Wesley Pruden | Stories - Washington Times
Skip to content

Wesley Pruden

Wesley Pruden

American journalist legend and Vietnam War author James Wesley Pruden Jr. is Editor Emeritus of The Washington Times. Mr. Pruden’s first job in the newspaper business dates back to 1951 as a copyboy at the now defunct Arkansas Gazette where he later became a sportswriter and an assistant state editor. In 1982, he joined The Washington Times, four months after the paper began, as chief political correspondent. He became assistant managing editor in 1983, managing editor in 1985, and editor-in-chief in 1992. He retired in January 2008 and became editor-in-chief-emeritus. Mr. Pruden is known for his coverage of President Ronald Reagan. In 1991, he won the H.L. Mencken Prize for excellence in writing and commentary. Mr. Pruden writes a twice-weekly column on politics and national affairs for The Times.

Articles by Wesley Pruden

Chicken Little

Nobody does hysteria like the media

Chicken Little will have company when the sky falls on the British isles and the world ends, which the European Union, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC, CBS, NBC, ABC and Barack Obama can now say with confidence will be at 2:20 in the morning next Thursday (just in time for the late final editions). Published June 27, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The bad moon rising over Hillary

Hillary Clinton won't be able to say she didn't see the bad moon rising. Donald Trump gave her a blistering introduction this week to Presidential Politics 102, which differs in a remarkable way from Politics 101, which she encountered in her first attempt in 2008 and before that as the managing partner in Bubba's two campaigns. Published June 23, 2016

Boris Johnson. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

It's crunch time in Old Blighty

This is do-or-die week in Old Blighty. Our British cousins will decide Thursday whether to reclaim their birthright, voting to leave the European Union and the Germans, French and an assorted gang of easy riders, and reclaim their status as a world-power capable of sitting on its own bottom. Published June 20, 2016

Sen. John McCain. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

New brand and colors for the Pity Party

The Republicans are trying out new branding and new colors for November. The Stupid Party has become the Pity Party. Hanging tough is too much trouble for gentlemen. Published June 16, 2016

Rahm Emanuel     Associated Press

Obama won't let tragedy in Orlando go to waste

Tragedies are usually sad for most people. But the opportunists always take to heart the famous advice of Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and once President Obama's top aide: "Never let a tragedy go to waste." Published June 13, 2016

George Washington (Image: The White House) ** FILE **

And now the real fun begins

The primaries are at last over, and not a day too soon. Now Democrats and the Republicans can turn to dismantling each other in pursuit of the presidency. This should be a campaign to remember. Published June 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press)

Dick's hatband gets a little tighter in California

The race for California's delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Cleveland six weeks hence is tighter than Dick's hatband, and nobody's head hurts more than Hillary's. Published June 6, 2016

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

There's upset in the air in California

The acrid odor of Democratic panic, as real as the aroma of burned flesh and cordite on a battlefield, hangs over California in a dark cloud of confusion and uncertainty. "This is how it smelled in '64," says a stunned Democratic observer in Sacramento, "with [Barry] Goldwater charging and [Nelson] Rockefeller on the run." Published June 2, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Big-time football and the schools for scandal

Bill Clinton and his friends probably feel themselves entitled to a little chuckle over the plight of Kenneth Starr, the plotter of the impeachment of Mr. Clinton. The wheel that goes around comes around, and all that. Published May 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The Clintons and the comeuppance at hand

Reckoning comes late to the Clintons, but it comes. Bubba has skated past a lot of transgressions, always counting on his gift of gab and his deep-dyed Southern charm to escape retribution. He played the charm card with consummate skill: "Aw, shucks, what can you do with a good ol' boy like me?" Published May 26, 2016

President Obama in Hanoi. (Associated Press)

Turning President Obama loose in Asia

Barack Obama hasn't learned much in his seven years (and counting) in the White House, but he might have learned a little. He bowed to his Vietnamese hosts on arrival in Hanoi, but it wasn't the infamous back-breaking 180-degree bow he gave to the despots of the Islamic world in Cairo. Published May 23, 2016

Dianne Feinstein      Associated Press photo

When it's Hillary who poisons Hillary

Hillary Clinton is still the way to bet for November. Just ask your local bookie. He'll give you very attractive odds for putting a dollar on the Donald. Published May 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd before speaking during a campaign stop in Bowling Green, Ky., on Monday, May 16, 2016. (Austin Anthony/Daily News via AP)

Hillary hails a flying saucer to the White House

Hillary Clinton's campaign wizards, having seen what happened to Jeb Bush, are said to be worried about her "lack of energy." But there's nothing wrong with her imagination, her vision, her talent for building castles in the cosmos. She has come up with the season's most imaginative campaign promise. Published May 16, 2016

National Security Adviser Susan Rice arrives for the International Jazz Day Concert on the South Lawn of the White House of the Washington, Friday, April 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sound no requiem for the old white guys

All us old white guys have got to go. We may even have to take some of the nice white ladies with us. White folks once had their uses, but the handwriting is writ big and plain on the restroom wall. Published May 12, 2016

Lord Nelson (From the portrait by Sir William Beechey)

When disaster stalks the weary land

Parlous times have descended everywhere. Barack Obama is so terrified by global warming that he wants to shut off further debate, perhaps to put the White House on stilts, lest the rising oceans soak the upstairs carpets. Published May 9, 2016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat (Associated Press) **FILE**

Now to pick the running mates

Now the fun begins. Everybody has an opinion on who the Donald and Hillary should pick for running mates. It's the most harmless fun of the campaign because none of the speculation means anything. But it might beat a game of Solitaire on a dark and rainy night. Published May 5, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Monday, May 2, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

More news to rattle the Republican elites

Public-opinion polls are great parlor-game fun, like Monopoly or charades, but if you're looking at a poll in May to determine the winner in November, you might as well consult a plate of chicken entrails. Be careful not to spill anything on the carpet. Published May 2, 2016

Donald Trump confounds the Gaffe Patrol

The Japanese Zero was one of the most famous fighter planes in the South Pacific, bedeviling American pilots in the early days of World War II. The Zero was quick and nimble, darting from the clouds to inflict death and mayhem, and the Zero hit many a target. Published April 28, 2016

In a Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, file photo, gormer U.S. President Jimmy Carter delivers a lecture on the eradication of the Guinea worm, at the House of Lords in London. A spokeswoman for Jimmy Carter says the former president does not need further treatment for cancer. The former president apparently shared the good news on Sunday, March 6, 2016, with those attending one of his regular Sunday school lessons at Maranatha Baptist Church in Carter's hometown of Plains, Georgia.  (Neil Hall/Pool Photo via AP, File)

One last attempt to derail the Donald

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride to town on Saturday night, and if early polls determined presidents John McCain and Ross Perot would be playing poker with Harry Truman and Chester Alan Arthur in the ex-presidents club. But it's a rare beggar who owns even a spavined horse and John McCain and Ross Perot never got a key to the Oval Office washroom. Published April 25, 2016

Harriet Tubman with a gun

A true heroine, right on the money

A lady with a gun deserves better than this. No sooner had Jacob Lew, the secretary of the Treasury, announced that Harriet Tubman, a fearless gunfighter against slavery, would soon replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill than snipers on left and right turned out in force. Published April 21, 2016