Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
In the Oct. 15 Austrian elections, the 31-year old head of the conservative Austrian People’s Party took his formerly languishing party to victory and secured the chancellorship for himself. Sebastian Kurz is on course to be the youngest leader in the developed world. His first big decision will be whether or not to form a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, which came in a virtual tie for second place with the center-left Social Democrats. Kurz said in post-election interviews that his government would be “pro-European” and intolerant of any anti-Semitism, with which the Freedom Party has been strongly associated – though now softened by its present leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, who has shifted from general xenophobia to a focus on opposing Muslim migration.
Among many of us in the generations that have done well out of the post-World War Two period, there’s now a feeling of guilt - as there should be.
In a flurry of confident pronouncements within an hour of the massacre at a Las Vegas country music festival, conservative commentators and activists linked the perpetrator, Stephen Paddock, to liberal or Islamist influences. Rush Limbaugh, still the doyen of right-wing talk radio, credited Islamic State with being Paddock’s ideological home, arguing that it was disguised by the liberal media because “for the American left, there is no such thing as militant Islamic terrorism.” Pat Robertson, the socially conservative activist and televangelist, said the shooting stemmed from the news media’s and liberal protesters’ “profound disrespect for our president” and other institutions.
The defeat of ultra-nationalist parties in the Netherlands and in France earlier this year gave European leaders the sense that fear of a far-right surge had, after all, been misplaced. As it turns out, it was the relief that was misplaced.
British politics are a terrible mess. But don’t blame populism, however that’s defined. If anything, blame democracy – however that’s organized.
Protestors against President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed liberalization of French labor laws were on the streets of the country’s cities on Tuesday. The marchers, chanting slogans and brandishing placards, halted traffic as they moved slowly through the streets. A fringe of anarchists broke windows; police responded by firing tear gas. But this was no rerun of the mass marches of past years, let alone the semi-revolutionary eruptions of 1968.
Germans choose a government on September 24, and that government is likely to be headed, for the twelfth year running, by Angela Merkel. The uncharismatic 63-year-old from East Germany may not have captured her fellow Germans’ hearts, but she has appealed so strongly to their rational selves that polls suggest they find no reason to replace her.
To paraphrase a former U.S. secretary of state, Britain has lost a community but not yet found a friend. That the island is adrift became ever clearer last week as British officials made little progress in their third round of talks over the best way to exit the European Union.
Emmanuel Macron, president of France with all the glory that commands, has had a wretchedly brief honeymoon. Elected in May with some 67 percent of the vote, he promised to respect and address the “anger, the anxiety and the doubts” which many had expressed, and pledged to “recreate the links between Europe and its peoples.”
Statues live. The Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville certainly does. The majority of Americans, including his fellow Republicans, disapprove of Donald Trump’s defense of Confederate monuments and his tardiness in condemning the white supremacists whose protests against a decision to remove the Lee statue led to the violence that killed a woman demonstrating against them.