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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

To read Jennifer Harper's Inside the Beltway columns, click here. Contact her at

Articles by Jennifer Harper

Pajamas Media writer Stephen Green suggested a composite name, "Payma Fair Share," for the president's erstwhile "composite girlfriend." (Photo provided by Stephen Green)

Inside the Beltway: Sharon Yourwealth

An excerpt of "Barack Obama: The Story" by Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss appeared in Vanity Fair on Wednesday, offering details about the women the young Mr. Obama dated during his "existentialist stretch" as a student in New York. Published May 2, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Enough already

The U.S. should stop "reflexively exploiting major national security threats as a political ping-pong ball between right and left," says Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Get down to business and start crafting a practical strategy to defeat the threat of Islamist militancy both at home and abroad, he says. Published May 1, 2012

Occupy Wall Street plans May Day events in 125 cities on Tuesday. (image from Occupy Wall Street)

Inside the Beltway: Still occupied

"May Day, 2012. Take to the streets! Wherever you are, whoever you are: no work, no chores, no banking, no shopping, no school. Block the flows, be the crisis," proclaims the official Occupy Wall Street motto for Tuesday, which is, the group says, "a day without the 99 percent, a general strike, and more." Published April 30, 2012

Kim Kardashian was among the guests providing celebrity glitter at the 2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Keith Urbahn's moment

A subculture has emerged around the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, which is Tuesday. To politicize, or not to politicize? That is the question. Published April 29, 2012

ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel will be the master of ceremonies for this year's convergence of Hollywood and Washington, otherwise known as the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (Photo provided by White House Correspondent's Association)

Inside the Beltway: The dinner primer

It's the glint of top brass and the gleam of glitter, a hybrid mix of political theater and silver screen spectacle: 2,800 guests are expected at the 98th White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday night, to mingle at the odd nexus of Washington and Hollywood. Published April 26, 2012

In this photo taken Monday, April 23, 2012, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at Consol Energy Research and Development Facility in South Park Township, Pa. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Inside the Beltway: Reading Romney

Forget about "inevitable." Is Mitt Romney a fierce conservative or an agile, middle-of-the-road guy? As the Republican hopeful barrels down the campaign trail and toward a spate of fundraisers in New York and New Jersey, strategically minded Democrats wonder how to categorize President Obama's rival-in-chief. Published April 24, 2012

** FILE ** A Metropolitan Police cruiser in downtown Washington (The Washington Times)

Americans give peace a fighting chance

Though Hollywood and the news media often portray the nation as a chaotic crucible of gangsters and crime, the U.S. is more "peaceful" now than in the past two decades, says the United States Peace Index. Published April 24, 2012

Presidential candidate Bill Clinton set the stage for other politicians to appear with pop culture figures in the search for young voters. In 1992, he played the saxophone on the late-night show hosted by Arsenio Hall. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Clinton was advised to 'do' Rush

President Obama's work week has been framed as "hilarious" in press accounts because his schedule includes a stop Tuesday night on NBC's "Jimmy Fallon" and a starring role at the behemoth White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday opposite ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel, toastmaster and political roast master for the night. Published April 23, 2012

Analysis of campaign coverage by the Pew Research Center involving more than 11,000 news outlets says GOP candidate Mitt Romney received the lion's share of attention after the Michigan primary, when his nomination became "essentially inevitable." (Associated Press)

Romney received most scrutiny

The press exacted a price on the "inevitable" Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who was subjected to the closest scrutiny among his rivals, says a massive analysis of candidate coverage released Monday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Published April 23, 2012

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: The press in jeopardy

Longtime "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek thinks there's something actually powerful about the 15 media heavies, former political operatives and celebrities who will play for charity when the show tapes its "Power Players Week" episodes at DAR Constitution Hall this weekend. Published April 19, 2012

Those who want to "Party Like the GSA in Vegas" should get a glittering entrance for guests suggests Shindigz, an events company that has already rolled out a General Services Adminstration-inspired party theme. (Image from Shindigz)

Inside the Beltway: General Party Services

"Party like the GSA in Vegas for less than $823,000," proclaims Shindigz, an Indiana-based party planning company that promises "to teach people how to party like federal agency rock stars." Well. Gee. That was quick. Published April 18, 2012

CNBC analyst Rick Santelli is an ideal running mate for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, according to Jeff Kahn, co-founder of Draft Santelli for President 2012. (CNBC)

Inside the Beltway: Forever Santelli

The third anniversary of CNBC analyst Rick Santelli's famous on-camera rant that many grass-roots folk cite as an early catalyst of the tea party movement has passed - but Mr. Santelli's spell still lingers. Published April 17, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Independents give an edge to Romney

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's got the edge on President Obama, thanks to those fickle independents and voter motivation. The Gallup Daily Tracking poll of general-election preferences among registered voters from April 11 to 15 reports that Mr. Romney garners 47 percent of the vote, Mr. Obama 45 percent. The previous findings gave Mr. Obama a 49-45 lead. Published April 16, 2012

Herman Cain

Inside the Beltway: The Hermanator returns

He's still a force to be reckoned with as tax day looms: Herman Cain has arrived in the nation's capital for a "patriot's summit" and tax day rally Monday at the U.S. Capitol with a cast that includes Faith & Freedom Coalition Director Ralph Reed, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips and conservative activist Alveda King. Published April 15, 2012

The nimble Republican National Committee already has replied to insults delivered to Ann Romney with a timely travel mug. (Image courtesy of the Republican National Committee)

Inside the Beltway: Ladies Day

A big cultural moment follows the encounter between Ann Romney, mother of five, grandmother of 16, and Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist who did not equate Mrs. Romney's traditional domestic duties with real work, or economic expertise. Media hysteria ensued within minutes of the ladies' exchange via Twitter, leaving pundits to either sort out the tangle, or add to it. Published April 12, 2012

Campaigning is now a family affair for Newt and Callista Gingrich, who both appear at the annual NRA convention on Friday. (image from

Inside the Beltway: Newt Gingrich: 'Last conservative standing'

Despite a hair-raising week, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich now bills himself as "the last conservative standing," touting a crowded agenda that defies gleeful coverage claiming that he's out of money and low on voter favorability. Published April 11, 2012

Longtime Heritage Foundation President Edwin J. Feulner has won a $250,000 Bradley Prize for transforming Heritage into a "bastion of ideas." (The Heritage Foundation)

Inside the Beltway: Apres Rick

Rick Santorum's campaign was undermined by a wave of bad press, while Mitt Romney's coverage improved over time," says a new analysis of 483 evening news broadcasts covering the Republican primaries by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Published April 10, 2012

The White House is selling special-edition souvenir eggs ahead of its Easter Egg Roll on April 9. A single egg costs $7.50 while a set is $30, and the commemorative red egg features the first dog's paw print. (White House photo)

Inside the Beltway: Time for the annual White House eggstravaganza

There will be a bipartisan cast of thousands at the White House on Monday, liberating all from policy and campaign doldrums for a few hours, anyway. The 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll is set to host 30,000 guests on the South Lawn to promote "health and wellness" through sport, dancing, cooking, storytelling and, uh, an egg roll. Published April 8, 2012