A long, painful way to pick a new leader

The U.S. system is particularly complex.

A long, painful way to pick a new leader

Most U.S. presidential candidates really don’t want to spend nearly two years bowing and scraping to voters and campaign donors. Most voters sure don’t want to hear about the presidential race for anywhere near that long. Why, then, does it take so loooong to pick a U.S. president? Blame American-style democracy? Blame the pollsters and […]

Can Republicans find ‘Mr. Right’ for 2016?

Can Republicans find ‘Mr. Right’ for 2016?

Let’s say, for a moment, that America has given you the job of picking the perfect candidate for president. Good luck, Mr. or Ms. Voter, deciding what they’ve got to have — and what they can do without. There are all sorts of things to start the list: leadership, vision, charisma, communication skills and foreign […]

Obama uses his veto club to roil Congress

Obama uses his veto club to roil Congress

President Barack Obama has a telling hit list. The veto threats that he’s issued over the last three weeks are a microcosm of American politics, representing the roiling issues of the day, the power struggle playing out between Congress and the White House, and even the pique between the president and GOP congressional leaders. Obama, […]

The old State of the Union just ain’t what it used to be

The old State of the Union just ain’t what it used to be

The State of the Union just isn’t what it used to be. Sure, the pageantry and theatrics of the annual presidential address will all be there. The stem-winder of a speech from President Barack Obama. The standing ovations from his supporters, and strategic smirks and scowls from his opponents. The wall-to-wall media coverage and cable […]

Is Barack Obama still relevant?

Is Barack Obama still relevant?

It was supposed to be a joke. “Are you still president?” comedian Stephen Colbert asked Barack Obama earlier this month. But the question seemed to speak to growing weariness with the president and skepticism that anything will change in Washington during his final two years in office. Democrats already are checking out Obama’s potential successors. […]

A revamped political landscape with more division

A revamped political landscape with more division

America awoke Wednesday to sharper dividing lines in an already divided government, forcing President Barack Obama to recalibrate his approach and giving Republican leaders in Congress new muscle to check him. The president scheduled an afternoon news conference to offer his take on an Election Day thumping of Democrats that gave Republicans control of the […]

Obama’s ever-changing message on 9/11

Obama's rhetoric of remembrance is striking a less triumphant tone.

Obama’s ever-changing message on 9/11

Five times, President Barack Obama has come before the American people to reckon with the legacy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the anniversary of that awful day. Each time, he has tailored his message to the moment, at different points stressing themes of service, resilience, tolerance, reconciliation. This year, with the threat of the […]

Corporations are people? Really? Since when?

The principle has been lurking in U.S. law for more than a century

Corporations are people? Really? Since when?

There may be more to that “we the people” notion than you thought. These are boom times for the concept of “corporate personhood.” Corporations are people? Mitt Romney got mocked during the 2012 presidential campaign for the very idea. But it turns out the principle has been lurking in U.S. law for more than a […]

Who pays for Michelle Obama’s fancy clothes?

Is it the taxpayers who foot the bill? No. (Despite what critics say.)

Who pays for Michelle Obama’s fancy clothes?

Michelle Obama’s fashionable clothing has become something of a given in her five-plus years as first lady. Yet her wardrobe still is the subject of endless public fascination and one long-simmering question: Who pays for those incredible outfits? It’s no small matter. Her high-low fashion choices mix everyday, off-the-rack fare with custom creations from top […]