President Barack Obama stepped into his limo for the 13-minute ride to the Four Seasons Hotel here.
Mon, November 18, 2013
PA Town Clings to Guns, Ousts Mayer
CHAMBERSBURG - Know your constituency. It's the first rule of local politics.
The second: What happens in New York City usually can only happen in New York City, ...
Mon, November 11, 2013
Obama Snubs Gettysburg
Comments GETTYSBURG — He almost was not asked to speak.
In October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln received the same plain envelope that was sent to hundreds ...
Mon, November 04, 2013
Obamacare Widens Disconnect
WASHINGTON — Unlike many government buildings in our nation's capital, nothing is aesthetically pleasing about the Health and Human Services complex. Its "Brutalist" architecture ...
Mon, October 21, 2013
Obamacare Could Go Way of Prohibition
In 1923, five years after the implementation of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that effectively banned alcohol, Americans felt disillusioned with Prohibition. None of the grand promises ...
Mon, October 14, 2013
No Evidence Dems Can Take Back House
The 2010 midterm election that swept Republicans into power in the U.S. House of Representatives was a mandate to put the brakes on President Obama and his agenda.
Tue, October 08, 2013
Breaking Ranks: Some PA GOP Reps for 'Clean CR'
When U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent broke ranks with the Republican majority in Pennsylvania's House delegation over defunding the Affordable Care Act, he said he did what representatives should do: vote the ...
Mon, October 07, 2013
Raise It !! Baseball the Great Equalizer
The joyous sound of 40,000 people singing the national anthem knows no equal in American culture.
It happened in Pittsburgh last Tuesday when adoring Pirates fans ...
Mon, September 30, 2013
Why City Governments Fail
HARRISBURG — A cheery but worn yellow sign announces that "Paxton Commons Retail Complex" is in the works along North Cameron Street in the state capital.
The sign, trumpeting ...
Mon, September 16, 2013
Jobs, Not Syria, Concern Voters
CHAMPION, Pa. — Tracey loaded three large cardboard boxes with tomatoes, peaches, green beans, cucumbers and fleshy beets for a young couple about to embark on their first adventure in the art ...
Tue, September 03, 2013
Surviving the Urban Elites
BERWICK, Pa. -- Even the most casual visitor might believe this northeastern Pennsylvania town, with its array of diners, restaurants, unique shops, offices and a movie theater, is thriving.
Mon, August 26, 2013
Bus Tour Plays to Skeptical Reviews
SCRANTON – In a corner of the state with the highest sustained jobless rate of his administration, President Obama on Friday intends to speak to young people about the importance of getting a ...
Mon, August 19, 2013
Things Looking Up for GOP Down Ballot
INDIAN HEAD, Pa. — Nestled in the valley between Chestnut and Laurel ridges, this tiny village once included a state-funded relief camp for jobless men during the Great Depression; it housed, ...
Mon, August 12, 2013
Wild, Wonderful GOP?
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va.
Technically the town of Bath, this Eastern Panhandle community is home to a colorful but struggling enclave of artists who bridge the ...
Mon, August 05, 2013
To Tired to Care About VA Scandal?
An unknown number of U.S. military veterans are dead within 30 days of contracting Legionnaires' disease in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh.
Aside from ...
Tue, July 30, 2013
Former U.S. Senator Harry Byrd Dies
Harry Byrd always laughed at people who despaired that Washington was more broken than ever.
"I guess they never heard of the '60s – in both ...
Mon, July 29, 2013
Ohio Governor Kasich Rebounds with Voters
CLEVELAND – As a first-term Republican governor, John Kasich takes an unconventional approach to managing Ohio.
Kasich, who grew up in McKees Rocks, believes ...
Mon, July 22, 2013
Divided by Design
WINCHESTER, Va. — Strolling along the well-preserved downtown promenade of this Shenandoah Valley city, a visitor (or even an ill-informed local) might be surprised to learn that it was at the ...
Mon, July 08, 2013
Top Egyptian Military Leader Trained in PA
Army War College; Center of Diplomacy
CARLISLE – With unrest in Egypt, U.S. military officials looking for insight might test the ties they formed with the Egyptian defense minister, Lt. ...
Mon, July 08, 2013
Scandal Staining Hillary's Record
In September 1995, then-first lady Hillary Clinton spoke on human rights for women and girls, detailing in a speech in China a shocking list of abuses around the world.
Mon, July 01, 2013
Gettysburg: Starting Over
GETTYSBURG — When General Robert E. Lee formed his battle lines on Seminary Ridge, he assembled the largest Confederate army to appear on any battlefield of the Civil War.
Mon, June 24, 2013
Ron Razete knows a little bit about sibling rivalry.
The father of five children, ranging in age from 15 to 26, has them all working behind the counter of a shop ...
Mon, June 17, 2013
GOP Oddly Silent in Masachusetts Race
Republicans have talked about pursuing a different kind of candidate since what seems like forever. Heck, the national party even convened a special, secret task force just for that purpose late last ...
Mon, June 10, 2013
A Loss of Trust
WASHINGTON — Everyone on the outdoor patio of a Dupont Circle restaurant could overhear the young, smartly dressed couple struggling to decide what Capitol City destination to visit ...
Mon, June 03, 2013
Main Street Defends Its Way of Life
FLATWOODS, Pa. Most people expect their tomorrows to be about the same as their
yesterdays in this town, and in every other Fayette County village, borough and
Tue, May 28, 2013
A World War II Memorial Day
At an entrance to the World War II Memorial, a lone man cut a solemn figure as he balanced an iPad in one hand, a cane in the other, to film 12 bronze panels depicting the lives of soldiers during ...
Mon, May 20, 2013
Obama's Incredible 'Referent Power'
Comments In T.S. Eliot's drama "Murder in the Cathedral," kowtowing knights who overhear England's Henry II vent frustration with Thomas Becket decide to please the king by killing the ...
Mon, May 13, 2013
Americans Fear Government
BELLE VERNON, Pa. -- The owner of a small gun shop here sits on a wooden stool behind a glass-topped counter filled with handguns. The only thing folks talk about when they come into this store is ...
Mon, May 06, 2013
When Will America Burst D.C.'s Bubble?
WASHINGTON--Eighteen Starbucks shops can be found in the three-mile walk from DuPont Circle to the U.S. Capitol. Not one of them had a line less than seven people deep on a recent Wednesday ...
Mon, April 29, 2013
CHALK HILL, Pa. — The old house leans unnaturally westward along a back road, as if chasing the setting sun into a surrounding meadow. Wildflowers splinter its wooden porch planks; a lonely ...
Mon, April 22, 2013
Terror from Wall Street to Main Street
Bells marking the noon hour had just stopped pealing when an ear-shattering explosion ripped the downtown street, filling the air with shards of glass.
Flame and smoke towered 100 feet ...
Wed, April 17, 2013
Toomey Won't Retreat from Background Checks
Angry words from some conservative Republican constituents won't keep U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey from working to secure votes needed to pass a gun-control amendment that would expand background checks on ...
Mon, April 15, 2013
Gettysburg: Part of America's Soul
GETTYSBURG - Everything about this town whispers to visitors, "Here lies the soul of America's story."
It is found in the peach orchards and rolling wheat ...
