Back to profile

Mark Shields

Stories by Mark

MARK SHIELDS: When political loyalty mattered

After having worked in or reported on the last 12 U.S. presidential elections, I am convinced that successful politicians who regularly run for and win public office possess an extra olfactory nerve that enables them to sniff changing political winds, often long before the rest of us have even noticed the leaves stirring.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: It's OK to smile -- even in Washington

Washington and American political life are suffering from an acute humor deficit.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: William Faulkner and the Republican future

If history is a semi-reliable guide, then 2014 ought to be a pretty good year for Republicans.

Tease photo

SHIELDS: Obama vs. the Caymen Islands

Barack Obama has never minced words about the Cayman Islands.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Washington snobbery distracts from the real issues

Edward Snowden has been relentlessly attacked by Washington pundits and politicians for one, unforgivable offense: He did not graduate from high school.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Beware the leader without friends who can tell him unpleasant truths

Mo Udall was never able to convince himself -- unlike basically every other presidential candidate can -- that the very survival of the Western World depended upon his winning the White House.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Obama's second term pitfalls

The president who benefits from personally giving the green light to Navy SEAL Team 6 will also be held accountable for the wrongful acts of his appointees.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Advice on graduation day

The graduation speaker's duty is to provide some rules or advice for the graduates.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: A story too good to check out

Some stories are just too good to check out.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: The language of American politics and Internet tax evasion

To listen to the language of American political campaigns, you could reasonably conclude that "big" is bad and "small" is good.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: One man who gave politics a good name

Happy Chandler left the U.S. Senate in 1945, when the owners of the then-16 Major League teams elected him to be commissioner of baseball.

Tease photo

SHIELDS: The gun lobby and state's rights

Florida wants to license individuals to be able to legally carry concealed firearms in public places.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Honeymoon for a pope

Pope Francis, less than a month in office, is enjoying what could be called a real political honeymoon.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: A war with no victors

The United States 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq was indeed a war with no victors.

Tease photo

Mark Sheilds: Am I being grumpy?

Let me stipulate at the outset: I do not qualify for any youth movement.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Can this marriage be saved?

The Great Public Squabble of 2013 may not be helping the nation. But it is manifestly hurting the Republican Party.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: A maligned generation

This past Monday night, along with 680 other lucky people in Washington’s historic Ford’s Theatre, I was able to enjoy the wit and wisdom of America’s dominant political satirist, Mark Russell.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: President not a fan of Washington

President Obama spends a lot of time knocking his adopted hometown of Washington.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: The GOP's lost youth

Who the president is when we first come of voting age strongly influences our future voting allegiances.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Strangers to self-importance

Memorable leaders don't take themselves too seriously.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Yes, I'm a 'college' dropout

The Founding Fathers were not, it turns out, infallible. The Electoral College is absolutely anti-democratic.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Campaign 2012 deficits -- humility and humor

After watching the first two 2012 presidential debates, I only wish that President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could have personally observed New York City's 1969 election.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Traffic jam on the low road

To the elected public executive running for re-election -- whether mayor, governor or president -- there remain just two alternative campaign strategies to victory: the High Road or the Low Road.

Tease photo

Mark Shields: Republicans must 'Cowboy Up" on saving U.S. auto industry

It is time for Republicans to take responsibility by publicly acknowledging the reality of success.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: He could have been a contender ...

Former Boston Mayor Kevin White had presidential possibilities.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: The refreshing candor of Fritz Hollings

One of the real pluses of the South Carolina primary was the chance to tap into the fresh wisdom of an authentic American giant, the 90-years-young Fritz Hollings.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: Santorum should focus on working class

Rick Santorum should focus on his working-class roots.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: Down to blood relatives and paid staff

The continuing loss of confidence in our governmental and political institutions saps the already depleted national confidence and sours even more the nation's foul mood.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: Newt rewrites his Reagan connection

Candidate Gingrich's recollections of President Reagan differ from reality.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: GOP should steer clear of Gingrich nomination

A Gingrinch nomination will mean a campaign focused on the wrong issues.

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: GOP should steer clear of Gingrich nomination

“No man is good enough to be president,” wisely observed Abraham Lincoln, one of the nation’s greatest, “but someone has to be.”

SHIELDS: Thanksgiving -- The Holiday You Have to Love

Thanksgiving remains the most American of all our holidays. Thanksgiving belongs to everyone. It is truly an ecumenical day without sectarian divide. To fully celebrate Thanksgiving, you do not have to belong to any particular religious group or tradition, or for that matter, to belong to any religious group or tradition.No costumes or expensive purchases required. No loud music or forced late-night gaiety or painful next-morning hangover. Happy Thanksgiving.

