Bob Livingston

The Retro Man
November 30, 2009

About 20 minutes into my sit-down with House Minority Leader John Boehner, I am overcome by the desire for a drink. Scotch, maybe. Or a bone-dry martini, extra olives. It’s not that the Ohio congressman is shaping up to be confrontational or unresponsive or in any way unpleasant.

Block Party
November 20, 2006

Now that they have taken the House (and probably the Senate), Democrats should start acting like Republicans. I don't mean theRepublicans of today; I mean the Republicans of the late 1990s. Inits behavior during Bill Clinton's final years in office, the GOP offers a template for how Democrats should approach the final yearsof George W. Bush's presidency. In Clinton's concluding years, the GOP played a brilliant game of good-cop-bad cop. In Congress, the Gingrich revolutionaries wagedan all-out effort to emasculate the Clinton presidency.

Broken Contract
January 11, 2005

In the summer of 1987, Newt Gingrich rode in my car while bragging that he would soon launch an "ethics offensive" that would lead to a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. At the time, Republicans were not even within sniffing distance of a House majority. And with the Iran-Contra scandal dominating the news, only a nut or a visionary--or a nutty visionary like Gingrich--would have predicted a GOP takeover.

Pro-Choice
May 29, 2000

All last week, moralizing pundits urged New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to drop out of the New York Senate race because his personal life had become extraordinarily embarrassing. I don't know whether he will take their advice; at press time, he said he was inclined to run. For the sake of the nation, he should. Giuliani has given us the first pristine example of adultery in the post-Gary Hart era, uncluttered by the usual ginned-up secondary charges of perjury, abuse of power, and hypocrisy.

The Permanent Insurrection
November 30, 1998

David Grann on Bob Livingston's unruly inheritance.