Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

3 years
ago

Bill Clinton on Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, and Fixing the Economy

My last book was about Bill Clinton’s post-presidency. He was in exile back in 2001, almost broken by the Lewinsky scandal, with his outlandish pardon to billionaire Iran arms trader Marc Rich nearly finishing him off. Today, soaring in mass affection while his onetime nemesis Barack Obama (think 2008 primaries) sinks, Clinton is no longer anything close to an exile; he’s the toast of every town and country he visits. When news broke that he was coming to town for Chicago Ideas…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

The President and His Mother-in-Law: Once a Lovely Notion, Now Material for Opponents’ Jokes

In 2009, Michelle Obama asked her widowed mother to leave her beloved South Shore bungalow to move with them to Washington. Back then, the country, no matter political affiliation, was taken with this family, and there seemed to be a general feeling of good will and admiration for the Obamas as they established an extended family in the private White House quarters. These days, not so much…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

A Chat with Jean-Claude Brizard, the Personal and Professional

Jean-Claude Brizard, 48, a big man at six feet five—“I’m too fat,” he tells me—was standing outside his office at Clark, just north of Adams, waiting for me as I arrived last Thursday for a sit-down interview. His musical accent reveals his Haiti origins, although he has been in the U.S. since 1976, when he arrived in New York as a 12-year-old. He has been a…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

The Graying of Obama: A Scientific Explanation

The graying of Obama has become a theme of this presidency: to his supporters each patch of gray reflects another piece of the mess that George W. Bush left his successor to clean up; to his detractors the gray reflects the anxious condition of a man in way over his head. I sought the opinion of Dr. Charles Zugerman, associate professor of clinical dermatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University…

Carol Felsenthal

3 years
ago

Joe Walsh on Abortion, Name-Calling, and His Family Life

Skipping President Obama’s speech last night, Rep. Joe Walsh hosted a small-business forum at Schaumburg’s Prairie Center for the Arts. Yesterday, I posted part one of my Q&A with the 8th District congressman. Here, part two of our conversation, in which he talks about growing up in an Irish Catholic family, why he switched his stance on abortion, who his closest friends are in Congress, and …

Carol Felsenthal