SHIELDS: Thanksgiving -- The Holiday You Have to Love

Here are just a few things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Tease photo

Shields: Resorting to rehetorical grave-robbery

When it comes to the practice of rhetorical grave-robbery, President Barack Obama is a repentant recidivist.

Shields: Resorting to rehetorical grave-robbery

For more than half a century, American liberals, resistant to swelling defense budgets, have regularly quoted Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning delivered on Jan. 17, 1961 — just three days before he was to leave the White House — in his farewell address to the nation: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

SHIELDS: In Cincinnati, an incumbent president in trouble

The bad news for Obama is that the voters don't know just who he is.

SHIELDS: In Cincinnati, an incumbent president in trouble

In Ohio, which has voted for the winning White House nominee in the last 12 consecutive presidential elections, there has been no major county that has been more reliably Republican than Hamilton, with its county seat of Cincinnati.

SHIELDS: Cain offers invigorating, welcome optimism

If Herman Cain wins the GOP nomination, the country will see a historic election.

SHIELDS: Cain offers invigorating, welcome optimism

There is a glib, widely circulated explanation offered for the remarkable rise of outsider Herman Cain in barely five weeks from fifth place to first — from being the choice of just 5 percent of Republican voters to being the favorite of 27 percent in the Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll. That explanation goes like this: Herman Cain is just the latest winner of the Republican’s latest ABM — Anybody But Mitt (Romney) — competition. The former Massachusetts governor, who in spite of a series of polished, professional debate performances, seems to be stuck around 23 percent in the same poll, which suggests that Romney’s popularity could have a “low ceiling.”

Tease photo

MARK SHIELDS: Republicans just want to fall in love

Republicans should stop looking for a political love affair.

Tease photo

SHIELDS: 'Do not leave this prophet without honor.'

Robert D. Novak, a great and controversial political reporter, judged Eugene McCarthy's nomination of Adlai Stevenson at the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles to be "the greatest national convention speech I ever heard."

SHIELDS: Will Rick Perry be the Michael Dukakis of 2012?

Fans of both men will be upset, but the political similarities between the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, and 2012 Republican presidential front-runner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, are more than striking.

Tease photo

SHIELDS: No regrets for Huckabee

While walking the halls of the James H. Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University campus where the recent Republican straw poll was being held, I ran into one of my favorite Republican presidential candidates (now turned successful television host), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Not surprisingly, he had some fascinating insights on the 2012 GOP race.

SHIELDS: You can choose your friends, but not your relatives

While it might sound like a Hollywood screenplay, what follows really did happen. It was a bare-knuckles political fight for the Democratic nomination for the U. S. Senate featuring two heavyweight contenders.

SHIELDS: The question is, 'Who exactly is Mitt Romney?'

Mitt Romney, the once and almost certainly future Republican presidential candidate, has great teeth and hair and near-perfect features. He hasn't gained five pounds in the last 40 years, and I bet, as an adolescent, he never had pimples. To this day, his suits and shirts miraculously never seem to wrinkle.

SHIELDS: The Sarge Shriver I knew

Losing political campaigns do not build character, but they do reveal character. When your campaign has the strong scent of loser about it, you do get to hear the most creative excuses why local officeholders have an unavoidable conflict that prevents them from sharing any public platform with you when you are campaigning in their hometown.

SHIELDS: Why do firearms escape the scope of state licenses?

It probably had something to do with the countless hours involuntarily spent assembling, disassembling and cleaning my M-1 rifle, and in seeing up-close the damage semi-automatic weapons can inflict, but I have never thought of guns as anything other than brutally efficient tools for crippling and killing human beings.

Mark Shields - 10/30/09 Politics: A Matter of Addition, Not Subtraction

Some of my more disapproving colleagues in the press corps regularly remind the rest of us that there is only one way to look at any politician: down!

Mark Shields - 10/23/2009 Outrage at Socialism for the Rich

The anger rises. The fury rages at a new economic order that rules our lives. American capitalism has now been redefined to mean the freedom of the rich to reap enormous rewards if the risks they take do work out and - more importantly - if those risks do not work out, for everybody else to bail out the rich. In the American financial world, we have an economic hybrid: free enterprise for the working majority and socialism for the privileged rich.

Mark Shields - 10/16/09 Confessions of a Recovering Red Sox Fanatic

It was a great run while it lasted. To be a Boston Red Sox fan meant your team - especially when matched against the too rich, too arrogant and altogether too successful New York Yankees - was predictably cast as the gutsy outsider David against baseball's overbearing Goliath.

Prev