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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

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

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. (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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News has won the ratings race for 150 months. Prime-time anchor Megyn Kelly is now drawing a larger audience than veteran Bill O'Reilly. (Fox News)

It's no illusion: Study finds conservatives overwhelmingly trust Fox News

Political differences are pronounced when it comes to choice of news sources. Conservatives remain fiercely loyal to Fox News, liberals cuddle up to National Public Radio and The New York Times. Ideology plays a pronounced role in the phenomenon, according to an extensive new survey and analysis of "political divisiveness" among Americans released by the Pew Research Center. Published October 22, 2014

A recreation of George Washington's apple brandy soon goes on sale at Mount Vernon, made with the same historic apple varieties he favored. (Portrait by Gilbert Stuart)

'Big Three' broadcast networks ignore midterm elections

The ever watchful analysts at the Media Research Center have caught the "Big Three" broadcast networks — ABC, NBC and CBS — playing some serious hooky. Now that Democrats are struggling to gain a foothold in the upcoming midterm elections, the network don't seem to be much interested in covering the horse race. Published October 22, 2014

Twitter (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire via AP Images)

Liberals more likely than conservatives to dump a friend over politics

Politics brings out certain petty behaviors in people, particularly those who frequent Facebook and Twitter. To like, or not to like, to friend — or horrors — unfriend? A retweet can be a personal matter, indeed. Politics and ideology play a pronounced role in the phenomenon, this according to an extensive survey and analysis of "political divisiveness" among Americans released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. The study found that liberals are more likely to dump a friend than conservatives over partisan leanings alone. Published October 21, 2014

Newly minted Ebola czar Ron Klain's appointment may be more politically than medically motivated, according to a longtime associate of Mr. Klain's. (Associated Press/Revolution)

Ebola Czar Day One: Mr. Klain's debut

Political point man or medical manager? That is the persistent question for Ron Klain, who officially begins his tenure as the nation's "Ebola response coordinator" on Wednesday. Published October 21, 2014

In this Oct. 1, 2014 photo, placards advocating a position to keep casino gambling in Massachusetts rest against a wall in the entrance to the Plainridge Racecourse harness racing track in Plainville, Mass. The Plainridge Park Casino is under construction adjacent to the harness racing track in Plainville. Voters will decide in the Nov. 4 election whether to repeal a 2011 law that opened the door for casinos in the state. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Pew Research poll finds motivated conservatives twice as likely as liberals to vote on Nov. 4

Conservatives are twice as likely as their liberal counterparts to go to the polls Nov. 4. No really. "Although overall turnout among the public is likely to be around 40 percent, 73 percent of those who hold consistently conservative attitudes are likely to vote in the midterm, as are 52 percent of those with mostly conservative views," reports the Americans Trends Panel, a substantial new gauge of the upcoming midterm election by the indefatigable Pew Research Center. Published October 20, 2014

Monica Lewinsky has emerged as a columnist, public speaker and a social media wrangler who attracted 34,000 followers upon registering with Twitter on Monday. (Associated Press)

Monica Lewinsky to America: 'Here we go'

She has become a media presence. That would be Monica Lewinsky, who has shed her previous public identity as the White House intern who had a dalliance with former President Clinton in favor of a 41-year-old with serious press credentials. She is now a columnist for Vanity Fair, a public speaker and a social media wrangler. Miss Lewinsky joined Twitter on Monday and secured 34,000 followers in the space of three hours Published October 20, 2014

Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, is among a growing number of GOP figures calling for President Obama to take a tougher approach to the Ebola crisis, including travel restrictions for West African countries ravaged by the disease. (Associated Press)

Ebola: Americans agree with Republicans this time

Much of the nation is in agreement with the GOP's call for temporary travel restrictions and stricter entry regulations when it comes to West African nations now burdened with Ebola and its management. Published October 19, 2014