Hendrik Hertzberg

That’s Oil, Folks
April 24, 1989

One in 28,000 would be a pretty good failure rate for a condom manufacturer. It’d be a spectacular for a method to prevent prisoner recidivism. But in fields like nuclear deterrence and ecological disaster prevention, one little mistake can spoil the whole darn program. What is happening in Prince William Sound is a horrible catastrophe. The place looks even worse than Boston Harbor did in those Bush for President TV commercials. Tens of thousands of oil soaked birds and animals are dead or dying, but that’s only the beginning.

October 31, 1988

Despite his pee-pants performance in the Omaha debate against Lloyd Bentsen, it looks as if Dan Quayle, 41, will be president one of these days. Consider the politico-actuarial probabilities. Assuming the Republican lead endures, the junior senator from Indiana will be elected vice president. This alone will give him an even chance of becoming president. Three out of the last five presidents were vice president first. Seven out of the last ten vice presidents have ended up heading a national ticket, and four (five if you presumptively count George Bush) got all the way to the Oval Office.

First Returns
February 29, 1988

Hendrik Hertzberg comments on the 1988 campaign.

Sporting News
June 15, 1987

Summer's almost here, and the Celtics are in the playoffs. Thanks to my friend Barry Kaplovitz, who has season tickets, I'm in the front row at Boston Garden, maybe ten feet behind the backboard. Professional basketball is a beautiful game, full of flowing patterns and joyous jumping. Seeing it this close up one is electrified by the sheer physicality of it. The guards dart and dance; the tall centers loom like Easter Island statues. Kaplovitz is a political and marketing consultant who thinks the Gary Hart story was a press atrocity.

June 01, 1987

The Gary Hart scandal shows the press at its worst.

Big Boobs
July 14, 1986

Guess what, Miss Liberty. Ed Meese has a birthday present for you. On July 3, a few hours before President Reagan flies north to officiate at the centennial celebration of the world's biggest female statue, his attorney general, if all goes as planned, will release the final text of the report of his pornography commission. The resulting fireworks may rival the big show in the sky over New York Harbor.

The Mushy Center
April 23, 1984

A Different Kind of Presidency: A Proposal for Breaking the Political Deadlock by Theodore C. Sorensen (Harper & Row, 134 pp., $11.95) If Senator Gary Hart gets back on the track toward the Democratic Presidential nomination, and if the candidate decides to follow the carefully considered advice of his campaign co-chairman, Theodore Sorensen, here's what will happen.