Mon, April 08, 2013
DC-Main Street Divide Deepens
HARMONY - If one French-Indian guide had not been a particularly bad shot, George Washington would have died in this Butler County village when he passed through at the age of 21, after failing to ...
Mon, April 01, 2013
This is a very simple game; you throw the ball, you catch the ball you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Bull Durham
Mon, March 25, 2013
America Roots for the Underdog
Last week, in a small town named after the moon (because of what once was considered the town's vast distance from the big city, according to one local legend), at a university named after a ...
Mon, March 18, 2013
Obama Aims for Legacy
James Polk's vow to serve only one term as president of the United States made him a lame duck from the outset.
Instead of finding that status constricting, Polk ...
Mon, March 11, 2013
Signs Point to 2000 Redux in 2016
The story of where American voters are today, in terms of partisan split, is the same as it was heading into the 2000 presidential election.
We are a country split ...
Sun, March 03, 2013
Roaring Then, Whimpering Now
In a shed atop East Pittsburgh's old eight-story Westinghouse plant, five men and the company's chief engineer made history when they broadcast results of 1920's presidential election.
Sun, February 24, 2013
GOP Has More Control Than You Think
The chorus out of Washington, from the chattering classes to conservatives
themselves, is that the sky is falling on the Republican Party.
If only those people ...
Mon, February 11, 2013
Rural ~Urban America Share: Poverty
UNIONTOWN, Pa-It is hard to imagine that this picturesque town, with its stately courthouse, charming narrow streets, cozy diners and cluttered antique shops, has anything in common with metropolitan ...
Mon, February 04, 2013
Progressives Abandon Jacksonian America
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Andrew Jackson, the president whose divisive political instincts would shape the Democratic Party for generations, was born less than 20 miles from here, in the Waxhaw region ...
Tue, January 29, 2013
West Virginia GOP Senate Opportunity
WEIRTON, W.Va.--As long as Republicans do not kick away a golden opportunity, wonderfully wild West Virginia could be their best U.S. Senate pickup prospect of the 2014 midterm election.
Thu, January 24, 2013
Could Electoral College 'Fix" Backfire on GOP?
CHARLOTTE – If some Republican leaders had their way, states in which the GOP controls legislatures and governors' offices soon would reshape election laws.
Maine and Nebraska moved away ...
Wed, January 23, 2013
Republicans Gather to Lay Out Stragegy
CHARLOTTE – Days after President Obama pitched a liberal agenda to the nation, Republican leaders will talk about how to regain control of the White House and Senate and emphasize conservative ...
Mon, January 21, 2013
No Trust, No Solutions
HARRISBURG-People who live and work outside Washington, D.C., say their way of life and values have not changed. But they think those who live, work and legislate inside the Beltway have, frankly, ...
Mon, January 14, 2013
Vanishing Vote: Rural Influence Dwindles
HARRISBURG – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warns that rural America is becoming less relevant to the politics of this country, and he urges people to push lawmakers to do something about ...
Mon, January 07, 2013
Joe Biden: Back to the Future
Late last week, Vice President Joe Biden had no problem telling the press who sealed the deal on the so-called fiscal cliff.
"Me!" he said, grinning ...
Sun, December 30, 2012
Perhaps We Are Still in Oz
What if Dorothy's skip down the yellow brick road was not just about getting back home to Kansas?
L. Frank Baum's classic "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," ...
Wed, December 19, 2012
Campaigning via Celebrities
There are times when one needs to look no further than one's backyard to see how out-of-sync politicians are with their constituents.
Last week in Pittsburgh, an ...
Tue, December 18, 2012
TEA Party at a Crossroads
Dispirited by congressional wrangling over the debt ceiling in 2011, Tea Party members' passions began to wane. Then other forces took hold to intensify the conservative movement's struggle to remain ...
Tue, December 11, 2012
Fiscal Debates Then and Now
WASHINGTON - Hard to imagine that it was not part of our capital city's architectural design for statues of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury secretary, and Albert Gallatin, the fourth and ...
Wed, December 05, 2012
The 'No Show' Problem
Our political parties have an alarming problem with white middle-class voters.
Both parties failed to connect with them in this presidential election – from rural voters in the Midwest, ...
Mon, November 26, 2012
Putting Obamacare in Perspective
At the stroke of midnight on Jan. 16, 1920, a balding William Jennings Bryan, the great orator of his time, finished a soaring speech to a crowd that had packed Washington, D.C.'s First Congregation ...
Mon, November 19, 2012
Boehner Steps Back to Lead
WASHINGTON A master in the art of human nature understands there is a time to lead, and then there's a time to let the other guy take the risk of leading.
Very few people in this city grasp the ...
Mon, November 05, 2012
America's Main Street Rebellion
The homemade sign for Mitt Romney in the yard of a well-manicured but modest home in Leadville, Colo., forlornly signals the fracture of another onetime supporter of Barack Obama.
Mon, October 22, 2012
Ohio: Portrait of a State in Flux
MINGO JUNCTION, Ohio — As Sophia Schoolcraft explains, this Ohio River town once was a vibrant place, home to a powerful Wheeling-Pitt steel plant which helped to support a Main Street bustling ...
Mon, October 15, 2012
Colorado Could Determine Election
LAIRD, Colo. This small Great Plains town is the terminus of a journey across the Rocky Mountain State on U.S. 34, greeting travelers from Nebraska and bidding farewell to Coloradoans.
Mon, October 08, 2012
Real America Still Believes
SHARPSBURG, Md.-Just past dawn on a brisk September morning, a couple in their 30s walked along the sunken road known as "Bloody Lane" with a toddler sleeping soundly in her stroller and a ...
Mon, October 01, 2012
Obama's Coattails Short
One thing is clear: Barack Obama is running the kind of presidential campaign that provides short coattails to any Democrats running down-ballot.
That reduces any ...
Sun, September 09, 2012
N.C. Dems Have Buyer's Remorse
CHARLOTTE - Tom Olson is good at what he does, serving the Sunday brunch crowd at Harper's Restaurant in the Queen City's upscale South Park neighborhood. He
cheerfully hovers over a large ...
Mon, September 03, 2012
Virginia Moves Toward Romney
FRONT ROYAL, Va. - Wanda Snead wants the same thing for her family, her community and her country: "Someone who will take charge of this mess that is happening in our economy and get the country ...
Mon, August 27, 2012
Romney Achieves Pinnacle of Career
TAMPA – Mitt Romney has worked toward this moment for years.
When he takes the stage on Friday to accept the Republican Party's nomination for president, it will mark the pinnacle of a ...
Tue, August 21, 2012
Ryan Rallies Supporters in SWPA
Republican Paul Ryan on Tuesday made an appeal in Carnegie to middle-class Democrats who could help swing the November presidential election.
The Wisconsin ...
Mon, August 20, 2012
Can Romney Seize Ohio Opportunity?
BEALLSVILLE, Ohio--Seventy-plus men walked out of the ground, overalls and hardhats covered in coal dust, and onto the risers of a stage built for a Mitt Romney speech.
Fri, August 17, 2012
Ryan: Bring on Medicare Fight
Ryan: 'Bring on' Medicare fight
VIENNA, Ohio – Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says he wants "to bring on" the Medicare ...
