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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: Obama's Third World press rant

Throwing rotten eggs at "them lyin' newspapers" has always been great sport in America, and sometimes even effective politics. But it has to be done with wit and humor, which may be above Barack Obama's pay grade. Published October 23, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama wingnuts get a toke of respect

There was good news Monday for potheads, and even a little good news for states' rights, which once upon a time were thought to be important. Published October 20, 2009

PRUDEN: The peacenik gets a lesson

A soft answer can sometimes turn away wrath, but not always, and presidents have to be wary of showing timidity and weakness in the face of a bully. This is the expensive lesson the tinhorns of the world are teaching Barack Obama. So far he is not an honors student. Published October 16, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama's ignoble prize

Pity Barack Obama. The last thing he needs is another comparison to Jimmy Carter. Published October 13, 2009

PRUDEN: It's a cruel world for Obama

The cruel world is closing in on Barack Obama. Springfield was never like this. The president can only look back with yearning for the days when he was the star of the state legislature, where a legislator's only concern is who's going to pick up the tab for drinks and supper. Published October 9, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama dithers and dithers

Only a wreck on the highway is more exciting than watching a president argue with himself. Not even the gruesome sight of presidential gore can overcome the instinct to stare at the gloomy and ponder the morbid. Published October 6, 2009

PRUDEN: Obama takes a holiday

Maybe it's the little things in life that count at the White House. Bill Clinton spent part of his presidency worrying about school uniforms. Jimmy Carter fretted over who got to use the White House tennis courts. George W. Bush tried to get to bed before the chickens. ("It's only 9 o'clock, and we know where our president is.") Published October 2, 2009

PRUDEN: Reality bites Obama's 'West Wing'

The White House is a risky place for on-the-job training, as Barack Obama and the rest of us are learning. But the president doesn't deserve all the blame for the installation of a handsome but unprepared matinee idol in the toughest job in the world. The adoring cult, the 53 percent of the giddily oblivious electorate that took a flyer on Election Day, deserves most of it. Published September 29, 2009

PRUDEN: Adventure at the Children's Hour

Barack Obama's excellent New York adventure was all he hoped it would be. He got to make a speech, pave the streets of Manhattan with harmless platitudes, bask in the admiration of various Third World mediocrities and hear himself nominated to be president of the United States for life. "It was an excellent day," he said as night fell, as it always must. Published September 25, 2009

PRUDEN: Some U.N. members are envious, arrogant beggars

Manhattan will be a dangerous place this week for President Obama, where the terminally envious of the world are waiting at the United Nations with envy, arrogance and outstretched begging bowls. Published September 22, 2009

PRUDEN: Christmas arrives early for Putin

Barack Obama looked Thursday to the lesson of Hiroshima. Sometimes one bomb won't do it. Nagasaki had to follow to "reset" relations with Japan. Six decades later, the Apology Bomb the president dropped on Moscow during his visit last May didn't do it, either. He had to drop another one Thursday. Published September 18, 2009

PRUDEN: At the top of the televangelist's game

Barack Obama did what he does best. Billy Graham once said Bill Clinton could make a great evangelist, but Bubba's not a patch on this president. Mr. Obama early on mastered the cadence of the black church - dropping his voice on the last word of the sentence to make the listener pay attention - and he understands the power of language. He speaks great prose. He understands that a televangelist concentrates on sales, not substance. Published September 11, 2009

PRUDEN: A crucial week for Obama's teleprompter

This is a big week for the president's teleprompter. He's first taking it across the Potomac for a speech urging schoolchildren to wash their hands, study hard and stay in school. Published September 8, 2009

PRUDEN: Slip-siding toward nasty Sept.

First-term presidents, like congressmen on the run and baseball teams contending for the pennant, have to get serious after Labor Day. They're all running out of the margin where mistakes are not always fatal. Published September 4, 2009

PRUDEN: Force-feeding sauce to haughty ganders

What this country needs, in addition to the good five-cent cigar, is a simple amendment to the Constitution decreeing that every law enacted by Congress will apply to members of Congress in the way it applies to everyone else. Published September 1, 2009

PRUDEN: Celeb grief to save Obamacare?

Nobody does celebrity death like the Americans. The British are capable of spectacular one-shot descents into commercial grief; the ceremonial burial honors for Princess Di couldn't be duplicated anywhere. Where else is there a backdrop like Westminster Abbey? But only in America can a celebrity's death be a good career move. Published August 28, 2009

PRUDEN: More chickens home to the roost

This is no way to treat kinfolks, but cousins don't always count. Napoleon described England as a nation of shopkeepers, and shopkeepers are always on the scout for opportunities to pinch a penny. Published August 25, 2009

PRUDEN: A dread disease, no known cure

Somewhere betwixt swine and swindle, we've got a flu crisis. Well, maybe not a real crisis, or even a semi-convincing phony crisis, but the government is working on it. What we have, actually, is a crisis of hysteria promoted in certain government precincts. Published August 21, 2009

PRUDEN: Finding no buyers for snake oil

Master politician that he is, Barack Obama is a lousy calculator. He spectacularly misjudged the American public's appetite for a government nanny. Or maybe he miscalculated the power of his slippery tongue to sell government snake oil. Published August 18, 2009