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Ron Fournier

Ron Fournier Ron Fournier is the Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director of National Journal. Prior to joining NJ, he worked at the Associated Press for 20 years, most recently as Washington Bureau Chief. A Detroit native, Fournier began his career in Arkansas, first with the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record and then with the Arkansas Democrat and the AP, where he covered the state legislature and Gov. Bill Clinton.
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The Risks and Rewards of Obama's 'No Ground Troops' Pledge

September 8, 2014 It's rare to hear a U.S. president take military action off the table, as Barack Obama did Sunday. "This is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops," he told Chuck Todd of Meet the Press. Those are assuring words for Americans worn weary by post-911 wars in ...

The Summer of Obama's Caution and America's Discontent

September 2, 2014 Wow. That was some summer. The Islamic State that President Obama dismissed as "JV" proved to be a virulent varsity—gobbling up gobs of the Middle East, beheading an American journalist, and threatening the United States. Russia invaded Ukraine. Ferguson burned. Obama shrugged. "The truth of the matter is that the ...

The Next President Could Find Unity Fleeting

August 11, 2014 Thirteen years ago this month, President George W. Bush was vacationing at his Texas ranch when his daily briefing included a memo titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S." Al-Qaida struck a month later, and the nation was at war. No memos are needed today. ISIS is communicating ...

Why Obama Should Roll Heads at the CIA

August 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Heads should role at the CIA, but not for the obvious reasons. Let's review the cacophony of issues raised by the brutal post-911 interrogation program, including the CIA's lies, cover-ups, and a Constitution-bending spying operation against Senate staffers. 1. An exhaustive Senate Intelligence Committee investigation has determined beyond reasonable doubt ...

Why Benjamin Netanyahu Should Be Very, Very Worried

July 28, 2014 Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday asked Benjamin Netanyahu whether he was worried about "a third intifada." The Israeli prime minister replied that Hamas "wants to pile up" Gazan casualties in hope of instigating an uprising. In other words, he ducked the heart of the question. Netanyahu should be worried. ...

Is the White House Lying or Just Bad at Crisis Communications?

July 21, 2014 President Obama's decision to stick with his schedule of fundraisers and photo opportunities amid twin foreign policy crises elicited one of the strangest statements you'll ever see from a White House. "It is rarely a good idea to return to the White House just for show, when the situation can ...

Did the IRS Really Lose Lois Lerner's Emails? Let a Special Prosecutor Find Them.

June 16, 2014 A sloppy mistake, the government calls it, but you couldn't blame a person for suspecting a cover-up—the loss of an untold number of emails to and from the central figure in the IRS tea-party controversy. And because the public's trust is a fragile gift that the White House has frittered ...

Geithner Book: When Obama Blew a Dog Whistle and a Budget Deal

May 12, 2014 In his forthcoming memoir, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner captures a moment at which President Obama faced a choice between forging ahead with a promise to seek GOP compromise on the nation's debt crisis or bow to pressure from his liberal base. Obama chose surrender. This from Stress Test: Reflections ...

Obama, Congress Flunk National-Service Test

April 21, 2014 With the audacity to overreach, President Obama commemorated the fifth anniversary of the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act on Monday by calling it "the boldest expansion of opportunities to serve our communities and our country since the creation of AmeriCorps." He's wrong. National-service advocates, including Democrats otherwise loyal ...

What's Driving Democrats to Defy Obama on Iran?

January 14, 2014 This paragraph from a New York Times story on proposed new sanctions for Iran sent a chill down my spine: Behind these positions is a potent mix of political calculations in a midterm election year. Pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, have lobbied Congress to ...