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Michael Barone

Articles by Michael Barone

BARONE: God grant Tony an agreeable menagerie

When I think of Tony Blankley, whom we have lost way too soon, I don't think first of his incisive and concise political commentary - he always managed to make his points on McLaughlin Group more economically and succinctly than I did - but of his love for animals and his family and his wry humor and wit. Published January 12, 2012

BARONE: Presidential focus slips

We've been hearing a lot of criticism of Barack Obama in recent days from pro-Obama corners - from celebrity investor Warren Buffett, from moderate conservative columnist David Brooks, from one of the Democratic Party's deepest thinkers, William Galston - all along the same lines. Published March 21, 2009

BARONE: Crushing those animal spirits

”Animal spirits,” said John Maynard Keynes, are the essential spring of capitalism. We depend on the animal spirits of investors, high earners and entrepreneurs for a growing economy. Published March 9, 2009

BARONE: Turning a blind eye to human rights

On the last day of her trip to East Asia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke briefly of the place of human rights in American policy toward China. "Our pressing on those issues" - issues she didn't identify any more fully - "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis." Published March 2, 2009

BARONE: Count on the Constitution

All of America was watching Barack Obama on Jan. 20 as he promised to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." But few thought that, within a month, controversy would arise over the Constitution's census clause. Published February 24, 2009

BARONE: Real lesson of the great depression

"Not since the Great Depression." "Not since the 1930s." You hear those phrases a lot these days, and with some reason. Now that Congress has passed the Democratic stimulus package, it may be worthwhile to look back at Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and consider how well it worked as policy - and politically. Published February 17, 2009

BARONE: Presidential patterns

Last Tuesday, for the 22nd time in 220 years, Americans saw the peaceful post-election transfer of power from one political party to another. In our great outdoor national ceremony, scheduled for some reason on a day that is as likely as any other to be the coldest of the year, Barack Obama took the oath as our 44th president and spoke to the nation for 19 minutes in a speech that was far more somber than the mood of the crowd of 2 million on the Mall. Published January 27, 2009

BARONE: A migrational change?

Evidence keeps accumulating that the tide of immigration is ebbing. Tough enforcement laws passed by states like Arizona and Oklahoma and localities like Prince William County, Va., have reportedly spurred Latino immigrants to move elsewhere. Tougher enforcement of federal immigration laws may be having the same effect. Published January 21, 2009

BARONE: Can Senate bar appointee?

Under the 1969 Supreme Court case of Powell v. McCormack, the Senate has no right at all to do that. Published January 5, 2009

BARONE: Keeping his distance?

Barack Obama and his family are vacationing in his native Hawaii, far from the wintry snows of Chicago - and far from almost every other American politician. There's a metaphor here for how I think he will conduct himself as president - He will try to keep his distance from other politicians, including his fellow Democrats. I see Mr. Obama trying to remain aloof from his party, much as Dwight Eisenhower did five decades ago. Like Eisenhower, I think he has drawn the conclusion that his party needs him more than he needs his party. Published December 30, 2008

BARONE: Managing risk in an unstable world

How can we reduce risk for individuals? That's a natural question when a financial crisis has vaporized trillions of dollars of personal wealth in residential real estate and financial instruments. The problem is, when you try to reduce risk for individuals too much, you end up making things much riskier. Published December 1, 2008

BARONE: Limits of political success and failure

We Americans are blessed with a history that teaches things work out right. Our first president set the precedent of relinquishing power he could have had for life and returning to his farm. Published November 24, 2008

BARONE: Big Three are relics of the past

Barack Obama has noted, carefully and correctly, that we have only one president at a time. Yet on at least one issue he has taken the lead and nudged the man who will soon be his predecessor in a direction that man might not have taken without prompting. Published November 17, 2008

BARONE: New, New Deal no better than old

With victory in sight, Barack Obama's supporters are predicting that he will give us a new New Deal. To see what that might mean, let's look back on the original New Deal. Published October 31, 2008

BARONE: Obama wish list reality check

What will an Obama administration and a Congress with increased Democratic majorities do? That's a relevant question, given the Democrats' leads in the polls. And it's a little hard to answer, given the financial crisis that has been raging and the recession that seems to be ahead. Published October 27, 2008

BARONE: Wrench in the works?

Can Joe Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber from Ohio, change the course of this campaign? That's one question raised at the third presidential debate. Published October 20, 2008

BARONE: The coming liberal thugocracy

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors," Barack Obama told a crowd in Elko, Nev. "I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." Actually, Obama supporters are doing a lot more than getting into people's faces. They seem determined to shut people up. Published October 13, 2008

BARONE: Year of campaign chaos

Politics ordinarily has a certain predictability. Yet presidential politics this year has often seemed to resemble what science writer James Gleick described in his book "Chaos." Published October 6, 2008

BARONE: At an inflection point?

You can sum up much of 20th century history by saying that in the 1930s Americans decided markets didn't work and government did, and that in the 1970s Americans decided government didn't work and markets did. Published September 29, 2008