Sun, August 05, 2012
Can Obama Keep Centrist Dems?
For a striking number of Democrats, May 31, 2008, is a day that lives in infamy.
It marked the moment that the national party's rules committee dealt a deathblow
to Hillary Clinton's bid to ...
Mon, July 30, 2012
Presidential Race Kicks into High Gear
Expect the pace to pick up in the presidential campaign between now and Election Day, experts say, especially in this era of social media driving interest.
Sun, June 24, 2012
Yes, Pennsylvania is up for Grabs
QUAKERTOWN, Pa.- Standing behind the cash register of a Wawa store, a young man handing change to a customer was distracted by Mitt Romney's "Believe in America – Every Town Counts" ...
Wed, June 20, 2012
New Deal Democrats Not Part of Obama Electoral Map
U.S. Rep. Mark Critz said on Tuesday he will skip the Democratic National Convention in favor of campaigning in Pennsylvania, much like top elected Democrats in neighboring West Virginia who are ...
Mon, June 18, 2012
Romney Seeks Edge in Battleground States
QUAKERTOWN -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's tour bus pulled into this Bucks County town on Saturday to drum up support in the voter-rich Philadelphia suburbs and audition potential ...
Mon, June 11, 2012
The Last American Independent
This longtime Democrat left his party after it demanded that he sign a pledge to support only its candidates.
Local and national Democrats branded him as an ...
Sun, June 03, 2012
Class Warfare's Dismal Record
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio - Newspaper accounts of the day described with shock the
"enormous crushing crowds" that gathered in cities and towns (including this one) to see William Jennings ...
Tue, May 29, 2012
The Man Behind Mitt Romney
Stuart Stevens is not that complicated.
People so often describe the man in charge of shaping Mitt Romney's image, message and campaign strategy as unconventional, ...
Mon, May 21, 2012
Biden's Words Fall on Deaf Ears
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Dave Betras is known in "The Valley" for his colorful language and his political antics and drama. Last Wednesday, however, when Vice President Joe Biden visited a ...
Mon, May 14, 2012
Average White Guy Vote
CANTON, Ohio -- Rudy is the quintessential average white guy, right down to his last name. "It literally is Guy," he said, laughing at the irony.
Born in ...
Mon, May 07, 2012
Impact of House Races on Obama
LISBON, Ohio – The two-lane Lincoln Highway passes sparkling creeks, tree-lined valleys, coal-mine entrances and mom-and-pop motel lots filled with shale-industry workers' muddy trucks on its ...
Wed, May 02, 2012
Class of 2006 House Democrats Are Gone
U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire's loss in the Democratic primary marks the end of more than just his congressional career. Moderate Democrats, he said Tuesday, appear to be on their way out the door.
Mon, April 30, 2012
THe Jacksonian-Jeffersonian Vote
SOUTH PARK, PA-John Opfar sat in the front row of a short riser at Consol Energy's South Park R&D facility just before Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to a makeshift stage.
Mon, April 23, 2012
Ohio Tepid Toward Obama on Jobs
ELYRIA, Ohio- Knocked off message for a second week by messy Secret Service and GSA scandals, President Obama on Wednesday tried to salvage things with a jobs rally among handpicked supporters in ...
Mon, April 16, 2012
Female Voters Problem for Obama
BEDFORD, Pa.- Judy's Motel is a cheery gem, a classic motor lodge just off the
Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Bedford Village historic district.
Its red-brick ...
Mon, April 09, 2012
Exceptionalism Key for Mitt Romey
TUNKHANNOCK, Pa.-Mitt Romney stood in a closet-sized room hours before taking the stage where an old sawdust mill once sat, the nearby Endless Mountains framing his silhouette.
Thu, April 05, 2012
Santorum Won't Give Up on Himself
HOLLIDAYSBURG -- Rick Santorum doesn't care if other Republicans want him out of the party's presidential race. He's going nowhere yet, he said on Wednesday, despite losing primaries in Wisconsin, ...
Sun, April 01, 2012
It's the Economy Mr. President
GETTYSBURG-The owner of Tommy Gilbert's Hobby Shop expects summer's tourist season to be impacted by what he calls an "alarming" rise in gasoline prices.
Mon, March 26, 2012
Coal Country Wary of Obama
VAN METER, Pa.- Unless you happen upon the chunk of coal marking where 239 men died in the old Darr Mine, now along the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, you'd never know you'd passed over the site of ...
Mon, March 19, 2012
'Welcome Home' for Rick?
Pennsylvania's Republican presidential primary last counted in 1980, when Ronald Reagan lost a nasty battle to George H.W. Bush.
Bush won the popular vote -- but ...
Tue, March 13, 2012
Benefits of a Long Primary
The contentious presidential primary, in its ninth week, won't permanently damage the eventual nominee when the fall election arrives, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said on ...
Sun, March 11, 2012
Santorum Struggles with Catholic Vote
As a devout Mormon, Mitt Romney was the presidential candidate who experts
anticipated could have a problem with winning over Roman Catholic voters.
Mon, March 05, 2012
Ohio: Portrait of America
STEUBENVILLE — This Ohio River town once was an outpost of the Wild West, guarding surveyors who mapped the land beyond.
Fort Steuben was named for Baron Von ...
Mon, February 27, 2012
'Signature' Battle in New 12th CD
Everyone expected Jason Altmire to face a messy primary battle this spring with fellow Democrat Mark Critz, after their Western Pennsylvania congressional districts were essentially combined under ...
Mon, February 13, 2012
PA Tall Order for Obama
During a drive between the Mon Valley towns of McKeesport and Elizabeth, a man named Ray was overheard calling into a local radio station to talk about the subject of the hour: November's ...
Sun, February 05, 2012
Romney Repeating History?
TAMPA, Fla.- When Mitt Romney stood on a stage here last Tuesday night and declared, "A competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us -- and we will win," his words touched on ...
Sun, January 29, 2012
Populism Elusive for President
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Florida's first military governor and America's seventh
president, Andrew Jackson, never lived in this city named to honor his military
exploits that forced Spain to cede ...
Mon, January 23, 2012
Contrition, Honesty Keys to Weathering Political Scandal
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Only in modern American politics could a presidential candidate turn sordid details released by the second of his three wives into a positive, by going after the news ...
Mon, January 23, 2012
'Battle of Ideas' Shape Flordia GOP Primary
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It's on to Florida for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.
The four Republicans remain in competition for the party's ...
Tue, January 17, 2012
Evangelicals Key to South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Richard Thomas said he prayed for guidance to select the best
Republican presidential candidate in the South Carolina primary on Saturday.
Wed, January 11, 2012
Jobs Top Issue in South Carolina
South Carolina voters will look at the results in Iowa and New Hampshire before selecting a Republican presidential contender on Jan. 21, according to state Republican chairman Chad Connelly.
Mon, January 09, 2012
Obama Sinking in New Hampshire
MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Granite State shares more than the early-voting spotlight with caucus-cousin Iowa.
Its love affair with Barack Obama is in the same ...
Wed, January 04, 2012
Focus Shifts to New Hampshire
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- It's show time in the state that hosts the nation's first presidential primary.
Less than 12 hours after the Iowa caucus started the 2012 ...
