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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

Panoramic photo composite of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 18, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Former Obama speechwriter to pen TV series about political 'civil war'

Something else besides an election happened on Election Day Eve. Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, acknowledged that he will soon pen an entire dramatic series based on partisan discord and the collapse of political institutions for Showtime. Published November 4, 2014

Jennifer Laird photographs her "I Voted Today" sticker after casting her ballot on the first day of early voting, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 photo, in Miami. Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott is running against Democrat Charlie Crist in the gubernatorial election Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Voter beware: Poll booth 'selfies' illegal in some some states - and the ACLU has noticed

Is it better to just wear the cute little "I voted" tag - or take a "selfie" in the poll booth, complete with ballot? In New Hampshire, a newly updated law now prohibits voters from taking a digital image or photo of themselves holding a marked ballot, then sharing it via social media. It's means $1,000 fine for violators. Published November 3, 2014

** FILE ** This March 15, 2014, file photo shows former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaking in Burlingame, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Condoleezza Rice endorses Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis

Audiences loyal to NBC's "Meet the Press" know that it is not the austere, heavyweight program it was in the days of the late Tim Russert, or the 10 other moderators that preceded him. Published October 30, 2014

FILE - In this March 15, 2014 file photo, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice peaks at the California Republican Party 2014 Spring Convention in Burlingame, Calif.  Rice has decided against delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War. Rice said in a statement Saturday, May 3, 2014 that she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation. She said her involvement had "become a distraction for the university community" at a "time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families."(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Condoleezza Rice endorses Joni Ernst

It is not surprising that Condoleezza Rice has taken a shine to Joni Ernst. The former Secretary of State has endorsed the Republican hopeful for the U.S. Senate seat in Iowa - who also is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard with some significant experience. She served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom, overseeing convoys through Kuwait and into southern Iraq throughout 2003, and her political philosophy remains in the can-do realm. Published October 30, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an energy summit in October. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Rick Perry warns of a 'crisis of competence in America'

"The greatest problem of all is that in the face of these troubles so many serious challenges, we don't have the leadership to deal with it. We are experiencing a crisis of competence in America, and the people know it," says Texas Gov. Rick Perry Published October 29, 2014

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was among those who joined in the diplomatic uproar over an anonymous "chicken[***] remark about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Associated Press)

The chicken**** heard 'round the world

In a week fraught with distressing news, the press leaped to cover a report from Atlantic Magazine claiming an anonymous "senior Obama administration official" called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "chicken****." In the industrial-strength pantheon of contemporary expletives, that particular word does not see a great deal of use in popular song and story. But no matter. Atlantic's national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg went on to write that "another senior official" agreed with this assessment, then detailed the implications. Published October 29, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, said he concluded that the quarantine was necessary to protect public health and that he thinks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "eventually will come around to our point of view on this." (Associated Press)

Iowa insiders convinced it's 'all systems go' for a Chris Christie presidential run

Gov. Chris Christie takes his Jersey-style star power and fundraising prowess to Florida, Connecticut and yes, to Iowa in the next 72 hours, marking his fourth trip to the state this year. Mr. Christie was in Des Moines only 72 hours ago, helping Gov. Terry Brandstad celebrate his 68th birthday. Iowa insiders are convinced this is a true sign that Mr. Christie is running for president in 2016. Published October 28, 2014

Sarah Palin says she "hopefully" will run for office once again, a phenomenon that would send the press into a frenzy. (Associated Press)

Sarah Palin flirts with a run for office

It has been six years since Sarah Palin stepped onto the global stage in a sleek suit and a pair of Naughty Monkey high heels as an Alaska governor turned vice presidential hopeful ready to tear up the Republican campaign trail with running mate Sen. John McCain. The nation has been through much since then, as have Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin, who nevertheless remain on public radar. Mrs. Palin still rattles the landscape; particularly when it comes to her many critics. Published October 28, 2014

A Union re-enactor carrying a flag yells as he charges at retreating Confederates during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek event in Middletown, Va. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. The re-enactment is held on the same field as the battle on Oct. 19, 1864. (AP Photo, The Winchester Star, Jeff Taylor)

TLC for Gettysburg and Virginia: four Civil War battlefields get $2.2 million for their upkeep

A quartet of significant Civil War battlefields are getting some protective help - $2.2 million worth, and none of that coming from tax payer funds. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has announced the new grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help preserve land at Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, and the Manassas, North Anna, and Rappahannock Station battlefields in Virginia. Published October 28, 2014

A patient exhibiting signs of the Ebola virus was transferred to a Maryland hospital Monday night.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

Panic and terror? Study finds America not in a state of Ebola hysteria just yet

No, America is not in a state of Ebola hysteria quite yet. Though National Institutes of Health infectious disease director Dr. Anthony Fauci, describes the nation’s reaction to Ebola as "an epidemic of fear," cultural evidence makes it clear that there’s concern, yes, but panic, no. Published October 27, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

'Encouraging' prediction: More fiscal conservatives in Congress after Nov. 4

Pollsters predict that the Grand Old Party will take back the U.S. Senate on Nov. 4. Strategists, meanwhile, are also predicting it could be by a microscopic margin, with many warning the GOP to proceed with care and prudence. FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe has his own forecast for the midterms - more fiscal conservatives and a vibrant liberty caucus, he says. Published October 27, 2014

President Barack Obama waves as he steps off Air Force One after arriving at San Francisco International airport, on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, in San Francisco. Obama is visiting San Francisco for fundraiser events. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Money trail: President Obama to attend seven campaign events in six states

Democrats may be leery of President Obama's dwindling approval ratings but are certainly eager for his fundraising. Mr. Obama - who is masking annoyance and appears game - will journey to a half-dozen states for the cause. So fire up Air Force One, and keep it idling. Published October 27, 2014

Despite their lower profile during this election cycle and dismissal by partisan politicians and news media, the tea party remains a "powerful force" in politics, according to Frank Newport, director of Gallup. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Tea party 'remains a powerful force': Gallup

Though the news media and partisan critics continue to declare that the tea party is dead and irrelevant, a major pollster appears to disagree. Published October 26, 2014

George Washington's apple brandy goes up for sale - made from the historic apple varieties he once favored. (Mount Vernon)

George Washington's official apple brandy goes on sale - $150 a bottle

There an autumnal link 'twixt president and spirits. On sale Friday at George Washington's Mount Vernon, it's - of course - George Washington's Apple Brandy, an assertive libation double-distilled in copper pots heated by wood fires then aged in "toasted" barrels for two years. The meticulous craft distillers behind it all used the same varieties of apples that George used: Hewes Crab, Roxbury Russet, and Newtown Pippin. So huzzah. Published October 23, 2014

The 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech is prompting many to remember the speech and speculate on the future. (Reagan Foundation)

Ronald Reagan's real rendezvous with destiny

Five decades ago, Ronald Reagan delivered a speech titled "A Time for Choosing" that shook up Republicans and introduced the nation to then-presidential hopeful Barry Goldwater. It was a visceral, telling moment. "I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers," Reagan told the 1964 Republican National Convention, later framing the Grand Old Party's ultimate journey as "a rendezvous with destiny." The Grand Old Party got a little grander that day. Published October 23, 2014