Thursday, January 19, 2012
There it was, plain as day in the newspaper the other day, 80-something percent of Americans don't like the Congress. Well, your first reaction probably is - what's wrong with the other 20%? There are probably more dysfunctional, inefficient organizations in Washington, but right now I can't think of any.
Another newspaper, another headline: Americans are very divided over how they feel about President Obama.
That's a little harder to understand. I wouldn't say he's been exactly Abe Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt but I do think he's been a pretty good president – ending one war out of two. In baseball batting 500 would be extraordinary. In peace making, I don't really know.
The fact is we seem to be in a national "let's blame somebody for this pretty quickly" mood. Nothing wrong with this. If I were a social scientist, I'd probably say this is cyclical.
It's a little odd, to be sure, to see the Republicans beating each other up on a regular basis while Obama relaxes with his team collecting quotes to use in the general election. Still, it's very American.
I take a certain amount of pleasure in primary fights. I remember applauding Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama four years ago. And I expect to enjoy Mitt Romney and his pals this time around. As a field though it is a little troubling. Every once in a while I think where are the grownups.
That is why we have all these primaries – to separate the men from the boys (sorry, no girls left now). I'll stay with them if you will.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
No politics today. This column is personal.
One of television news' best died Friday - Richard Threlkeld.
He always signed off "Richard" but in the newsroom he was always "Dick." The good ones have nicknames--except for Walter, maybe. And Dick was very, very good.
He won many awards. He made many friends. He deserved them.
If you walked into the newsroom and someone said "It's all right; Dick's on it," you relaxed because it was.
So many stories. So many places. So much fine stuff.
He goes back, I think, to a time when most of us really cared.
Good night, Dick. God bless.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Former Governor Mitt Romney and former Senator Rick Santorum – only
"formers" allowed apparently – fought for first and ended up only
eight votes apart. Representative Ron Paul (R-Tex) came in third in a
state he once hoped to win.
Three candidates perhaps ought to be reconsidering their candidacies:
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13%); Texas Governor Rick Perry
(10%), Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann (5%).
Should they quit? Probably. Will they? Let's see.
Michelle Bachmann, who won the summer straw poll in Iowa, finished 6th
and withdrew. Rick Perry finished 5th and announced he was going home
to Texas to think things over. He didn't think too long though. It
seems he's off to South Carolina now to campaign. And fourth place
Newt Gingrich came out swinging at Romney in New Hampshire this
So Iowa did what first states can do – shrink the field, sharpen the divisions.
The Republican Party, like the country as a whole, has different
viewpoints on where we should go next. Moderate Republicans would say
let's trims spending and shrink the size of government. More radical
Republicans – Tea Partiers and the like – would say let's quit
everything and withdraw from the planet.
Sounds preposterous, but who knows? It's been fun to watch so far and
it's only just started.
The Presidential Express keeps moving, of course. New Hampshire, the
next stop, is just six days from now.