Mon, January 02, 2012
Obama's Support Falters in Iowa
NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa - Bobby Burns has had a dramatic change of heart.
Burns, 23, was one of those young people swept up in Barack Obama's 2008
Tue, December 20, 2011
Spanning Past, Present ~Future
BROOKLYN, N.Y. The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 at the height of America's most turbulent political era.
Built with steel, adorned with electricity, this marvel ...
Mon, December 12, 2011
Our Economic Founder
NEW YORK CITY- "The Grange" in Upper Manhattan is the only home that Alexander Hamilton ever owned.
Standing in front of it, an impeccably dressed elderly ...
Mon, December 05, 2011
Bitter Residue Remains in PA
NEW BRIGHTON — The Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe on Third Avenue is one of those places where men who want to be president stop to look decidedly un-presidential.
Mon, November 28, 2011
Millennials Think Everything Will Be OK
Brandon Chu thinks everything will be OK.
The 20-year-old nutrition major at the University of Pittsburgh doesn't buy into the narrative that his generation is less ...
Mon, November 21, 2011
Unusually Quiet, S.C. Still Key for GOP
SPARTANBURG, S.C.-Dave Williams was baptized in South Carolina politics as a teenager.
"I attended a Nixon rally with my parents," he recalled. "We ...
Mon, November 14, 2011
Third Party Run in 2012
The only time in modern history when a third-party presidential candidate got more votes than a major-party candidate was in 1912.
Nearly 100 years later, ...
Fri, November 11, 2011
Remembrance Still Matters
GETTYSBURG South of Emmitsburg Road, along the Civil War battlefield here, 20 men gather around a monument to Latham's Battery.
They toil at the simple memorial ...
Mon, November 07, 2011
Obama's Populist Path
On Memorial Day 1963, Vice President Lyndon Johnson stood where Abraham Lincoln gave his immortal address here. In a calculated leap, Johnson gave ...
Mon, October 31, 2011
Moderate House Dems a Vanishing Breed
Two issues plague Democrats when it comes to congressmen representing swing districts: The moderates don't get heard in Washington, and centrist districts are rapidly becoming extinct because of the ...
Mon, October 24, 2011
Politics Different in Oklahoma
"I don't say I am no better than anybody else but I'll be damned if I ain't just as good."
That line from ...
Mon, October 17, 2011
Obama's Pennsylvania Problem
PITTSBURGH, PA-Minutes stretched on awkwardly after U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis spoke to local Democrats. Yet that was less uncomfortable than one man's attempt to break the silence.
Mon, October 10, 2011
Independents Drive Strategy
NILES, Ohio — The North Main Street building here marking William McKinley's birthplace reconstructs the famous front porch of a president who won what historians consider to be one of our most ...
Mon, October 03, 2011
Obama Lacks Jacksonian Instincts
WAXHAW, N.C. — Every U.S. president needs people around him who are not afraid to tell him that his latest idea is terrible. Otherwise, he just keeps getting into trouble.
Mon, September 26, 2011
HILLSBORO, Ohio — From the two-lane Simon Kenton Bridge at the Kentucky border to the steep curves past farms and river towns, U.S. Route 62 reminds you that Ohio is a battleground.
Mon, September 19, 2011
The Next Wave
Another wave is coming, Washington — and "the 'ins' may be thrown out, and the 'outs' may be thrown in," according to Michael Genovese, Loyola University political-science ...
Tue, September 06, 2011
Perry, Romney on Road to 2012
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Everyone in politics should heed the advice of baseball legend Casey Stengel: "Never make predictions, especially about the future."
Mon, August 29, 2011
Battlegrounds of Resentment
STAUNTON, Va. - Whether it is called General Lee Highway, as in Virginia, or
Molly Pitcher Highway, as in Pennsylvania, the lives and economic strain along
U.S. Route 11 tell of a country's ...
Mon, August 22, 2011
Out of Touch on Economy
A Tip O'Neill quote is inscribed on Jerry Ford's monument in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall:
"God has been good to America, especially during ...
Sun, August 14, 2011
GOP's 2012 House Target Lofty
Democrats were remarkably unprepared for the discontent that dislodged them from
running the U.S. House last year, a sentiment that began in the summer of 2009.
Mon, August 08, 2011
Designed for Compromise
The recent debt debate was not politics at its worst or most dysfunctional.
It worked exactly as American politics was designed to work.
"Our system is ...
Mon, August 01, 2011
White House's Over-the-Cliff Moment
When historians look back on this moment in American politics, they may wonder why the White House failed to focus on the consuming issue of the time: the economy -- and, in particular, jobs.
Sun, July 24, 2011
Floods of Discontent
ST. MICHAEL, Pa. Remarkably, the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club still stands on what once was the shore of Cambria County's Lake Conemaugh.
Built in 1881, the ...
Sun, July 17, 2011
BUCKHORN, Ontario - Candy Penny and her husband have owned their novelty shop here just long enough to not know what it was like when American tourists flooded this small Peterborough County town in ...
Thu, July 14, 2011
GOP: Obama Won't Hold PA
Republicans predict President Obama will lose Pennsylvania in next year's presidential election.
"I can guarantee that he will not win (Pennsylvania) this ...
Sun, July 10, 2011
Lack of Jobs Could Cost Obama
Where are the jobs?
Not the stimulus signs, not the rhetoric about "shovel-ready" economic voodoo,
not the propping-up of an anemic manufacturing ...
Mon, June 27, 2011
The Impact of Redistricting on 2012
Add redistricting as a drag on Democrats' march to win back the U.S. House in 2012.
It's hard to recruit new House candidates or fund-raise for incumbents if you ...
Mon, June 20, 2011
A Failure to Communicate
DETROIT-Elaine Holder fussed over her elderly parents while waiting for a flight home to New Philadelphia, Ohio.
"We just returned from a funeral," said ...
Wed, June 15, 2011
Electability Top Trait for GOP Voters
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Whether they're social conservatives, fiscal hawks or Tea Party activists, what most Republicans want in a presidential nominee is someone who can beat President Obama, voters and ...
Mon, June 13, 2011
A roadside diner in a small town is quintessentially charming. Its sparkling steel, a reminder of our one-time manufacturing greatness, seems to reflect America's spirit.
Mon, June 06, 2011
GOP Candidates Court 'God' Vote
WASHINGTON – Got God? Republican candidates for president might want to demonstrate they do, because faith matters to a large segment of GOP primary voters.
Tue, May 31, 2011
Dangerous Precedent for Press
A little more than a week ago, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to fundraisers in two battleground-state cities, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Neither stop included ...
Mon, May 16, 2011
As Go Jobs, So Goes Ohio
POWHATAN POINT, Ohio — Joyce McNears peers over her reading glasses and asks a question to which she expects no answer: "Why is the president still not talking about jobs?"
Mon, May 09, 2011
Pawlenty Critical of Obama on Libya
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is exploring a run for president, said he would have used U.S. forces to remove Moammar Gadhafi rather than just bomb Libya as President Obama has done.
Mon, May 09, 2011
Banking on 'Medi-Scare'
With the 2012 election approaching, you wouldn't expect to hear one of Washington's savviest Democratic strategists praise Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., for his budget plan on Medicare.
