In Memoriam: John McLaughlin

Sunday, August 21, 2016
One of the many iterations of the McLaughlin Group cast, as depicted in this Al Hirschfeld lithograph. Occupying the center is John McLaughlin with (clockwise) Eleanor Clift, Morton Kondracke, Fred Barnes, Jack Germond, and Clarence Page in his periphery (image courtesy of Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd., New York).

I wasn't completely surprised when I heard about the passing of political commentator John McLaughlin back on August 16th. News of his failing health, to include him missing the episode that was taped just four days prior--his first absence in the 34-year run of The McLaughlin Group television show, had come through my many social media feeds and helped softened the blow of hearing that he had succumbed to prostate cancer at the age of 89. I have not been a loyal viewer of late but a recent "peek-in" showed him looking rather gaunt and purposely placed in his host chair to perhaps provide as much comfort to him as possible. His voice sounded weaker but his mind--via the topics he personally chose--appeared to remain faithful to him right up to the very end. This recent imagery, however, does not do justice to the grandiose giant who changed how American political discourse was presented to the masses via the medium of television.

A/V: Clinton/Kaine Coach Cavalcade Concludes in Columbus

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Democratic running mates Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine wave to supporters at the end of their bus tour rally at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus, Ohio on July 31.

On July 31, Ohio's capital city played host to the conclusion of the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine post-convention three-day bus tour swing through the nation's Rust Belt. Starting in the Philadelphia suburbs on July 29th, the nominees made several stops in central and western Pennsylvania before crossing over into the "Buckeye State" late on the evening of the 30th for a rally in Youngstown. After an impromptu stop at a Cleveland-area church and another at Ashland's Grandpa's Cheesebarn for a quick food break, their two buses rolled into the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center to an estimated crowd of over 5,000 enthusiastic spectators who waited nearly two hours beyond the scheduled start time.