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Bill Whalen

Four ways Trump can go on offense with his Supreme Court pick

Bill Whalen, I’m neither a foreign policy nor national security wonk, so I’ll leave it to others to weigh the geopolitical merits of President Trump’s immigration executive order. But having dabbled in the black art of political message-crafting, what seems apparent is a line uttered by Strother Martin’s character in “Cool Hand Luke”: “What we

In Trump’s inaugural address here’s the one word no American should miss

Bill Whalen, As I readied for President Donald Trump’s inaugural address, thoughts of James K. Polk came to mind. Not that America’s 45th and 11th chief executives are peas in a personality pod. Trump has long thrived on an oversized existence; Polk was a grind who didn’t like to socialize (“No president who performs his

What President-elect Trump should do now: Ten suggestions

Bill Whalen,   For nearly seventeen months now, I presumed that Donald Trump was playing an elaborate game of chicken with the American people. Sure, Trump was running for president. But there’s no way it would last until Election Day. The moment another Republican embraced the border wall, or Trump tired of the candidates’ debates,

Trump vs. Clinton: What to look for in the third and final debate

The best thing about holding what might be a repugnant brawl of a presidential debate in Las Vegas? It’s hard to shock the locals. Sin City is where Mike Tyson decided to take a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s ear and, about a mile away, where Tupac Skakur found himself on the wrong side of

Trump comes out swinging and wins second debate

William Whalen, It’s a strange time to be in St. Louis. For the first time since 2010, the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs. The St. Louis Rams are no more, having returned to their Los Angeles past. Maybe strangest of all: the political Shocktoberfest that is the 2016 presidential election, culminating in the second

Trump vs. Hillary: Three things to look for at the showdown in St. Louis

William Whalen, Prior to Tuesday’s offering in Farmville, the last such national candidates’ debate in the Commonwealth of Virginia was in 1992 – well before Blackberries, back taxes and beauty queens drove the presidential narrative. That debate, on the campus of the University of Richmond, holds two dubious distinctions. It marked the first time that

Pence triumphs in VP debate. And then there was the night’s biggest loser…

William Whalen, The tiny Virginia town of Farmville, home to Longwood University and Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, prides itself as a “Tree City USA” – the benefits of which, we’re told, include “a framework for action, education, a positive image and citizen pride.” It’s safe to assume that the evening’s two combatants – Virginia

Pence vs. Kaine: Five things to look for at the Vice Presidential #Debate

William Whalen,  If history’s any indication, America is in for a letdown come Tuesday night when the two vice presidential hopefuls square off at Longwood College, which is a good hour’s drive west of Richmond, Virginia. And it has nothing to do with evening’s two participants – Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike

Four takeways from Hillary’s ‘medical episode’ about the health of her campaign

William Whalen,   I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on television, so I’ll take a pass on diagnosing Hillary Clinton’s medical condition. Instead, I’m reading Mrs. Clinton’s political chart. And it indicates at least four ways that concerns over her personal health could adversely affect the health of her presidential run. 1.

The five biggest surprises of the 2016 election (so far)

William Whalen,   With all due respect to those Democrats in the nation’s capital holding a presidential primary next Tuesday, the jury’s already rendered its verdict. Donald Trump will be the Republicans’ nominee – the first nonpolitician to earn that distinction since Dwight Eisenhower back in 1952. Hillary Clinton will do the honors for the

Four big takeaways from Trump’s ‘Acela Primary’ triumph

William Whalen, Whoever dubbed Tuesday, April 26 the “Acela Primary” (because the five states that held primaries on that day coincide with the route of Amtrak’s fastest carrier) needs a refresher in how trains and Republican presidential hopefuls run. The Washington-to-Boston Acela service is known for the three things: speed, “quiet cars” and higher fares.

Trump triumphs: Two big takeaways after The Donald wins New York

William Whalen, There are two ways to analyze Donald Trump’s decisive win in New York’s presidential primary. First, it’s the acknowledgment of a big run for Trump this week and next during which the GOP frontrunner will amass delegates at a faster clip than any of the other three Republicans in the race – in