September 23, 1978
"Happy the country," Bertolt Brecht wrote, "which requires no heroes." But our country is unhappy, and it is looking for a hero. That's what the polls tell us, and have told us for more than a decade now—in fact, ever since Ted Kennedy's older brother was cut down at the threshold of victory in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. Not a martyr's death exactly, Robert Kennedy's, but that of a victim of the bitter mood he simultaneously exploited and tried to bend to hope. Will Teddy pick up the fallen banner? The question is being posed again for the fourth consecutive presidential campaign.
Kennedy the President
September 23, 1978
Edward Kennedy favors national health insurance, everybody knows. He also favors detente with Soviet Union, a break-up of the big oil companies, immediate normalization of relations with Communist-China, the Equal Rights Amendment and Medicaid-financed abortions. He doesn't think Russian mucking about in Africa should affect our willingness to negotiate arms limitation treaties. He co-sponsored the Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill. He publicly criticizes human rights violations in Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Nicaragua, but prefers the "quiet approach" to the Soviet Union.
The Man Behind the Cardigan
May 20, 1978
Note: in the late spring of 1960, the Spanish Poet J. E. Cirlot sent an open letter to the editor of the Paris Review. “The error of symbolist artists and writers,” he wrote “has always een precisely this: that they sought to turn the entire sphere of reality into a vehicle for impalpable correspondences.” Since that time a wide variety of essayists and symbolist journeymen have, through word and deed, taken Cirlot’s indelicate observation to heart, but none has more thoroughly engaged popular attention than Duane P. Delacourt, current secretary of symbolism.
The Moral Equivalent to Football
July 23, 1977
Wilcomb E. Washburn: Why football reflects the true nature of the American character.
Washington's Segregated Schools
July 09, 1977
Walking along a tree-shaded avenue "west of the park" in Washington, DC, you would not guess that three-quarters of the people in the city are black. In the narrow slice of real estate above the Potomac River and west of Rock Creek, you can find the city's best houses, many of the best restaurants and virtually all of the good schools. Most neighborhoods are reasonably well off, and some are glaringly white. Yet the city's public schools, even in this far northwest section, are quite different.
What Your Country Can Do For You
July 09, 1977
When staring out the window of our offices here on Nineteenth Street in the nation's capital, we have the privilege of overlooking the entrance to the Washington Palm restaurant. Of the apparently endless number of expensive restaurants that have opened around Washington over the past few years, the Palm is especially notable for its delicatessen decor, mediocre food and absurd prices.
Press Against Politics
November 12, 1976
From The Editors: This week, our historical piece is “Press Against Politics,” Henry Fairlie’s 1976 call to arms for more passion and more conviction from the listless class of political journalists covering the Carter-Ford election. (He was clearly upset: “The fact is that James Reston writes now like a sports columnist on the slope of Olympus.
Ford At The Wire
November 06, 1976
Philadelphia--Six days before the end of this miserable presidential election campaign, Gerald Ford was half through a road trip that had turned out to be fundamentally phony. In glimpses caught on television screens at stops along the Ford route, Jimmy Carter appeared to be cautious to the point of fright and to be justifying the skepticism about him that reporters traveling with him reflected in published accounts and in conversations. A choice between this unimpressive pair being obligatory, I choose Carter.
What the Voters Want
October 23, 1976
If you adhere to the conventional wisdom of the press—that all presidential campaigns are decided by issues or personality—you will have a devil of a time understanding the voter's frame of mind in 1976. If the campaign were reduced strictly to a question of issues, one should be able to predict a solid victory for Carter. To the extent that any issue has dominated public concerns, it has been the economy.