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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


Escape artist Curtis Lovell has advice for voters who suddenly feel trapped by the election, politics and media coverage.

Inside the Beltway: The inevitable Gore

"Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather," says Al Gore, commenting on Hurricane Sandy in his personal blog. Published October 30, 2012

Actress Lena Dunham attends the world premiere of "Supporting Characters" during the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, April 20, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Inside the Beltway: The ebbing charm

Critics wonder how long women will tolerate certain aspects of President Obama's more curious re-election efforts. There's the odd new campaign video, for example, showcasing HBO's "Girls" actress Lena Dunham, who compares voting for the first time to losing her virginity. Published October 29, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Strategic revels

Indicators that an OSS Society event is under way: the official party favor is an elegant martini glass, strolling violinists play "The Ballad of the Green Berets" and multiple conversations begin with such phrases as "General, I haven't seen you since Afghanistan." Published October 28, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Championing the ‘undecided’

Late night comics and the liberal press delight in either vilifying or parodying undecided voters, dismissing them as "boneheads" and "idiots." David Bossie — who spent a year interviewing undecided and disenchanted voters for his new documentary film "The Hope and the Change" — will have none of it, however. Published October 25, 2012

Planned Parenthood is deceiving millions of American women about the services it provides, says Lila Rose, founder of Live Action. (Photo courtesy Live Action)

Inside the Beltway: Why you’re tired

A record-breaking 915,000 presidential campaign ads have aired on broadcast and cable TV from late April through Sunday — a 45 percent increase compared with the 2008 election. Published October 24, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Third party’s party

American broadcasters may overlook third-party presidential hopefuls but not Russia TV and Al-Jazeera, which plan to air an alternative U.S. presidential debate on Tuesday that will possibly reaching millions of viewers here and abroad. Published October 22, 2012

Presidential candidates (from left) Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party, Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party, and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party will participate in a debate Tuesday put on by Free & Equal. (Free & Equal)

Inside the Beltway: Prurient and presidential

Respect for the office of president and the bulwarks of democracy? Forget about it. The barriers are completely down, yielding more confusion for citizens already fatigued by press bias and the endless trivialization of the presidential election. Published October 18, 2012

image provided by Hank Williams Jr.
Country music star Hank Williams Jr. is producing politically charged talk-radio specials to offer free to interested stations to run before Election Day.

Inside the Beltway: Hank: Now hear this

Politically charged patriot and country music star Hank Williams Jr. is pining to get into talk radio. Pro-America and pro-military Mr. Williams will be producing "Loud and Rowdy," a trio of two-hour specials to air in the weeks before Election Day, offering up news of the day, politics, music and just plain "speaking his mind," a spokeswoman tells Inside the Beltway. Published October 16, 2012

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is a national co-chairman of the group Sportsmen for Romney. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Let Obama be Obama?

It's likely President Obama will be in combat mode, ready to assume alpha male status on Tuesday evening when he faces Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate. But alas. The debate is town hall style, which demands folksy likability from the combatants, and conversation studded with talking points. Published October 15, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Butt out, Santa

So much for Santa Claus, who could turn up slim and gluten-free at any moment. A new version of the classic "A Visit from St. Nicholas" edits out all references to Mr. Claus' pipe smoking in the beloved old poem, rewritten by Pamela McColl, a writer and smoking-cessation advocate in Vancouver, Canada. Published October 14, 2012

Inside the Beltway: The presidential purse

The most telling numbers are often the most simple numbers. President Obama has conducted 222 re-election fundraisers in the past 18 months, more than any other incumbent president. Consider that President George W. Bush held 86 during his first term in office, and in comparable times, Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush staged 70 and 24, respectively. Ronald Reagan, incidentally, held no fundraisers during his 1984 re-election campaign. Published October 11, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Biden, Ryan to mix it up at the debate

America is intrigued with the latest clash of political titans, suggesting that the vice presidential debate could draw as much interest as the presidential version. And why not? This is debate as reality TV, pitting a pair of unlikely combatants against each other, with excruciating stakes and a big audience. Published October 10, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during a campaign rally on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Newport News, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Inside the Beltway: Even more Romney signs defiled

Rumors that Mitt Romney's campaign materials suffer disgraceful defacement around the nation appear to be true. And here's one more example. Solitary pro-Romney lawn signs in a heavily Democratic neighborhood have been draped with, uh, used doggie-doo disposal bags in recent days. This news comes from a comfortable enclave of supposed civility in the Maryland suburbs near the nation's capital. Published October 9, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Media revenge

Brace for impact: The peevish press seeks to persuade voters to forget Mitt Romney's stark and sparkling victory over President Obama during their initial debate. The glow of Mr. Romney's polished performance Wednesday is destined for a very short shelf life as journalists on gaffe patrol woo the public with fancy "fact" checking and anything remotely linked to the phrase "47 percent." Published October 4, 2012

Inside the Beltway: The celebrity president

The leader of the Free World was once just that – a canny stalwart with gravitas intact, ready to take on evil empires, stock market crashes, terrorists, Communism. Yes, once. Celebrity appears to have taken over the office, however, a phenomenon that likely got its start when Bill Clinton broke ranks with the adult population in 1992, donned cool shades and played "Heartbreak Hotel" on his tenor saxophone on late-night TV when he was pursuing the White House. Published October 3, 2012