Mark Shields

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MARK SHIELDS: The Clinton record unmasked

About the time the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn for Los Angeles, my savvy precinct captain drilled into all her workers this rule: A week is a lifetime in politics, and a month is an eternity.

MARK SHIELDS: Stop invoking Reagan: Start heeding him

It was not a pretty sight. Republican officeholders in Indiana and Arkansas, having been charged by not just their political opponents but also their strongest corporate allies (think Wal-Mart and NASCAR) with damaging the states’ images and the business climate by passing legislation to effectively give legal sanction to discrimination against citizens who are gay, publicly panicked.

MARK SHIELDS: Laughter, still pretty good medicine

“There are three things which are real,” said John F. Kennedy, “God, human folly and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third.”

MARK SHIELDS: Boehner's dangerous gamble

Bipartisanship, that widely admired virtue so sadly rare in our nation’s politics, has been — since 1948, when President Harry Truman, rejecting the counsel of his own Cabinet secretaries, recognized the newborn nation — the hallmark of Unites States support for the state of Israel.

MARK SHIELDS: National epidemic of self-esteem

A half-century ago, Russell Baker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, disclosed to his readers the existence of the mysterious kingmaker he called “The Great Mentioner,” who alone had the power to determine the handful of ambitious politicians who were ever lucky enough to get “mentioned” as potential presidential candidates.

MARK SHIELDS: You can delegate authority but not responsibility

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is that refreshing, if too rare, Washington type: a workhorse rather than a show horse. Kaine has been making a lot of his Capitol Hill colleagues uncomfortable by continuing to publicly point out during the six months U.S. troops have been at war against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria that by refusing to even debate the authorization of military force, they are guilty of an “unacceptable abdication” of their “most solemn responsibility” as members of Congress — to declare war.

MARK SHIELDS: The price of raising political money

Mark A. Hanna was a wealthy Cleveland businessman who shrewdly laid out the winning strategy and personally, out of pocket, paid all the costs required to secure the 1896 Republican presidential nomination for his fellow Ohioan William McKinley.

MARK SHIELDS: The lessons of Mr. Muskie of Maine

In 1976, Rep. Bill Cohen, who was a rising young Republican star, seriously considered running for the U.S. Senate against three-term incumbent Ed Muskie, who was the first Democrat in Maine history whom voters had ever elected to the Senate.

MARK SHIELDS: The end of an admirable era

After 42 years of steadfast service to his country, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ralph E. Rigby recently retired from the U.S. Army. More memorable than the official celebration ceremony, which rightly marked the end of this loyal American’s service, was the national policy that made his career possible. Ralph Rigby was almost certainly the last soldier on active duty who had been drafted into military service.

MARK SHIELDS: Recognizing heroes in our midst

The current Ebola scare in the U.S. is not 9/11. But once again, we need to recognize American heroes whom we see every day and whom we have too often taken for granted.

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