Walter Shapiro
Walter Shapiro
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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UN Ambassador Rice: Nations Want to 'Work with America Again'

May 8, 2009  •  Politics Daily

My question – lifted from Barack Obama's last prime time press conference – was a reporter's ploy to extend a Wednesday afternoon interview that had already run past its scheduled half hour. But United Nations ambassador Susan Rice, the Obama campaign veteran with the most high-profile foreign policy post in the new administration, mulled it carefully, reluctant to offer a flip answer.

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Live from New York - It's Michelle Obama

May 5, 2009  •  Politics Daily

The news, such as it was, revolved around Michelle Obama's excited admission Tuesday afternoon in the midst of her first visit to New York as first lady. "I never thought I'd be on Sesame Street with Elmo and Big Bird and I was thrilled," she gushed. "I'm still thrilled. I'm on a high. I think it's probably the best thing I've done so far at the White House."

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Not again: A New Foundation Revisited

May 5, 2009  •  Politics Daily

Long ago, in a different century and galaxy, I proudly served the nation as a (warning: anti-climax ahead) second-tier speechwriter in the Carter administration. My historic role was sufficiently minor that if I had written a thin memoir of my White House tenure, it would have been entitled, "I Was There Too. Really I Was." In fact, like many junior aides in government, the closest I came to shaping history was to be in the room -- third door on the left along the corridors of power -- when someone else made an epic decision.

Yes, I was Zelig and Forrest Gump rolled into one. For I was present at the creation when Carter speechwriter Rick Hertzberg (now a New Yorker writer) hit upon that amazingly resilient presidential phrase, "the New Foundation."

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This President is No Cable Guy

May 1, 2009  •  Politics Daily

Bill Clinton, whose operatic second term coincided with the creation of Fox News and the rise of stentorian TV talkers like Chris Matthews, was the nation's first true cable news president. George W. Bush was a uniter not a divider in one important way – his polarizing presidency united the conservatives in front of Fox while the beleaguered liberals clicked their way over to MSNBC.

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Arlen Specter's Zigzag Trajectory

April 28, 2009  •  Politics Daily

As a top staffer for the Warren Commission nearly a half century ago, Arlen Specter helped devise the "single bullet theory" to explain the bizarre trajectory of a shot that purportedly hit both President John Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally. But nothing other than sheer ambition and an amazing knack for political survival explains the bizarre trajectory of Specter's own career -- which took another dizzying turn today when the five-term Pennsylvania Republican senator announced Tuesday that he was (shazam!) becoming a Democrat.

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