Why Gore Should Concede

Al Gore should hang it up. And then he should hang his head in shame. In a great irony of which he may someday become aware, Gore proved at the end of his presidential campaign what he had spent most of that campaign trying to disprove. In words and deeds, in photo ops and tactical […]

The Case for Bush

A change is in order. In the past eight years the American people have built and fueled a miracle: the greatest economic engine in the history of the world. Income up, standard of living up, investment up. The deficit has become a surplus. We are fat and almost happy. Once Rabbit was rich; now Rabbit […]

Grace Under the Glare

We keep saying goodbye to big pieces of the century, and this last is just too sad and unjust. What would have become of that unfinished life? What would have come of that promise? Let me tell you what it was like to see him. I was in a restaurant last Thursday in Manhattan with […]

Why The Speech Will Live In Infamy

After seven long months, what we got was four minutes of petulance and prevarication. It felt less like a speech than a slap. The President’s speech was a disaster, a historic failure that will be ever noted and long remembered. It was, in fact, a reverse Checkers speech. The Checkers speech was a defiant and […]

Ronald Reagan

Clare Boothe Luce famously said that each President is remembered for a sentence: “He freed the slaves”; “He made the Louisiana Purchase.” You have to figure out your sentence, she used to tell John Kennedy, who would nod thoughtfully and then grouse when she left. Ronald Reagan knew, going in, the sentence he wanted, and […]

A Combatant In The World

Such joy. It was the spring of 1985, and President Reagan had just given Mother Teresa the Medal of Freedom in a Rose Garden ceremony. As she left, she walked down the corridor between the Oval Office and the West Wing drive, and there she was, turning my way. What a sight: a saint in […]

Dole’s Long Road

In a more or less conservative country, the more or less conservative candidate—Bob Dole—should have been a shoo-in for the presidency, especially against a feckless charmer whose Administration threw off scandal like spores. But until the end, Dole was barely competitive, and in the end he lost. There are three schools of thought on why. […]

The Captain Of His Soul

On the stump those last days, Bob Dole’s campaign was more local than national—the taped Sousa marches, the town bigwig at the mike vamping in front of an audience in elephant hats. Then Dole would come out from behind the stage, parting the polyester-blue curtain, and enact the body language of victory—thumb up, quick-flash smile, […]

Welcome to Hard Truths

Bob Dole’s acceptance speech was big—stern, daring, even at moments Churchillian—but it was marked most by a kind of interrupted eloquence. The speech betrayed the weight of a few too many hands. Even in its strongest, most poetic passages there seemed to be something missing. When Dole stirringly pointed to the exits in the convention […]

A Memo to Bob Dole

FROM THE DESK OF PEGGY NOONAN TO: BOB DOLE DATE: JUNE 10, 1996 This week you leave the Senate, with a goodbye speech on the floor that is sure to be moving. Whatever happens in November, you’ve closed a great chapter of your life. Now what? The standard thing to do is what all modern […]