Jack Shafer

Does anyone actually believe in a ‘second-term curse’?

By Jack Shafer
January 24, 2013

Just as farmers plant and reap with the seasons, political journalists consult the calendar for the best time to scatter seed and harvest, with second-term inaugurations being the preferred juncture to deploy temple-tapping discussions of the “second-term curse,” the notion that special doom awaits any modern president who wins the White House a second time.

Why we can’t stop watching the stupid presidential debates

By Jack Shafer
September 28, 2012

The 2012 Presidential (and Vice Presidential) Debates, a four-part miniseries, will debut on televisions and computer screens around the world on Oct. 3 and continue weekly through the month. The program will feature presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in three episodes, and their understudies, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, in one.

President Obama loses his sense of balance

By Jack Shafer
August 9, 2012

President Barack Obama, like many of us, dislikes much of what he drinks from the news spigot. As the New York Times reported this week:

Another president is reorganizing government. Again.

By Jack Shafer
January 17, 2012

Newly elected presidents call for the reorganization of the federal government with such regularity that a federal Department of Reorganization should be established to assist them in their attempts to downsize the bureaucracy, eliminate redundant agencies, reduce red tape, cut costs, and tame the out-of-control agencies created and fed by the presidents elected before them. If you’re earnest enough to think that those moves will actually reduce the size or cost of federal government, I’ve got a monument I’d like to sell you.