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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

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

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Staten Island, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

How the Donald could defeat Hillary

It's a given among the tired, the poor and the voters tossed in the tempest of the presidential campaign that the noisy masses, yearning to breathe free of the smoke of battle, must resign themselves to the latest inevitability of Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump can't beat her, neither can Ted Cruz, and John Kasich is a pipe dream. Published April 18, 2016

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch talks with police officers in Indianapolis as part of her national Community Policing Tour, Wednesday, April 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The global warming assault on free speech

"Climate change" is all about us. Nearly everybody believes in it. Who could not? Sometimes a sunny day changes to rain, sometimes snow changes to sleet. The wind blows on Tuesday but changes on Wednesday, from knocking down trees to barely putting a ripple on the surface of the lake. Mark Twain, noticing that some things lie beyond the meddling of man, observed that "everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." Published April 14, 2016

Abraham Lincoln (Associated Press photo of the painting by George P.A. Healy)

A late lesson about the birds and the bees

Donald Trump has cut many sharp deals on his way to Billionaire's Row. Most of them were legal, maybe all of them were within what his lawyers told him they could successfully defend. But the Donald knows about sandbags and shortcuts. It's never personal, just business. Published April 11, 2016

Former President Bill Clinton. (Associated Press)

Here comes trouble, and it looks like Bubba

Hillary's got a Bubba problem again, and it doesn't have anything to do with a loose zipper. She dispatched him to the hustings, where he has no living peer (except maybe Donald Trump), and he's giving her campaign a pain by telling it like it is. Published April 7, 2016

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The unexpected peril of a brokered convention

This may be the year they gave an election and everybody wanted to stay home. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a front-runner anybody likes very much, and there's nobody on the bench who can hit a curve ball. Published April 4, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan. (The Washington Times) ** FILE **

The peasants have tasted the milk and honey

The Republican establishment is determined to kill the Trump candidacy, and it may succeed. Donald Trump is assisting with the task. The mouth that roars rarely soars, and his unthinking vulgarity is beginning to bore. It's hard to know what he was thinking when he said women who have abortions should be punished. Published March 31, 2016

Joe Biden

The dark menace gaining on Hillary

If you believe Cassandra and other doom-criers, this may be remembered as the year they gave an election and nobody came. The Republican Party's skepticism of Donald Trump is exceeded only by the Democrats' growing terror at the prospect of campaigning with Hillary Clinton. It looks like a bipartisan meltdown. Published March 28, 2016

Abraham Lincoln

The teaching moment, lost in Havana

Barack Obama loves to talk, mostly about himself, and he's never as happy as when he's talking about America's faults, even in foreign capitals where tradition says a good citizen doesn't do that. Published March 24, 2016

Mitch McConnell (Associated Press)

The great Republican snipe hunt

Once the media mob has worked you over there's not much the undertaker can do to make you look presentable for the wake. You're well smashed up and truly dead, unless you're Donald Trump, fortified by crude wit, relentless stamina and astonishing resources of ego, confidence and self-regard. Published March 21, 2016

Sen. Chuck Schumer (Associated Press)

Playing a game with the Supreme Court

The nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court is all about politics. There's nothing wrong with that. Politics is governing, with no argument here about what the meaning of "is" is. Published March 17, 2016

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump holds a plane-side rally in a hanger at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna, Ohio, Monday, March 14, 2016.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The wise men forget Mr. Stupid's error again

James Carville, the colorful shill of Bill Clinton's successful campaigns, coined the most memorable slogan of those campaigns, and it continues to be the essence of presidential politics: "It's the economy, Stupid." Mr. Stupid forgets it at his peril. Published March 14, 2016

Richard Nixon (Associated Press)

Hard times for the Nixon of the Democrats

The wheel that goes around comes around, as life teaches us all, even Hillary Clinton. She was 27, a reckless and ambitious lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee, working to impeach Richard Nixon. She couldn't imagine that she would one day be the Nixon of the Democrats, a reckless and ambitious presidential candidate forever tracking mud and grit through the house. Published March 10, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Monday, March 7, 2016, in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Donald Trump's message to Lower Slobbovia

Some of our thrilling celebrities are threatening to abandon America, our beloved politicians are boring the rest of us to death in nightly pie-throwing contests, and "foreign leaders" are pulling the bedcovers over their heads in terror. This must be another presidential campaign. Published March 7, 2016

Chris Wallace of Fox News. ** FILE **

How could everybody get it so wrong?

The list of "experts," "analysts," self-appointed "strategists" and other know-it-alls who were wrong about Donald Trump is a long one, and nobody is as ignorant of why the Donald has had such an appeal and such staying power as the pundit who is paid to know everything, and never does. Published March 3, 2016