Monthly Archives: May 2016


MAY 26 | Reprinted from

I need a day off from politics. This is a sad column tumbling headlong toward maudlin. It’s about a high school classmate of mine named Marty Packin. If you want politics today, scroll down to the Lad Link. Reed will fill that role solo today.

I graduated from high school in 1964. If you missed my 50th Reunion column you can read it HERE. I just read it again. It’s pretty good.

Marty was also a member of the West Orange Mountain High School class of ’64. He had grown up with most of the people we graduated with. Had been there through the grammar school, junior high, and high school years. Continue reading

A Party Divided

  |  Reprinted from

Originally published in The Hill

In 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt bolted the Republican Party in opposition to incumbent William Howard Taft and ran as a third-party candidate, it put Nicholas Longworth in a very tough position.

Like former House Speaker John Boehner, Longworth was a Republican Party stalwart and a member of Congress who hailed from Cincinnati. He was also married to Roosevelt’s daughter Alice, who aggressively supported her father’s insurgent campaign.

Longworth chose his party over his wife by backing Taft over his father-in-law. While that decision put a chill into his marriage, it didn’t hurt his career in the long run, although he did lose his House race during that brutal election campaign to a Progressive candidate supported by Alice Roosevelt. He would later win reelection in 1914, eventually become Speaker of the House and have his name put on the building that houses the Ways and Means Committee. Continue reading

Goodbye GOP, I Hardly Know Ye

MAY 9 | Reprinted from The Screaming Moderate (

I served on the staff of two Republican presidents, one Republican Cabinet member and four Republican National chairmen, as a Republican myself. Today, I quit the Republican Party and registered as an Independent (technically, “unenrolled” as they call it in Massachusetts).

Why? Donald Trump may think he’s attracting more to the Republican Party but he also is pushing many from the party. I also question how many of his crossover voters in the primaries are actually registering with the GOP – I’m guessing not many. He claims to be expanding the party. He’s not but there are millions of voters drawn to him. He is a candidate of convenience for them. A candidate with whom to place their anger and their hopes. Continue reading

Speaker Ryan Slaying Windmills or Dragons


It is mindboggling, isn’t it, this election year? It’s like an untethered hot air balloon caught up in a windstorm.

The atmosphere is a toxic mixture of ignorance and arrogance, fueled by anger, disillusionment, distrust, some big egos and a lot of cash.

Intelligent, civil, informative, unifying, discourse? Forgetaboutit.

Continue reading