Favorite Books of Recent Presidents, Including Trump

A president's reading list does reveal something about his leadership style, and way of thinking about the world. Donald Trump's list of favorite books makes his mind seem almost as shallow as his public persona. Aside from the books by him or about him, hack jobs against Obama or the Clintons, schemes on "how to... Continue Reading →


No Historical Parallel to Trump’s Disastrous Start

I cannot remember any historical parallel where a new president faced such legal challenges so early. Even the besieged Jimmy Carter had an eight-month honeymoon of popularity before the Bert Lance "scandal" erupted and valued aide Lance was forced to resign. He was eventually cleared of wrongdoing, but not until 1980. A special counsel was... Continue Reading →

Presidents Can’t Seem to Change Government Bureaucracies

“National Security and Double Government,” a book by Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon, suggests presidents can't change certain policies, particularly involving national security, no matter how hard they try. In the 2008 campaign, Obama promised to end the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping, close Guantanamo Bay and scrap or reform the Patriot Act. Yet he could... Continue Reading →

Political Life Isn’t Natural

"The political mind is the product of men in public life who have been twice spoiled. They have been spoiled with praise and they have been spoiled with abuse. With them, nothing is natural, everything is artificial." -- Calvin Coolidge wrote, after his presidency. (Tip of the hat to New York Times columnist David Brooks for... Continue Reading →

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