Don't be intimidated by people who seem to be experts. Hear their points of view and get their judgements. But at the end of day, you've got to make a judgement because it's not their life that's going to be affected so much as your future.
Despite all the public hand-wringing about negative advertising, political veterans will tell you that it persists because, more often than not, it works. But tearing down the other guy has another attraction: It can be a substitute for building much of a case for what the mudslinger will do once in office.
Whatever the long-term legal prospects for same-sex marriage, President Obama's willingness to put the matter front and center in an election year can at least make him a candidate for inclusion in Kennedy's Profiles in Courage.
Clinton's egregious act of self-indulgence was outdone by an impeachment based not on constitutionally required high crimes and misdemeanors but on a vindictive determination to bring down a president who had offended self-righteous moralists eager to put a different political agenda in place.
The rise of the Tea Party, along with the emergence of Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Carl Paladino in New York and Ron Paul in Kentucky, is not the first time in American history that voters have responded to hard economic times by supporting angry, unorthodox Senate and gubernatorial candidates.
Few American presidents are held in higher esteem than Thomas Jefferson. Though historians have scrutinized every phase of his long public career and found him wanting in a number of respects, he holds an unshakable place in the pantheon of American heroes.
The CIA's official history of the Bay of Pigs operation is filled with dramatic and harrowing details that not only lay bare the strategic, logistical, and political problems that doomed the invasion, but also how the still-green President John F. Kennedy scrambled to keep the U.S. from entering into a full conflict with Cuba.
During Grover Cleveland's second term, in the 1890s, the White House deceived the public by dismissing allegations that surgeons had removed a cancerous growth from the President's mouth; a vulcanized-rubber prosthesis disguised the absence of much of Cleveland's upper left jaw and part of his palate.
Public scandals are America's favorite parlor sport. Learning about the flaws and misdeeds of the rich and famous seems to satisfy our egalitarian yearnings.
The so-called second New Deal of 1935 - including the Works Progress Administration, Social Security and the Wagner Act legalizing union labor - represented an effort to meet the rising voices demanding a more aggressive government approach to the collapse of national prosperity.
What I find so interesting is, Herbert Hoover in August 1928 said no country in the world was closer to abolishing poverty than the United States. And then, of course, we had the Great Depression.
Ronald Reagan in foreign affairs, I think, was someone who had certain, very general ideas, general propositions by which he lives: To combat communism, to build up the American military power to assure our national security against any conceivable threat.
William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia in April of 1841, after only one month in office, was the first Chief Executive to hide his physical frailties.
One doesn't simply write about Lyndon Johnson. You get the Johnson treatment from beyond the grave - arm around you, nose to nose. I should admit that he also reminds me of my father, quite an overbearing and narcissistic character. And in some ways, he reminds me of myself. Another workaholic.
Nixon did not anticipate the extent to which Kissinger, whom he barely knew when he appointed him national-security adviser in 1969, would be envious and high-strung - a maintenance project of the first order.
When President Obama first unveiled his gun control proposals recommending a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and better background checks, there seemed to be momentum behind the effort. But then the proposals ran into a wall.
For those of us who cry out for gun control, our fears cannot be eliminated as long as the country remains an armed camp in which the most troubled among us can find ways to appropriate one of the easily available weapons in all our communities.
The consequence of the Bay of Pigs failure wasn't an acceptance of Castro and his control of Cuba but, rather, a renewed determination to bring him down by stealth.
Late 19th-century populists saw bankers and industrialists manipulating markets to enrich themselves at the expense of small farmers and labourers and favoured political candidates promising economic relief through free and unlimited coinage of silver.
In 1800, in the first interparty contest, the Federalists warned that presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson, because of his sympathy expressed at the outset of the French Revolution, was 'the son of a half-breed Indian squaw' who would put opponents under the guillotine.