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Wesley Pruden

Wesley Pruden

Wesley Pruden would have wanted to spend his final hours at his keyboard, deftly deflating the pompous, entitled and arrogant of the political establishment, and he came awfully close. The venerable Washington Times editor, columnist and journalism institution was found dead July 17, 2019, at his home, after putting in a full day at the newsroom on New York Avenue in Northeast D.C., where he had worked since 1982, four months after the newspaper's founding. He was 83.

His remarkable career began 67 years ago as a teenage copy boy in Arkansas, making him among the few old-school newsmen whose sharp political acumen, elegant writing style, and keen sense of the absurd allowed him to remain as relevant in the digital age as he was in the days when the rumpled shirts of reporters were splattered with ink.

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Articles by Wesley Pruden

PRUDEN: Marching toward a dark river

Since the Obama phenomenon has no precedent in American politics, we must look to folk tales to understand it. Published October 31, 2008

PRUDEN: A game-changer by Obama

If your toilet is stopped up by something really big and smells really bad, you'll probably need a plumber. Joe the Plumber, as it turns out, diagnosed the trouble, and yesterday we learned what it was. It smells really bad. Published October 28, 2008

PRUDEN: Good old Joe lifts the curtain

The end of the campaign is finally in sight, and fear stalks the land once more. Hillary Clinton has been in Minnesota, campaigning for Al Franken and averting her eyes when he brings out his pornography collection, and sounding the alarm that the vast right-wing media conspiracy is back at work. Evil never takes a holiday. Published October 24, 2008

PRUDEN: A long patrol with new pals

Barack Obama is talking landslide, but the polls are getting tighter. Not by much, but a little. Despite the big talk, the issue is still in doubt. The kindling is available to light a fire to burn down the messiah's barn, if John McCain can find the match. Published October 21, 2008

PRUDEN: A few days late, a dollar short

Too little, and maybe too late. John McCain had his best night in the third and, thankfully, the final presidential debate. He pressed Barack Obama, but not hard enough. This was what he should have done at Ole Miss, giving him abundant follow-up time. Published October 17, 2008

PRUDEN: Obama’s acolytes turn it ugly

The race issue has been well and truly joined, and John McCain didn't do it. Barack Obama left it to his surrogates in Congress and his cheerleaders in the mainstream media to stir the ugliest pot in politics. Published October 14, 2008

PRUDEN: Smells from the shadows

Something odd is going on. The Obama campaign boasts of a landslide in the making even as his polling lead slips a point or two, and there's anger bordering on rage when John McCain and Sarah Palin raise questions about Barack Obama's judgment in his unexplored past in Chicago. Published October 10, 2008

PRUDEN: The kitchen sinks are ready

It's October and time to start throwing the kitchen sink. Throwing the kitchen sink is fun because it makes a lot of noise when it shatters against an opponent's head, particularly when the sink is full of dirty dishes. Published October 7, 2008

PRUDEN: Time to bail, saving the villains

Bankers, like politicians and lawyers, are immune from the kinder, gentler impulses that quicken conscience in the rest of us. But sometimes a banker, even on Wall Street, can be thought of too harshly. (Lawyers, not so much. Politicians, never.) Published October 3, 2008

PRUDEN: A job for the right woman

If there's still room under the bus where Barack Obama throws his discards - his white granny, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, William Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn and even Hillary Clinton - that's the right place for Nancy Pelosi. Published September 30, 2008

PRUDEN: Bonnie and Clyde, banking pioneers

Now we see what Bonnie and Clyde could have made of themselves if only they had gone to Harvard Business School. Machine guns and fast getaway cars are not nearly as efficient as computers, lawyers and imaginative accounting. Published September 23, 2008

PRUDEN: No more Wall Street encores

Once upon a time, Wall Street bankers caught in the traps of their own avarice would be searching by now for the taller skyscrapers in town, looking for good places to jump. Published September 16, 2008

PRUDEN: A bad week for a running mate

The rap on Joe Biden is that he's bright, well-meaning and amiable, and when he opens his mouth you never know what's likely to fly out. But sometimes he comes up with interesting ideas. Published September 12, 2008

PRUDEN: The media’s gift to McCain/Palin

Ranting at the press is great fun, but usually an exercise for losers, like invoking the spirit of Harry S. Truman on the eve of an election the polls say you're about to lose. Published September 9, 2008

PRUDEN: A live dream for Hillary’s women

Hillary's feminists have something new to root for this morning, a compelling reason to clap for Barack Obama with only one dainty hand. The success of John McCain and Sarah Palin in November would likely set up their dream match for 2012. Published September 5, 2008

PRUDEN: No caving for the moose killer

This is where you expect Republicans to cave, to start crawfishing, to surrender convictions in the wan hope that their adversaries will ease up and maybe even say something nice. There's a familiar mantra: "Vote Republican. We're not as bad as you think." Published September 4, 2008

PRUDEN: Fear in a handful of dirt

The little lady from the wild has dispatched rafts of butterflies - the big monarchs - to unsettle the tummies of Democrats. Throwing a handful of dirt at a girl and her mama didn't work the way everybody thought it would. Published September 3, 2008

PRUDEN: The humiliation of a young girl

How mean, how low can a partisan stoop? Mean enough to humiliate a 17-year-old girl at the time she needs sympathy and understanding. Low enough to bruise the broken heart of a girl's mother and to mock a father's affection. Published September 2, 2008