Mark Shields

Recent Stories

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.

MARK SHIELDS: Truly right from the start

On the central foreign policy and national security decisions our country has confronted over the past 31 years, nobody in public life — nobody — has been so thoughtful, so fearless or so right as Jim Webb.

MARK SHIELDS: Exceptionally good luck

After enduring lavish praise while receiving an award before a big Hollywood dinner crowd, Jack Benny expertly deflected all the fawning with these words: “I don’t deserve this honor, but then I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that, either.”

MARK SHIELDS: A poll apart

A long time ago, maybe in the first Eisenhower administration, my precinct committeewoman taught me the unchanging rules of how to respond to public opinion polls.

More stories