Michael Barone

Posted April 24, 2015

It was sort of inevitable that on his first day of campaigning as an announced candidate for president earlier this month, Rand Paul would be asked whether he supported a ban on abortions in cases of rape or incest.

Posted April 21, 2015

I would bet on globalization slowly being in abeyance," tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel said in a video interview with George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen. "I think with the benefit of hindsight, we will realize that 2007 was not just the peak year of the finance boom, but also the peak year of globalization, like maybe 1913."

Posted April 17, 2015

Presidents are inevitably shaped by the circumstances in which they campaign for -- and come into -- office. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt called for "bold, persistent experimentation" and followed through once in office. Had Roosevelt run in another year, or had there been no Great Depression, he would have campaigned and governed differently.

Posted April 14, 2015

Two weeks ago, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for president at Liberty University, and last week, Rand Paul announced at the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Marco Rubio is expected to announce this week at the Freedom Tower in Miami. Others will follow.

Posted April 10, 2015

Is the tide turning against President Obama's purported nuclear weapons deal with Iran? One sign that the answer is yes is the devastating opinion article in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz.

Posted April 07, 2015

It's springtime, and the Census Bureau has released its population estimates for counties and metropolitan areas as of July 1, 2014. Initial analysis has focused on year-to-year movements or changes since the 2010 Census -- subjects worthy of attention.

Posted April 03, 2015

There has been a great ruckus about Indiana's recently passed religious freedom law. Some, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, see it as endorsing anti-gay bigotry. Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy has banned state employees from traveling to Indiana, even though Connecticut has a similar law even more favorable to claims of religious objectors. Perhaps he should ban state employees from remaining inside Connecticut.

Posted March 31, 2015

There are still nearly two years left in Barack Obama's presidency, but historians looking back on his record in foreign policy will surely identify one costly error: his refusal to follow through on the implied threat in stating that the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons would be a "red line."

Posted March 27, 2015

Our kids, at least many of them, are not doing very well. The reason, writes Harvard professor Robert Putnam in his just-published "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," is the "two-tier pattern of family structure" that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to prevail today.

Posted March 24, 2015

Rahm Emanuel heads into a runoff April 7 in his bid for a second term as mayor of Chicago. He's the favorite going in, having won 46 percent in the Feb. 24 first round against longtime local officeholder Chuy Garcia's 34 percent and topping 50 percent in recent polls.

Posted March 20, 2015

"Firing up America" is the cover line on the March 20 issue of The Economist, heralding a 16-page special report on America's Latinos. Its tone is resolutely upbeat -- perhaps a bit too much so.

Posted March 17, 2015

In her brief press conference at the United Nations, Hillary Clinton led off with a denunciation of the letter to Iranian leaders signed by 47 of the 54 Republican senators. This was in line with Democratic talking points -- a sign that the former secretary of state was, perhaps a bit nervously, taking care to curry favor with the Obama administration.

Posted March 13, 2015

The controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails and her unconvincing press conference at the United Nations have gotten many Democrats and others thinking the unthinkable: Clinton may not be the Democrats' 2016 nominee for president. And it has many asking the question -- scary for Democrats -- of who else could be.

Posted March 10, 2015

On Wednesday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the IRS's decision to pay subsidies to lower-income health insurance buyers in states with federal insurance exchanges -- even though the Obamacare legislation authorizes subsidies only in states with exchanges "established by the state."

Posted March 06, 2015

If anyone had any doubts that most members of Congress oppose the Obama administration's proposed nuclear deal with Iran, they can put them aside after viewing the response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress Tuesday.

Posted March 03, 2015

"Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus," wrote Robert Kagan in "Of Paradise and Power," published in 2003, just as the United States went into Iraq. Americans, he wrote, see themselves in "an anarchic Hobbesian world," where security and a liberal order depend on military might, while Europe is "moving beyond power into a self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and co-operation."

Posted February 27, 2015

In reflecting on relations between the United States and China, Henry Kissinger in his 2011 book, "On China," notes that since he and Richard Nixon ventured to Beijing more than 40 years ago, "Eight American presidents and four generations of Chinese leaders have managed this delicate relationship in an astonishingly consistent manner, considering the difference in starting points."

Posted February 24, 2015

Like it or not, the 2016 presidential race is now well under way. Republican candidates are flocking to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Hillary Clinton, in-between $200,000 speeches at universities, is reported to be in seclusion developing her economic policies.

Posted February 20, 2015

Reckless disregard. It's a phrase in legal writing that means "gross negligence without concern for danger to others." And it's a phrase that characterizes much of the attitude toward law of an administration headed by a man sometimes described as a constitutional scholar.

Posted February 17, 2015

Do Republicans have a realistic chance to win the next presidential election? Some analysts suggest the answer is no. They argue that there is a 240-electoral-vote "blue wall" of 18 states and D.C. that have gone Democratic in the last six presidential elections.