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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

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

Herman Cain

PRUDEN: An ugly preview of campaign 2012

We're getting a scary preview of the final weeks of the 2012 presidential campaign. It's going to be all about race and race-baiting. Published September 30, 2011

William Howard Taft

PRUDEN: Gaffe Patrol can't miss with Perry as juicy target

These are high times for the Gaffe Patrol. A "target-rich environment," as the old-timers in Vietnam called it, invites every pilot with "unexpended ordnance" under his wings to shoot down everything he sees moving. Sometimes the Gaffe Patrol just can't miss. Rick Perry was such a juicy target after the Republican debate that even his missus could have been tempted to take a shot. Published September 27, 2011

Calvin Coolidge

PRUDEN: A faithless lover run to ground

This week was supposed to be a big deal at the United Nations, where the 66th General Assembly convened to watch a motley collection of men (and the occasional woman) try to look important in a big town making with the big talk. Published September 23, 2011

P-51 Mustang

PRUDEN: A Reno crash recalls a mighty machine

Barack Obama, with heavy rain falling without ceasing from that perpetual cloud over his head, must find a P-51 Mustang. The plane that crashed in Reno, Nev., sending spectators fleeing in a spectacular windup to an air show, saved FDR and the Allies amidst an earlier war seven decades ago. This president, too, needs a deus ex machina — literally, "a god out of the machine." Published September 20, 2011

Joe Btfsplk

PRUDEN: Joe Btfsplk rains on the Democrats

Some Democrats have come up with a nifty slogan for 2012: "We're really hopeless, but the other guy could be worse." This is a steal from certain Republicans, who often campaign as sad-sack losers eager for whatever crumbs fall from the grown-ups' table: "Vote Republican; we're not as bad as you think." Published September 16, 2011

Bob Turner

PRUDEN: Looking for omens among the winners in N.Y. race

The race to fill the vacant House seat of disgraced Anthony D. Weiner in New York City, to be won or lost Tuesday, should hold no special significance. The Republicans aren't particularly hard up for another vote in the House, and the district will disappear when district boundaries are rewritten later this year. No advantage of incumbency is at stake. Published September 13, 2011

Rep. Eric Cantor

PRUDEN: When good news is mostly bad for Obama

Americans are always impatient with presidential candidates who speak only ideology, and that's good news for Barack Obama. But they're even more impatient with incompetence. That's bad news for the president. Published September 9, 2011

Bill Clinton

PRUDEN: Seeking a slogan to satisfy Stupid

Bill Clinton was elected president on a simple slogan: "It's the economy, Stupid." The message was posted on the wall in the campaign headquarters in Little Rock. No one was allowed to be stupid enough to question or forget what the campaign was about. The rest is history. Barack Obama and his wise men are still casting about for a winning theme for 2012. The best anyone has come up with is, "It's NOT about the economy, Stupid." Published September 6, 2011

Joe Lieberman

PRUDEN: A religious test for a president

We're getting close to the beginning of the new presidential election cycle, so we must get back to Sunday school. The pundits are parsing religion again. Somebody has to pose the liberals' religious test for public office. Published September 2, 2011

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

PRUDEN: Goodnight, Hurricane Irene. What a floozie

Nobody cuts Barack Obama any slack, not even a hurricane. The president was ready to try anything to change the miserable trajectory of his luck. The polls were enough to ruin a week with the elites on Martha's Vineyard. Published August 30, 2011

William Clark

PRUDEN: When a quake really was a quake

We're all orangutans now. Iris the orangutan at the National Zoo in Washington — which The Washington Post's man on the scene, citing her "straight, elegant red-orange hair," calls the prettiest orangutan at the zoo - showed the nation's capital just how to behave in a minor-league earthquake. Published August 26, 2011

Woodrow Wilson

PRUDEN: Obama dusts off old campaign strategy

President Obama has dusted off an old campaign strategy. It worked once. More than once, actually. FDR ran against Herbert Hoover not once, not twice, but three times. The Messiah is giving it a try against George W. Bush. Published August 23, 2011

Donald Douglas

PRUDEN: The jet airplane that changed everything

The jet airplane has changed everything, and nothing has changed more than the means of escape from squalor and oppression. The pursuit of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, pursuing freedom and opportunity in the city on the hill, can be a part-time job now. For that, we can thank Bill Boeing and Donald Douglas, the builders of the first transcontinental airliners. Published August 19, 2011

Mrs. Miniver

PRUDEN: Scary nights in London

The wolves have made their way into the parlor again in England, and this time it looks like the powers-that-be think it's serious. The government of the uneasy coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats is trying to talk tough after several nights of murder and mayhem in the bleak public-housing tracts of the poor and unemployed in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and other cities. Published August 16, 2011

Former President Bill Clinton

PRUDEN: The failure of liberal gods

The gods of the liberals - "progressives," as they insist on calling themselves this season - are failing all over the place. Restless natives are rioting in London. Peasants are getting rich selling 90-proof Oolong in Washington. The elites are "unsettled," as elites always are, in a lot of places between. Published August 12, 2011

Abraham Lincoln

PRUDEN: The terror of Rick Perry's penitent prayer

Christians are driving atheists nuts. Atheists are trying to spread their belief — or more to the point, their lack of belief — with zeal that Billy Sunday or Billy Graham could have envied: Unless Sunday schools are closed, Bibles shredded, hymnbooks torched and children jailed when found kneeling with Mom in bedtime prayer, no one is secure in their homes. Published August 9, 2011

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

PRUDEN: Disorientation Week for the Democrats

This is Disorientation Week in Washington. From the White House to the Hill, the Democrats are trying (but not trying too hard) to come to terms with a new reality. Attitude-adjustment hour is sometimes no fun at all. Published August 5, 2011

General Beauregard

PRUDEN: Hope and change in a magic tea party pot

Now the real fun begins. Assuming that the debt deal has been effectively sealed — and this looked like a large assumption on the eve of the vote — all that's left is deciding who won the fight over raising the debt limit. Published August 2, 2011