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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

Leon E. Panetta

PRUDEN: Deadly peril in a fantasy world

If only those pesky Jews would shut up and submit, all would be right with the world. Allah could be praised. Such is the emerging Democratic strategy for making peace in the Middle East. Only this week, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state, and Leon E. Panetta, the secretary of defense, sent reassurances to the region that they're eager to see Israel brought to heel. Published December 9, 2011

Polar bears are depicted on a Coca-Cola can.

PRUDEN: A marketing lesson for Republicans

There may even be lessons here for the political parties and the voters who make the final judgments of politicians. The Democrats have a particularly sorry record of tweaking ineffective "brands," sending the likes of Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry into the November marketplace. The Republicans have a sorry record, too, tweaking the likes of Bob Dole and John McCain, and now seem to be flirting with sending Newt Gingrich into the highest-stakes game in town. You can't always freshen up the label, no matter how hard you try. Published December 6, 2011

Teddy Roosevelt

PRUDEN: Stricken by an excess of excess

The Christmas season is hard upon us and it's time to be happy and gay. (Uh, better make that cheerful.) But it won't be easy. The culture has been poisoned by an excess of excess. Published December 2, 2011


PRUDEN: Presidents in the Age of Twitter

Thomas Jefferson collected old books and French wines, Warren Harding collected poker buddies, and FDR collected stamps. Harry S Truman collected sheet music and played the piano. But not so long ago, wife-collecting was regarded as over the line. Cats do it, dogs do it and even educated fleas are said to conduct serial impermanent romances. But presidents were held to a tougher moral standard. Published November 29, 2011

Newt Gingrich

PRUDEN: Newt Gingrich: Another flavor at the GOP soup kitchen

Now it's Newt's week to be the new and improved temporary seasonally impermanent flavor for the Republican primary campaign. He's entitled to his week in the front row. Republicans are big on taking turns, which is why they occasionally nominate sad sacks like Gerald Ford, Bob Dole and John McCain. Published November 22, 2011

Bill Ayers

PRUDEN: When an 'Occupy' tantrum gets a little old

When you're bored, broke and mad at everybody, including Mom, throwing a tantrum is fun. Three-year-olds entertain their mommies with such noisy fits all the time. When regiments of tantrum-throwers get loose on Wall Street, they make the front page. The Occupy Wall Street movement spilled a little blood Thursday in New York City — nearly all of it the demonstrators' own, but for an occasional cop's skinned knee or twisted thumb — "film" at 11. Or long before that, on an Internet blog Published November 18, 2011

Jerry Sandusky

PRUDEN: Raise a jeer for Penn State

What happened at Penn State is a tragedy, an outrage and a depravity. But that's not all of the worst of it. Published November 15, 2011

Gov. John Kasich

PRUDEN: No toaster for Herman Cain

The great media toaster isn't broken, exactly, but it doesn't work like it once did. By all accounts, Herman Cain should be toast now, served hot, a bit scorched around the edges and left unbuttered. But try as they might, his tormentors have not yet had him for breakfast. Published November 11, 2011

David Petraeus

PRUDEN: Rattling sabers at the Iranians

Something is definitely going on between Israel and Iran. More behind-the-scenes diplomacy? Plotting tougher sanctions? Or is something real finally in the works? It's not quite clear what that "something" may be. Uncertainty is exactly what the Israelis prescribe for now. Published November 8, 2011

Jack the Ripper

PRUDEN: Herman Cain and innuendos

This was once a serious country with serious newspapers, back in the day when they were edited by serious editors and a man had the right to confront an accuser before she was allowed to destroy his reputation, career and even his life. Herman Cain doesn't look like Jack the Ripper, but Scotland Yard never pursued Mr. Ripper with the passion of the newspapers and television networks so hot after Mr. Cain. Published November 4, 2011

Kate Michelman

PRUDEN: Mississippi takes on abortion issue with Nov. 8 vote

A funny thing happened on the way to forgetting about the abortion issue, which has roiled the country's politics for four decades. Some people haven't forgotten about it at all. Mississippi, which nobody ever cited as a bellwether state, will vote on Nov. 8 whether to amend its state constitution to protect the civil rights of all "persons," defined in Amendment 26 to "include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof." Published November 1, 2011

Ronald Reagan

PRUDEN: The awful sin of Herman Cain

Things have gone from bad to badder for the self-righteous artsy-fartsy elites, who for all their book-learning and self-regard just can't figure out America. The Herman Cain phenomenon is the latest puzzlement of those who think only they're wise enough and entitled enough to tell the rest of us which fork to use. Published October 28, 2011

Syrian President Bashar Assad

PRUDEN: Gallup's 'kill bump' from Gadhafi's death not to die for

Presidential elections don't turn on what's happening abroad. Barack Obama could be grateful for that much. Gallup finds that a tiny "kill bump" rewarded the president after the capture and slaying of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, but good news from the Islamic world, which hasn't yet felt the dawn of the 9th century, always comes with a catch. Published October 25, 2011

Good old Joe

PRUDEN: Unhappy times at the White House

Good old Joe, always good for a laugh. However, that's not President Obama or the White House wise men holding their sides and rolling on the floor. Joe is endearing enough in the way of crazy uncles, but when the attic door is left unlatched, someone has to be dispatched to find old Joe and pay for the damage. Published October 21, 2011

Warren G. Harding

PRUDEN: Anybody but Obama takes the lead

The conventional wisdom, which is usually but not always wrong, holds that Rick Perry is ahead of the field: He looks asleep, and that's where everybody else yearns to be. The prospect of President Romney is bor-iiiing. Published October 18, 2011

Nicolas Sarkozy

PRUDEN: An evil wind in the Arab Spring

We've "enjoyed" the Arab Spring, celebrated by one and nearly all. But if you're a Christian under the wheels of an Egyptian army truck, it looks a lot like winter. Published October 14, 2011

Henry Ford

PRUDEN: Steve Jobs: The sincerity of hype and hope

Steve Jobs was a genius. No one could doubt that. His genius lay not in technology, as most of the obituaries and eulogies reckoned, but as master of hype, hope and marketing. Published October 11, 2011

Chris Christie

PRUDEN: For GOP candidates, a flavor turns flat and sour

The trouble with flavors of the week is that, like chewing gum left overnight on the bedpost, they don't last very long. Rick Perry, who not so long ago was going to be the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan, could tell you about that. Published October 4, 2011