It's easy to overlook this stark fact: Of the 43 men who have served as president, only four served fewer days in office than John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
So, you ask, how could the wealthiest nation on earth, the linchpin of global financial stability, really be heading toward a default whose consequences range from the seriously harmful to catastrophic?
Obama's speech is less portentous than those of past presidents, and not just because of the specifics of the Syrian dilemma. It's the diminished power of a president to persuade.
If we really want to mark the meaning of the March on Washington of 50 years ago, we would do well to put aside the endless invocations of “the dream” and remember the harsher realities of race in 1963.
If you have reached three-score and ten, as I have just done, you’re permitted, perhaps expected, to mourn the passing of a better time, when tomatoes were tastier, the air sweeter. As Burt Lancaster in “Atlantic City” says to a young man struck by his first sight of the ocean, “You should have seen
When John Kennedy Jr., son of the former president, died with his wife and sister-in-law in a plane crash in 1999, I heard a well-known televangelist assured us that “this is all part of God’s plan.”