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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

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

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