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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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Obama's Careful Dance Around Radical Islam

January 14, 2015 President Obama knows as well as anybody the power and peril of language. "Don't tell me words don't matter," he said in 2008—as critics called him a better orator than presidential candidate. Say what you want about his six years in office, Obama has proven himself to be as careful ...

This Is What Functioning Government Looks Like

January 6, 2015 When the first person diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil died in October, I suggestedthere was something scarier than the prospect of an outbreak. More alarming than a Texas hospital's misdiagnosis of Thomas Duncan. More threatening than a bureaucratic snafu at the state health department that delayed sanitization of Duncan's ...

How Micro-Targeting Helped GOP Mobilize Voters

November 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sitting at his laptop, Jon Black scrolled over "Arkansas" to see a burst of bar graphs, each representing a week's worth of data on an important slice of the electorate: Republican-leaning Arkansans who often don't vote. Black winced. A crooked blue line skirted just above the top of seven consecutive ...

The 2016 Presidential Conversations Taking Place Right Now

November 5, 2014 This story is co-authored by National Journal columnist Ron Fournier and ABC News special correspondent Matthew Dowd. Dowd has worked in Democratic and Republican campaigns for 30 years, including as chief campaign strategist for Bush-Cheney 2004. In hotel suites across America, the nation's most talented and ambitious politicians are huddling ...

Changing Who Runs the Senate Won't Fix Washington

November 4, 2014 Two months ago, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked President Obama why it mattered who controls the Senate. Obama stammered, "Well—I'll tell you what …"—and then struggled to answer. "First of all, there's a sharp difference between the Democratic agenda and the Republican agenda. And the American people need ...

The Scariest Thing About Ebola: Americans' Lack of Trust in Institutions

October 7, 2014 Doctors at a Texas hospital unwittingly release an Ebola-infected man. The hospital blames a flaw in the electronic health records system and then backtracks: The doctors blew it. The home shared by the Liberian man and four people is a nest of infectious materials, where cleanup was delayed by more ...

The Secret Service's Problems May Be Older and Harder to Fix Than You Thought

October 2, 2014 I argued in this column Wednesday that the resignation of Director Julia Pierson wouldn't fix the Secret Service. I urged Congress and the Obama administration to undo a post-9/11 reform that folded the agency into the new and ginormous Homeland Security Department. I barely scratched the surface. A few well-informed ...

No Joke, Here's How to Fix the Secret Service

October 1, 2014 The Secret Service is a joke. That's harsh, I know—and it's unfair to Secret Service agents who unflinchingly risk their lives for the president and for their country. But it's true, and it needs to be fixed. Here's how. First, fire Director Julia Pierson. Her agency covered up a 2011 ...

Waging War for Peace at the United Nations

September 24, 2014 One hundred years ago, a pacifist president reluctantly led the United States into World War I. Woodrow Wilson eventually won "the war to end all wars," but failed to achieve his greatest desire: a new world order. That would wait until after World War II. Faint echoes of Wilson sounded ...

How Soon We Forget the Veteran Who Attacked the White House

September 22, 2014 When a deranged man jumps a 9-foot fence and storms into the White House, the most obvious questions involve security—and so these were among Monday's headlines: "The Secret Service Considers Bigger White House Buffer" (The Washington Post) and "White House May Check Tourists Blocks Away" (The New York Times). Beware ...