Mon, May 02, 2011
For Tom Ridge, Hunt for Osama Personal
For Tom Ridge, the United States' first secretary of Homeland Security, the hunt for Osama bin Laden became personal.
He was Pennsylvania governor on Sept. 11, ...
Sun, May 01, 2011
Guns ~Religion Vote
Last October, popular West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin was fast becoming an unpopular Democrat candidate for the late Robert Byrd's open U.S. Senate seat.
So Manchin ...
Mon, April 25, 2011
In 1753, in what's now the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville, then known as Shannopin Town, a young George Washington, clad in a woolen match coat and
accompanied by guide Christopher ...
Mon, April 18, 2011
Main Street Understands Compromise
WASHINGTON — The sweeping office of the Speaker of the House once housed the Library of Congress — more than 6,000 leather-bound tomes owned and beloved by Thomas Jefferson.
Mon, April 11, 2011
PHILADELPHIA — On a crisp February morning, President-elect Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad arrived at Independence Hall here for a flag-raising to mark the admittance of Kansas to the ...
Mon, April 04, 2011
Census Impact on Politics
On a frigid February morning, the Census Bureau delivered chilling news to the mayors of New York, Detroit and Chicago.
A big chunk of each city's black population ...
Mon, March 28, 2011
GOP Can't Ignore Wisconsin Recall Battle
For weeks, the national media focused on union protests in Wisconsin.
Aging hippies trashed the state Capitol. Union members were bused in from across the country in color-coded T-shirts. ...
Mon, March 21, 2011
Decision Time Looms for Barbour
WASHINGTON — Republican Haley Barbour sat in one of those beige hotel meeting rooms that fill this city of endless meetings. Nearing the end of his second and final term as Mississippi's ...
Mon, March 14, 2011
Wisconsin Stirs Democrat Base
PHILADELPHIA,- Three years ago, almost to the day, candidate Barack Obama told an AFL-CIO convention here, "It's time we had a president who didn't choke saying the word 'union.'"
Mon, March 07, 2011
Shadows of D.C. Statehood
WASHINGTON- The door to the office of Democrat Paul Strauss in the John A. Wilson Building a little more than a block from the White House is marked "Senator."
Mon, February 28, 2011
Obama, Senate Seats ~2012
WASHINGTON- The only sound visitors hear on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol on an early Sunday morning is the click of heels on the marble floor, echoing off the 20-foot ceiling.
Mon, February 21, 2011
Stimulated? Not Jobs!
WASHINGTON — An American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus sign guards the majestic National Trust Historic Preservation building just beyond DuPont Circle.
The sign, like so ...
Mon, February 14, 2011
Our New Jeffersonian Era
WASHINGTON- Apropos of our democracy, Alexander Hamilton's and Thomas Jefferson's statues stand miles apart here.
"Before his death Jefferson had two busts ...
Thu, February 10, 2011
Conservatives Gather for CPAC
WASHINGTON -- Less than a year before Republicans cast their first ballots in
presidential primaries, thousands of young conservatives will converge here this
weekend for the Conservative ...
Mon, February 07, 2011
Money + Playbook = 2012 Seats
"It sucked, it sucked, and it was terrific."
That's a remarkably blunt answer to a question posed to Republican pollster Neil Newhouse about the GOP's ...
Mon, January 31, 2011
In the Long Run, Civility Prevails
MILFORD, Pa. — Less than a quarter-mile from the Columns, the stunning home of the Pike County Historical Society's museum in the Delaware River Highlands, lies the grave of Charles Van Wyck, a ...
Mon, January 24, 2011
Our Forgotten Founder
Harrisburg A statesman, Harry Truman once remarked, "is a dead politician."
True, perhaps, for some -- but not for one of Pennsylvania's political figures.
"William Penn, ...
Fri, January 21, 2011
Aldo Santorum Dies, Father of Senator Rick Santorum
Aldo Santorum called the GI Bill the greatest gift he received. He gave back by building a career and family around veterans hospitals.
"We always lived on the ...
Mon, January 17, 2011
Brown, Blue, Gray ~Today
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va.- Stepping onto the platform of a Victorian-era train station here, you wouldn't know you stand above the foundation of Harpers Ferry's original armory and arsenal ...
Tue, January 11, 2011
PA Voters Develop a Taste for TEA
Two months after November's historic midterm elections, Pennsylvania voters say the Tea Party movement's impact and appeal are lasting beyond campaign slogans.
Thu, January 06, 2011
Toomey Eager to Roll Up Sleeves
WASHINGTON -- In a sparsely furnished office with nothing to soften its bright white walls, Pat Toomey fidgets. He's "really ready to get down to work" as Pennsylvania's new Republican ...
Mon, December 27, 2010
Redistricting Ain't What it Used to Be
When Pennsylvania lawmakers begin the complicated task of redrawing congressional district lines to reflect changes in population, the process may be just a little less dramatic than usual.
Mon, December 20, 2010
From Dueling to Whining
WEEHAWKEN, N.J. — Sometimes all it takes to put the world in perspective is to stand in the shadow of where great men fell, even great men so tragically flawed by revenge that they foolishly ...
Mon, December 13, 2010
If your attention is diverted for the briefest of moments as you walk along North Mill Street's red-brick sidewalk, you easily could miss the former ...
Mon, December 06, 2010
Rendell: Blunt to the End
Alan Simpson, the former Republican U.S. Senator from Wyoming who co-chairs President Obama's deficit-reduction commission, was asked by a reporter the other day if he was going home to ...
Mon, November 29, 2010
Three Governors Got Start in Western PA
By Salena Zito
Monday, November 29, 2010
Gov.-elect Tom Corbett isn't the only Republican whose blue-collar roots in Western ...
Sun, November 28, 2010
GETTYSBURG - On a crisp November afternoon, people line the sidewalks of Baltimore Street and Steinwehr Avenue, waiting for the annual Remembrance Day Parade to begin.
Mon, November 22, 2010
Pete Sessions Delivers
A little more than a month after Barack Obama took the oath as president, and with Democrats dominating Congress, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas stood before the House Republican conference at a ...
Mon, November 15, 2010
Boehner in the Lead
Standing in a Racine, Wis., auditorium in late June, sleeves rolled up, President Obama delivered a campaign speech that lifted up House Minority Leader John Boehner long before the Nov. 2 election ...
Thu, November 11, 2010
Remembrance Still Matters
GETTYSBURG-South of Emmitsburg Road, along the Civil War battlefield here, 20 men gather around a monument to Latham's Battery.
They toil at the simple memorial ...
Mon, November 08, 2010
Disappointed, Disaffected Dems
BREINIGSVILLE, Pa.-David Goodman had no idea his son Harris had registered as a Democrat more than a year ago until the 19-year-old mentioned it on election night.
Thu, November 04, 2010
Boehner's Job: Recapture GOP Brand
INTERVIEW FROM May 10, 2009
By Salena Zito
WASHINGTON -- John Boehner says it was at his family's tavern in Cincinnati that he ...
Mon, November 01, 2010
From Anger to Fear
WASHINGTON — A friend once told me, after completing a cross-country drive, that he always thought you should feel somehow different as you crossed a state line. No doubt it was a feeling left ...
