From the Medicare prescription drug plan to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the passage of No Child Left Behind, President Bush presided over a major expansion of the reach of government.
In the end, Ted Kennedy was a politician, plain and simple. Yet he embodied how politics and public service can be successfully intertwined. You can't be a good public servant without being a good politician. Kennedy was both.
Forget the historic nature of his election having to do with skin color - Obama has an opportunity offered to few presidents: the chance to set the course of the nation for decades, if not generations, to come. Who knows: perhaps in the near future, our grandchildren will spend money with Obama's face on it.
One could argue the GOP made no progress on limiting government in their four years of total control from 2002 to 2006. If anything, government expanded like never before.
America has a love-hate relationship with celebrity. We love to follow celebrities, but we also love to mock them. And secretly, we believe we're better than they are.
Arlen Specter left the GOP because it is a lot easier to win in Pennsylvania as a Democrat than as a Republican. It is that simple. For folks on the Right to brush this off as some sort of 'good purge' is extremely naive.
One must remember that in the '70s, Democrats still grasping for Camelot were desperately pinning their hopes on Teddy while Republicans were doing everything they could politically to turn him into a punch line post-Chappaquiddick. And the idea of Ted Kennedy - rather than the actual man - dominated his political legacy through the early '90s.
The hardest thing to do in politics is campaign as someone you aren't. People can spot an imposter from a mile away.
Acceptance speeches can make or break presidential candidacies. It was Al Gore's 2000 acceptance speech that relaunched his candidacy and nearly saved him. John Kerry's speech and overall ineffective convention nearly sank him in 2004 (though he was almost saved by the debates).
Barack Obama's official nomination as the Democratic Party's standard-bearer was a very poignant moment for millions of Americans. As the first non-white major party nominee, Obama is carrying a big load on his shoulders. He's holding the hopes and dreams of a lot of folks who thought the presidency was only reserved for white men.
I played French horn, and I certainly do miss it. I miss it. I wish I had the time to keep up with it. It's like exercising: You have to keep it up, especially the muscles in your lips to deal with the French horn.
One of the more bizarre games I played as a kid was something called 'kill the man.' It was a cross between football and rugby, which found the person carrying the ball a target of some hungry tacklers. I still don't know why we enjoyed the game because it was impossible to win.
Some day, the public might actually revolt against the undemocratic system of seniority that allows Congress to keep the old ways of Washington ingrained into the culture of Congress.