Michael Barone

Posted November 27, 2015

Sure, that sounds counterintuitive. Thanksgiving Thursday is the first day of a (for most of us) four-day weekend, a time devoted to gorging on comfort food and nonstop viewing of college and professional football games.

Posted November 24, 2015

Each of our two political parties, ancient by world standards, seems to be facing a gathering storm.

Posted November 20, 2015

Three days after the Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris, Americans were primed to hear their president express heartfelt anger, which he did in his press conference in Antalya, Turkey, at the end of the G-20 summit. And they did hear him describe ISIS as "this barbaric terrorist organization" and acknowledge that the "terrible events in Paris were a terrible and sickening setback."

Posted November 17, 2015

Riots in black neighborhoods. Rebellions on campus. The news these past few months and particularly in the past week has been full of stories that remind us, as William Faulkner wrote a little more than half a century after the Civil War, "the past is never dead. It's not even past."

Posted November 13, 2015

Tuesday night's Fox Business/Wall Street Journal debate in Milwaukee provided clues as to why Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have been climbing, not by wide margins but perceptibly, into the top-polling positions of the candidates behind the two poll leaders, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Posted November 10, 2015

You don't have to wander long in the liberal commentariat to find projections that the Republican Party is in a death spiral, doomed by demographics, discredited by the dissension among House Republicans, disenchanted with its experienced presidential candidates and despised by the great mass of voters.

Posted November 06, 2015

"'Shut up,' he explained." That's a sentence from Ring Lardner's short story "The Young Immigrunts." It's an exasperated father's response from the driver's seat to his child's question, "Are you lost, Daddy?"

Posted November 03, 2015

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immoveable object? That's one question raised by the 2016 presidential campaign.

Posted October 30, 2015

Free college! That's what the Democratic candidates were offering in their presidential debate. And it's likely that, if the subject had come up, they would have offered something like free home mortgages as well, to judge from Hillary Clinton's statement that she had urged Wall Street to stop mortgage foreclosures. Sounds a lot like free houses!

Posted October 27, 2015

Nothing new there. Nothing to see here. Time to move on for good.

Posted October 23, 2015

Joe Biden has made it official: He is not running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. It's the latest development in a presidential campaign cycle that has not been going according to script.

Posted October 20, 2015

You may not have noticed, but Lincoln Chafee, the erstwhile Republican U.S. senator and Independent-turned-Democratic governor, had one penetrating comment at the Democrats' debate Tuesday night. "But let me just say this about income inequality," he said toward the end. "We've had a lot of talk over the last few minutes, hours or tens of minutes, but no one is saying how we're going to fix it."

Posted October 16, 2015

For much of Americas history a house call from a local physician was the standard way to obtain needed health services, but as the U.S. health care system became increasingly more complex especially the way physicians get paid behemoth service providers formed as a way to cut costs and use resources more efficiently. After decades of experimentation, skyrocketing health care costs, and intrusive government action, the house call is returning, along with other innovative small-business models that provide convenient quality care at significantly lower costs.

Posted October 13, 2015

Important parts of our two great political parties seem bent on demonstrating that their parties are incapable of governing coherently.

Posted October 09, 2015

This strategy has risks, as Nixon, who lost the presidency once and won it once by narrow margins, understood. Your right- or left-wing stances in the primaries can hurt in the general.

Posted October 06, 2015

Not all important public policy reforms come from Washington. Really lasting reforms can percolate from the bottom up, brewed by citizens with a grievance pushing state and local governments to act.

Posted October 02, 2015

Sherlock Holmes famously solved the mystery of the Silver Blaze by noting the dog that didn't bark in the night. It strikes me that in this wild and woolly campaign cycle there have been numerous dogs not barking in the night, or in the daytime either.

Posted September 29, 2015

The answer is that Trump's entire life has been marinated in politics. His father, Fred Trump, made millions building apartments in Brooklyn and Queens. It didn't hurt, when it came to land assembly and public subsidies, that he was a key supporter of Brooklyn machine Democrats and a close friend and ally of Abraham Beame, city comptroller in 1964 and later mayor.

Posted September 25, 2015

Scott Walker's abrupt withdrawal from the Republican presidential race Monday afternoon shows how different, in ways noticed and unnoticed, this campaign cycle is from those of recent years.

Posted September 22, 2015

As the 2016 presidential selection process proceeds, there is increasing evidence that the political patterns we have grown used to, that we have come to consider permanent, might be suddenly changing.