Mon, October 25, 2010
Who'll Gerrymander Next?
MARBLEHEAD, Mass. – A brisk walk down Old Burial Hill, where many young Revolutionary War soldiers rest, and a right onto Orne Street lead to the most oddly shaped house imaginable.
Mon, October 18, 2010
Race to the Middle
BROWNSVILLE, PA- This Pennsylvania town was once the western terminus of our first National Road -- hard to imagine, given the nation's breadth today.
Located on a wide bend of the Monongahela ...
Mon, October 11, 2010
PA Democrtic Congress Members Face Stiff Challenges
More than half of Pennsylvania's 19 House seats will be in play next month when voters go to the polls, a reflection of a volatile national electorate, experts say.
Mon, October 04, 2010
Connected by Disconnect
INDEPENDENCE PASS, Colorado - A perilously narrow road, open only during summer, leads to the Continental Divide at 12,095 feet and a breathtaking peak.
Nearly 2,000 miles east stands a ...
Mon, September 27, 2010
EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio
The landscape along the old Lincoln Highway to this "pottery capital" maintains mountain vistas as the Ohio River curls through ...
Mon, September 20, 2010
A Democrat Rebellion in West Virginia
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — For as long as this country has existed, this charming Eastern Panhandle town has thrived, thanks initially to its abundant mineral water and its proximity to the ...
Sun, September 12, 2010
What's The Matter With Main Street?
BIG BEAVER, PA. - Voters throughout river towns like this one, from the Mid-Atlantic through the Mid-West and into the Deep South, are frustrated with Washington.
Sat, September 11, 2010
Toomey Tells GOP : Be True to Your Ideals
Republicans, projected to make big gains in Congress in November, could quickly find themselves on the outs with voters if they don't practice what they preach, Senate candidate Pat Toomey said ...
Mon, September 06, 2010
Anatomy of a Battleground District
BUTLER, Pa. - In a campaign office on the first floor of a Sons of Italy lodge,
Republican Mike Kelly spoke confidently to a crowd of locals about his race for
the U.S. Congress.
Mon, August 30, 2010
Palin: Destination Unknown
She's the only man or woman who warrants a personal influence-tracking map on The Washington Post's politics page.
Republican Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor, ...
Mon, August 23, 2010
Volatility of House Mid-Terms
Late last week the premier polling site, FiveThirtyEight, tweeted somberly: "I don't think people fully comprehend how scary the generic ballot numbers are for Democrats."
Mon, August 16, 2010
Scott Brown's America
ATTLEBORO, Mass. - Just off I-95 heading north toward Cape Cod, a crisply
dressed Fran Hanley meticulously wipes every nook and cranny of the gas pumps at
the service station where he ...
Wed, August 11, 2010
Northeast Revival for GOP?
FISHKILL, N.Y. — Nestled slightly east of the U.S. Military Academy and just south of where the Clintons celebrated daughter Chelsea's wedding, this tony little village may play a part in ...
Mon, August 02, 2010
Just over a year ago the Tribune-Review sat down separately with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, to ask about their goals for the 111th ...
Tue, July 27, 2010
Stupak Voting Bloc Struggles in Mid-Terms
GRANITE CITY, Ill. - In the shadow of a U.S. Steel plant outside a shuttered
Lisa's Diner, a car garishly decorated in red, white and blue whizzes along
Mon, July 19, 2010
Debate Over Illegals May Benefit GOP
NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – In the summer of 1954, a petite, middle-aged woman sat in the back seat of her son's Pontiac beside her husband of nearly 40 years, unaware that her U.S. citizenship ...
Mon, July 12, 2010
Sizzle Trumping Steak
With one off-hand comment, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, set off a firestorm.
Democrats, including the president, became more interested in Boehner's ...
Tue, June 29, 2010
Ohio: Ground Zero for Democrats
COLUMBUS — From the Great Depression to today's recession, Ohio's capital has weathered economic downturns marginally better than her Rust Belt neighbors thanks to a diverse economy.
Mon, June 21, 2010
Just days after the dramatic highway separating this old mining town from Aspen opened, 15-foot snowdrifts still line the narrow Independence Pass, ...
Mon, June 14, 2010
If you're keeping score of who is better at getting Democrats elected this cycle, President Obama is 0-for-4 while former president Bill Clinton is golden at 2-for-2.
Tue, June 01, 2010
'Getting it' Yet?
WASHINGTON-Do people here finally understand that Americans beyond the Beltway consider them decidedly dysfunctional?
House Republican leaders showed some sign of ...
Mon, May 24, 2010
WAYNE, Pa. - The honest takeaway from Tuesday's primaries in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky -- and Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District special election -- is that their bearing on ...
Mon, May 17, 2010
Democrats Losing the 'Faithful'
UNITY, Ohio —Before the 2008 presidential election, a stark billboard
-- white letters on a black background -- on the edge of a cornfield in this small eastern Ohio town proclaimed: ...
Mon, May 10, 2010
Democrat Governor Race Draws Little Interest
Next week's Democratic primary for governor suffers from voter apathy, lack of statewide name recognition among the contenders and regionalized support that offer no guarantee of winning in the fall, ...
Mon, May 10, 2010
House 2010: Nobody is Safe
The new normal for Democrats is losing 30 to 40 U.S. House seats in November.
What's driving these potential losses is simple: The message from the Obama administration and the party's ...
Mon, May 03, 2010
Specter's Last Stand
One year after his jump from Republican to Democrat, Pennsylvania's U.S.
Sen. Arlen Specter admitted to a reporter over coffee that he often wonders if he should have switched parties.
Mon, April 26, 2010
Race Card Overplayed
When it comes to racism, our country remains awkward about trying to define what it is and when it really happens.
Racism isn't what it used to be. Back in the day, ...
Mon, April 19, 2010
Democrat Stakes High in PA-12
LATROBE — On paper, the nine counties meandering across Western Pennsylvania to form the 12th Congressional District numerically favor Democrats by a nice margin.
Mon, April 12, 2010
Remembrance Still Matters
GETTYSBURG — South of Emmitsburg Road, along the Civil War battlefield here, 20 men gather around a monument to Latham's Battery.
They toil at the simple ...
Mon, April 05, 2010
Democrats: Which Way From Here?
WASHINGTON — If you are a member of the Obama administration, a congressional staffer or another elected Democrat working here, the outlook for the 2010 midterm elections appeared grand in the ...
Mon, March 29, 2010
Rust Belt Battlegrounds
ERIE — If you wanted to find a place on a United States map that showed the heart of the Rust Belt, this would be it. Its business of manufacturing things has seen better days.
Mon, March 22, 2010
'Bitter" Western PA Takes Cener Stage
JOHNSTOWN - Last summer Marc Roberge walked onstage at Pittsburgh's PNC Park to perform in front of the largest crowd he and his popular rock band, O.A.R., had faced.
Mon, March 15, 2010
Beware the Gerrymander, My Friend
Pennsylvania's congressional, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races are without question the bellwether for this fall's midterm elections. Yet the results of state legislative races will impact the ...
Mon, March 01, 2010
Hillary Voters: Democrats' Key
As both political parties consider how to gain the fickle support of Tea Party activists and independent voters in the 2010 midterm elections, another increasingly dissatisfied tribe exists for both ...
