A lot of people credit Al From and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) with making a significant contribution to saving the Democratic Party from virtual political extinction at the end of the 1980s — at least in competing for the presidency. From reminds us in his recently published memoir, The New Democrats and the Return to Power, that in the 1980, 1984 and 1988 presidential elections, “the Republican [presidential] candidate won ... 54.1% of the popular vote and nearly 90% of the Electoral College votes.”
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Lanny J. Davis counsels individuals, corporations and government contractors, and those under congressional scrutiny, on crisis management and legal issues by developing legal, media and legislative strategies that are designed to best produce a successful result for the client. He has experience in securities fraud and SEC investigations as well, and has found that utilizing such an integrated legal/media/lobbying approach can lead to quicker and less expensive settlements or even successfully litigated outcomes. Senior officials of public companies have also hired Lanny and his crisis group to defend themselves successfully against "short and distort" attacks and other market manipulations. For 25 years prior to 1996, before his tenure as special counsel to President Clinton, Lanny was a commercial, antitrust, government contracts and False Claims Act litigator (both in defense as well as plaintiff). He has argued numerous appellate cases in the U.S. courts of appeals.
In June 2005, President Bush appointed Lanny to serve on the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2005 Intelligence Reform Act. In that capacity, he received the highest level security clearances so that he could be fully briefed and "read in" to the various anti-terrorist surveillance and financial tracking programs at the highest classified level. From 1996 to 1998, Lanny served as special counsel to the president in the White House and was a spokesperson for the president and the White House on matters concerning campaign finance investigations and other legal issues. Lanny has participated in national, state and local politics for almost 30 years. He has served three terms (1980 to 1992) on the Democratic National Committee representing the state of Maryland, and during that period he served on the DNC Executive Committee and as chairman of the Eastern Region Caucus. In Montgomery County, Maryland, he served as chairman of the Washington Suburban Transit Commission.
Lanny has authored several books and lectured throughout the United States and Europe on various political issues. Between 1990 and 1996, Lanny was a bimonthly commentator on Maryland politics for WAMU-88.5/FM, a Washington, D.C. local affiliate of National Public Radio. He has been a regular television commentator and has been a political and legal analyst for MSNBC, CNN, Fox Cable, CNBC and network TV news programs. He has published numerous op-ed/analysis pieces in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, he Washington Post and other national publications.
Lanny graduated from Yale Law School, where he won the prestigious Thurman Arnold Moot Court prize and served on the Yale Law Journal. A graduate of Yale University, Lanny served as chairman of the Yale Daily News.
Lanny is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Connecticut and before the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Almost 20 years ago, in September 1995, America’s first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, took the podium at the fourth annual United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing.
The first argument used against the legislation was ideological. Conservative opponents called it socialistic because it allowed government to force individual Americans to take money from their own funds to pay for the benefits of other Americans who are less well off and can’t afford to pay themselves. This violates the principles of individual liberty and the free market to allocate wealth, conservatives argued. But liberals opted for collective responsibility enforced by the central federal government for the greater, common good.
As a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” I want the problems to be fixed and for the program to succeed. After all, we are the only Western democracy that does not provide some form of national health insurance or guaranteed access to healthcare to all citizens.
How many liberal pundits, bloggers and commentators have attacked first-term Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in personal terms of contempt and ridicule? Almost all.
Polls show that most Americans will blame House Republicans — not President Obama or congressional Democrats — if Speaker John Boehner and his Tea Party-driven caucus continue to insist that the president either defund Obamacare or shut down the federal government.
In my view, Barack Obama’s speech on Syria yesterday was the high point of his presidency. Ultimately it could cement his place in history the way President Kennedy’s courage and resolve during the Cuban missile crisis did for him.
Not everyone is as apparently obsessed with writing vitriol about the Clintons as Maureen Dowd, the Times' op ed columnist. For example, last Saturday, Ms. Dowd compared the Clintons to the self-destructive cartoon character, Wile E. Coyote. Her first example of "little explosions" for which she holds the Clintons responsible, and I am not making this up -- the tragic and painful experience of Huma Abedin, due to the conduct of her husband, NYC mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner, whom she loves and forgives. Go figure.
Some weeks ago I wrote a column about my love for the Washington Nationals baseball team. And I noted that despite major political polarization in Washington, there is one place where Republicans and Democrats forget their partisanship and join hands -- and that is at Nationals Park rooting for the Nats.
Some things that happen in Washington, D.C., have come to be expected, such as hyperpartisanship in the Congress along sharp "red" vs. "blue" lines.
Thomas Jefferson said at his first inauguration in March of 1801: “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”
“To officiate a union that is expressly not for the same godly purpose of procreation and to call such a relationship ‘sanctified’ is unacceptable to a sound mind," wrote N. Michael Nunn, a member of Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, in a letter to fellow Persian Jews and congregants opposing gay marriage ceremonies at the temple.
I have known and been a friend of Attorney General Eric Holder for many years. He is a progressive Democrat who believes in First Amendment values and especially vigorous freedom for investigative reporters to publish the facts. So I give the attorney general a heavy presumption of good faith and trying to make the best judgment at the time.
I have been told today by several reporters that President Obama's White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, knew for several days, perhaps weeks, about the IRS story, i.e., that some IRS officials engaged in political targeting of conservative groups; and that she did not tell the president as soon as she knew, even partial reports, about the story.
I recall very well the first time I was on the Michael Smerconish radio talk show on WPHT in Philadelphia. He was doing a nationally syndicated talk show carried by 70 stations across the U.S. He was also a well-read and respected columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
On April 25, on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas, Texas, four living presidents — Jimmy Carter, No. 39; George H.W. Bush, No. 41; Bill Clinton, No. 42, and Barack Obama, No. 44 — will honor one of their colleagues, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, at the dedication of his presidential library.
I have been writing this “Purple Nation” column for a long time, waiting for the “purple moment” when President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would agree on an important position on the budget and deficits. Little did I know that when it finally happened, I would be disappointed, to say the least.
There are many pro-Israel Americans, including members of the American Jewish community, who believe that the best strategy for bringing Israel and the Palestinians to the peace table is for President Obama to try to appear neutral or even lean toward the Palestinian/Arab world viewpoint, pushing Israel to the peace table and in the negotiating process.
As obvious as are the fundamental rules of effective crisis management, time-tested over the ages, it is amazing how often the same mistakes are made by politicians and companies in the midst of a crisis.
Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) deserves thanks. He managed to go so far over the top in showing poor taste in his shameful questioning of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) during this week’s Armed Services Committee hearing on Hagel’s nomination as Defense secretary that he managed to assure that Hagel will be confirmed, as he should be.