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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


PRUDEN: A little salt for the polls

Public-opinion polling, like politics, prostitution and punditry, is an honorable enough profession, if properly understood and taken with enough salt. But usually it isn't. Published May 18, 2012

Speaker Boehner

PRUDEN: Navigating past the same-sex marriage 'ick factor'

This is not what Barack Obama expected for a coming-out party. The "historic" revelation that he is now fully evolved, as from tadpole to frog, and now grooves on same-sex marriage, was meant to be marked with quiet ceremony. No music, no flowers, no kiss, no dancing, not even a cupcake. Published May 15, 2012

Researchers say the Darwin Awards, named for evolutionary icon Charles Darwin, provide evidence that males are far more likely than females to engage in "idiotic" behaviors.

PRUDEN: Creepy-crawlies for the evolved Obama

Barack Obama, now fully evolved, is once more the rage of the demimonde. All it took was for him to man up, to acknowledge what everyone already knows the president thinks about "gay sex." Published May 11, 2012

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican

PRUDEN: Can Indiana nice save an old lion Lugar?

Smashmouth politics, the norm nearly everywhere else, has overtaken "Indiana nice" on the banks of the old Wabash. A lion of the Senate ‚ as Senate lions are now measured — is likely to fall today. Published May 8, 2012

Blind dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng meets with wife Yuan Weijing, daughter Chen Kesi and son Chen Kerui at a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to China, is at Mr. Chen's side, as is language attache James Brown (center background). (U.S. Embassy, Beijing, via Associated Press)

PRUDEN: Nary kiss nor hug for the blind activist in China

Barack Obama says he agrees with Abraham Lincoln (you could ask him) that America is "the exceptional nation," a nation unique in a world of moral squalor, a beacon of hope for the "tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free." But sometimes cold pragmatism demands the exceptional nation make exceptions. Published May 4, 2012

**FILE** House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, speaks March 10, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

PRUDEN: A modest fix for randy Secret Service bodyguards

The federal government by definition has to make a federal case out of everything it touches, from mandating toilets that barely flush to prescribing how many calories must go into a schoolboy's lunch. So we can't be surprised that the Secret Service will assign nannies and chaperones to monitor the bedtime behavior of the president's bodyguards on their trips abroad. Published May 1, 2012

Haley Barbour

PRUDEN: It's Romney vs. guilt and gilt

Mitt Romney's finally the last man standing, and he finally found the voice he'll need to overcome the formidable Democratic weapons of money, guilt and gilt. Published April 27, 2012

Marine Le Pen

PRUDEN: Bling Bling Sarkozy vs. a French waffle Hollande

Nothing focuses a politician's mind like staring at oblivion and reluctantly contemplating himself at the center of that dark and dreary place. Though it may be too late to save himself, Nicolas Sarkozy is scared, contrite and humble, a remarkable precedent for a French president. Published April 24, 2012

**FILE** President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on  Jan. 20, 1961. (Associated Press)

PRUDEN: Party rolls on at the GSA and Secret Service

Romance, requited or not, can be a costly proposition. The Secret Service, guardians of the president, and the Army, guardians of the rest of us, are still trying to tally the dimensions of the carnal carnage at Cartagena. Published April 20, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican

PRUDEN: The big day for Swiss cheese, or the tax code

Life is unfair, as John F. Kennedy famously observed. That might not have been the most memorable thing he ever said, but it's probably the most quoted, and when better to repeat it than on the last day for Americans to file their federal income tax returns. Published April 17, 2012

Eric H. Holder Jr.

PRUDEN: Seeking justice at the Zimmerman circus

Everybody in trouble with the law is entitled to a fair trial. Nobody is guilty until a court looks at the evidence and decides. A man is innocent until proved guilty. But sometimes we hold the trial at the circus, not the courthouse. Published April 13, 2012

Rutherford B. Hayes

PRUDEN: Why won't Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich quit?

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are as irrelevant now as Ron Paul to the selection of the Republican presidential nomination, and they both know it. They both know that Mitt Romney can start planning his coronation in Tampa. Published April 10, 2012

Hillary Clinton

PRUDEN: A gift of gaffe from Obama

Few voters choose a president for his views on foreign policy, which is regarded as work best left to credulous wonks, artless dips and naive double-domes. It's work in a place where real people don't want to go. Published April 3, 2012

Antonin Scalia

PRUDEN: Figuring the odds on Obamacare

Guessing how the Supreme Court will decide a case, based on the questions the justices ask of the lawyers, is a fool's game. That's why pundits can't resist playing it. Published March 30, 2012

Vladimir Putin

PRUDEN: Spins and needles for Barack Obama

Spinning is a deceiver's art, the craft of persuading suckers they didn't really hear what they just heard. It's what modern politics is all about. President Obama has put his best spinners to work to "clarify" what he meant with his remarks in confidence to the Russians that once past November he'll have the "flexibility" to alter the American missile-defense system in a way that will please Moscow. Published March 27, 2012

Mitt Romney

PRUDEN: An attack of the fruit fly at Romney's campaign

It's not the wasps, bees and mosquitos, though stingers all, that bedevil presidential candidates. It's the fruit flies. Insignificant in their own right, they nevertheless have the ability to damage and even sink a campaign. That's the lesson for Mitt Romney, as taught by Eric Fehrnstrom, his once-anonymous "top aide," who confided to a CNN interviewer that Mr. Romney is not really a born-again conservative, that he's only pandering to the unwashed crazies on the right. Published March 23, 2012

** FILE ** Seen here two days before the 1992 presidential election, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton dance on stage at a rally at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" was that year's campaign theme song. (Associated Press)

PRUDEN: Bonnie and Clod Clinton in the air again

Good ol' Bubba. He never disappoints. He's always reaching for something new to feed his ravenous ego, now that age has withered, among other things, his ravenous libido. Published March 20, 2012