Sun, February 21, 2010
Specter's Snowball Effect
WASHINGTON - It is probably fair to say that U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, D-Pa.,
started it all. He perceived, long before anyone else, that this will not be the
year of the ...
Mon, February 15, 2010
PA: Battleground State Leaning Red
You have to hand it to the White House: It is at least consistent in sending the absolutely wrong message to voters pondering whether to keep Democrats in control of Congress in the coming midterm ...
Mon, February 08, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The realization that voters who live 15 minutes outside this city are completely disconnected from people who work and govern here has finally hit.
Mon, January 25, 2010
Main Street Speaks
In a political year in which voters want to "throw the bums out," the last thing any candidate should do is run as the bum.
That's why Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, lost his seat in ...
Sun, January 17, 2010
PA House Races: Political Thermometer
Wise strategists on both sides of the political aisle know they need look no further than U.S. House races in Pennsylvania to gauge the country's political temperature.
Mon, January 11, 2010
Dem's 2010 Strategy to Win
And another one bites the dust. At least that's what it must have felt like to Beltway Democrats in one 15-hour period last week.
In a series of leaks and press ...
Thu, January 07, 2010
Sestak Blames Dems for Pludge in Health Care Support
Rep. Joe Sestak blames Democratic leaders for the plunge in public support for overhauling the health care system, saying Wednesday they failed to defend proposals that helped carry the party to ...
Mon, December 28, 2009
What Do Americans Want?
What is the overriding lesson learned about this year of promised "hope" and "change," given the politics, scandal and shifting social behavior that have permeated American pop ...
Mon, December 21, 2009
Riddle of a Race
The best way to forecast Florida's Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat is to quote Winston Churchill: "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."
Sun, December 13, 2009
Trying Times for the Big Apple
NEW YORK - Eight years ago, President George W. Bush stood on a pile of rubble and told New Yorkers, "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings ...
Mon, December 07, 2009
Blue Highway Democrats
Franklin D. Roosevelt understood what it meant to be a core Democrat and maintaining his party's ranks.
He built winning coalitions around his policies by ...
Sun, November 29, 2009
Bedford Falls, USA
INDIANA, Pa. - Turn the corner onto Philadelphia Street in this small Western Pennsylvania town, and you might be on the main street of Bedford Falls, the mythical town in Frank Capra's Christmas ...
Mon, November 23, 2009
Women, Vets: 'Right Stuff'
The 2008 national election shows our next generation of leaders must possess something many recent and current elected officials lack: intellectual courage.
President Nixon believed all leaders, ...
Mon, November 16, 2009
The Battle for Coal River Mountain
COAL RIVER MOUNTAIN, W.Va. — This mountain in southern West Virginia, right in the middle of Appalachia's spine, is fast becoming someone's Waterloo.
Mon, November 09, 2009
Get Serious, Sarah
Much will be said in the coming weeks about Sarah Palin and the Republican Party-- especially after the Democratic "upset" in the Congressional race in New York's 23rd District and the ...
Mon, November 02, 2009
Mood Sours Towards Both Parties
Would one-party domination in any combination of Tuesday's off-year elections really indicate where this country is going politically?
You've got gubernatorial ...
Mon, October 26, 2009
Irate and Independent
A poll of opinion polls shows Americans' attitudes are changing rapidly.
They are less and less thrilled about the country's direction and Congress, according to ...
Mon, October 19, 2009
The Gap Between Main Street and the Elites
Remember the city mouse and the country mouse who exchanged visits?
In the end, the gap between the cousins' worlds left both comfortable with their own choices and baffled by the ...
Mon, October 12, 2009
In the Shadow of the War on Terror
The "Overseas Contingency Program" -- the "war on terror" -- is back at the center of the political world, thanks to the uncertain prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.
Mon, October 05, 2009
GOP Looking to Reclaim Congressional Seats
If House seats now held by Democrats switch to Republicans in 2010, it will not be because of a seismic change in the country's ideology.
Many House members who won ...
Mon, September 28, 2009
Dem's Green Dilemma
Green is the new black -- for chic environmentalists and eco-intellectuals, that is.
Yet the "green" movement also has the potential, in the form of a ...
Mon, September 21, 2009
Political Class Ignoring at Their Peril
Two political dangers have emerged in recent months for Democrats, Republicans, and the media that covers both. Those are the dismissal of protests by all three, and the crude overuse of the race ...
Mon, September 14, 2009
In Obama We Don't Trust
Politicians will tell you they'd rather have you hate them than distrust them because hate is an emotion that can be tweaked, while trust is an investment in character -- a bond that, once broken, ...
Mon, September 07, 2009
Senate 2010: It's Complicated
The best observation that any politico can offer on the three-way 2010
U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania between Republican Pat Toomey and two
Democrats, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and incumbent ...
Mon, August 31, 2009
Obama's Afghan Test
The Afghan war belongs to President Obama. He may not have begun it, but by his rhetoric, actions and commitments, he now owns it.
The question for the president, ...
Mon, August 24, 2009
Being Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton quipped to a couple thousand liberal bloggers in Pittsburgh last week that the great thing about being a former president is that you can say whatever you want. The ...
Mon, August 17, 2009
GOP Should Show Patience As They Rebuild
The Republican Party became Humpty Dumpy in August 2006 and, by the 2008 election, all the king's horses and men couldn't put the cracked party together again.
Wed, August 12, 2009
Santorum Heads to Iowa
Move over Sarah Plain, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum is doing Iowa this fall and it has nothing to do with harvesting corn.
Mon, August 03, 2009
Fall Eyes on Virginia
Virginia will be the center of political attention this fall, thanks to the first statewide election in a battleground state since the 2008 presidential election.
Mon, July 20, 2009
The Sestak Advantage
The Keystone State is always key to politics, the only big state in the Northeast that is at all competitive presidentially.
In 2010, Pennsylvania will have hot ...
Tue, July 14, 2009
Here a Czar, There a Czar . . .
Among the many things that have changed in Washington since Barack Obama took over is the overwhelming "czaring" of key confidants and power brokers to the president.
Mon, July 06, 2009
Appointees Face Rough 2010
Thanks to vacancies created by last fall's election, then-president-elect Barack Obama faced the first dramas of his administration: Finding credible, re-electable bodies to fill those seats.
Mon, June 29, 2009
Press Draws First Blood on Their Turf
President Barack Obama made news at a press conference last week - by planting a question with a blogger, not by offering anything new in spite of taking his sharpest questions to date.
Tue, June 23, 2009
Supporters Concerned About Health of Ailing W. Virginia Senator
Democrats in West Virginia are gravely concerned about the health of their senior U.S. senator, 91-year-old Robert Byrd, who has been hospitalized since May with a series of infections.
Mon, June 15, 2009
Washington's Defense Gap: Missile Funding
Missile defense has been a political issue since President Reagan introduced his plan to win the arms race by rebuilding our arsenal while using technology to prevent a successful Russian nuclear ...
Mon, June 08, 2009
Kasich v. Strickland: Ohio Center Stage Again
Ohio has a political-identity crisis. Is it a "blue state," as demonstrated by Democrats' statewide wins in 2006 and 2008, or a "red state" that is just fed up with the behavior ...
Mon, June 01, 2009
How Obama Impacts the Future of the Press
Two weeks ago, ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper wrote in his "Political Punch" blog that the Obama White House has begun covering its own stories, "complete with cuts, ...
Tue, May 26, 2009
Specter's Folly - Joe Sestak
Word out of Washington is that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the political wise-guys from the Obama administration plan on "visiting with" Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Joe ...
Mon, May 18, 2009
Anti-War Voices Lose Influence
Will the last activist who hopes the antiwar cause will re-emerge as a central tenet of the Democratic Party please turn out the lights on the way out the door?
Mon, May 11, 2009
Sharp Left Turn on Intel
All elections have consequences. The most dramatic consequence of President Barack Obama's election may be his inability to separate himself from his party's base -- specifically, its left ...
Mon, May 04, 2009
GOP Obit Premature
Arlen Specter switched parties for one and only one reason: to save his career.
No principle was involved; there was no "the party left me" moment. It was ...
Mon, April 27, 2009
Mom's Duties Prime Nancy Pelosi for Leadership
As she talks about the nation's energy policy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks across her Capitol Hill office to retrieve a statue of a miner sculpted in coal.
Mon, April 27, 2009
Dismissing Tea Parties is Perilous
Everybody complains about taxes and government spending, but nobody does anything about them.
Perhaps that's because whenever they do something, they're often ...
Mon, April 20, 2009
Turnout Will Drive 2010 PA Senate Race
As with anything involving Pennsylvania politics, it's complicated.
Much of Pennsylvania's 2010 U.S. Senate race will depend on turnout in the primary and general ...
Mon, April 13, 2009
Cable News' Beck 'Just a Guy'
Asked why his new show on Fox News Channel is so popular, Glenn Beck is uncharacteristically muted: "I am just a guy ..."
Beck is a guy, but ...
Mon, April 06, 2009
Card Check, Plan B, and 2010
Does "card-check" have a Plan B?
Yes, according to a group of businesses spearheaded by self-described pro-labor Democrat Lanny Davis.
Mon, March 30, 2009
GOP Eyes Mid-Term Elections
Five minutes after George Bush won re-election in 2004 and began talking about Social Security reform, the pundits lined up those Senate Republicans they expected to be in trouble in the 2006 midterm ...
Mon, March 23, 2009
Specter Race a Toss-Up
As each day passes, more Republicans say they'll run against U.S.
Senator Arlen Specter in next spring's Pennsylvania GOP primary — making it ever less likely that Specter's political ...
Mon, March 16, 2009
Faithful Turning Blue
The color of God might seem a little bluer after last year's election, in which "values voters" shifted to Democrat Barack Obama and away from the Republican Party.
Mon, March 09, 2009
Message to GOP chairman Michael Steele and to those White House envoys who have effectively promoted him as some sort of party patsy: Focus on your jobs at hand.
Mon, March 02, 2009
BREAKING NEWS: TOOMEY RUN AGAINST SPECTER 'BACK ON THE TABLE'
Toomey: running against Specter ' back on the table'
Posted March 2, 2009 11 :23 AM
Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R PA-15), president of the Club for Growth said on ...
Mon, March 02, 2009
Remaking the GOP
After a 16-year drought, Democrats have restored confidence among their elected officials and supporters with the swearing-in of President Barack Obama.
Gone are ...
Sun, February 22, 2009
The lack of debate over and the speedy passage of the Obama stimulus package have put clashing political dogmas at the forefront of the American conversation.
Mon, February 16, 2009
If you placed a bet during the presidential campaign season on whether Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were serious about hitting the ground running when they took over Washington, you ...
Tue, February 10, 2009
Keep Hype Alive
How does President Obama live up to the hype/hope that so embodied him as a candidate?
By keeping the promise of his image in line with the delivery of his actions ...
Mon, February 02, 2009
Gang of Seven 2.0
There is not much glory to being the political party out of power, but that does not mean it is without opportunities.
In fact, there is a little more room to act ...
Mon, January 26, 2009
After last Tuesday's pomp, circumstance and, at times, over-the-top love-fest language, it is hard to imagine the Democrats will be especially vulnerable in 2010's races for Congress or state ...
Mon, January 19, 2009
Troubles for Harry?
Reports out of Nevada contend that homeboy and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's biggest problem is ... Harry Reid.
Dragging in home-state polls with ...
Mon, January 12, 2009
All U.S. presidents start out with the premise that their administration will behave in a bipartisan manner.
They all pledge to be a conciliator - until they have ...
Mon, January 05, 2009
Our Celebrity in Chief
Now that Americans have participated in an election that was pure political entertainment, how will they separate Barack Obama's perceived political coolness from the objectivity needed to evaluate ...
Mon, December 29, 2008
PA Is Still in Play
Pennsylvania voters were the center of the presidential political universe this year during both the Democratic primary and the general election.
Their concerns and ...
Mon, December 22, 2008
Three weeks ago, I felt certain that this year that wouldn't feel a lot like Christmas.
After 18 months of political road trips, press buses, press planes, hotels, ...
Mon, December 15, 2008
Howard Dean's Empty Hand
Americans have a stunning visual of what political "owesies" can be, thanks to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's bleep-filled pursuit of political paybacks.
Mon, December 08, 2008
Is it payback time or about time? When it comes to "card check" -- slang for the Employee Free Choice Act, one of the first pieces of legislation likely to go before Congress when it ...
Mon, December 01, 2008
Joe Biden, Gritty Guy
Lost in the transition flurry of Barack Obama Cabinet prospects is Vice President-elect Joe Biden -- but do not look for him to be lost after taking office or for his post to become "not worth a ...
Mon, November 24, 2008
W, It's Complicated
Texas Gov. Rick Perry tells a story of a conversation that he had with his predecessor George W. Bush five months after both men took office, it occurred in June of 2001, shortly after the president ...
Mon, November 17, 2008
How much change is needed in order to be the change we can believe in?
President-elect Barack Obama has to govern and people with experience are the ones who can help him govern most ...
Mon, November 10, 2008
Dr. Dean Laughs Last
The joke among Republicans when Howard Dean became chairman of the Democratic National Committee was that Howard Dean had become the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Sun, November 02, 2008
Closing the Deal
The narrative of this historic presidential election has come down to
which candidate will close the deal and win the trust of Pennsylvania
Mon, October 27, 2008
John the Populist
Share the wealth.
Those three words should send shudders down the spine of any hardworking, over-taxed, get-government-out-of-my-pocketbook American.
Mon, October 20, 2008
McCain Still Lives
Never give up, never give in, and never let the pundits decide when your campaign is over.
While the pundits sit at their desks crunching numbers and dial-testing a ...
Mon, October 13, 2008
Imagining a President Obama
Most Americans wake every morning to news that Barack Obama will win next month's presidential election. Strategists even say the word "landslide" aloud.
Mon, September 29, 2008
Last week, Main Street received an opportunity to sit in the front seat of the election, thanks to John McCain's decision to suspend his campaign to go to Washington to help Congress fix the ...
Mon, September 15, 2008
How to Win Pennsylvania
The intelligent question thrown out among strategists for both campaigns is, can John McCain really win Pennsylvania?
Really win it, not pretend to go for it, as ...