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Dave Helfert
After nearly 40-years in journalism, governmental and political communication, Dave Helfert now teaches graduate courses in communication at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. He also teaches policy communication and writing at George Mason's School of Policy, Government and International Affairs in Arlington, VA.

Dave's career included nine years as a Congressional Communications Director and six years with the Clinton Administration. Before coming to Washington, he was an award-winning television news reporter, managing partner of a marketing-advertising agency and a political-governmental affairs consultant, writing and producing media in more than 160 Democratic political campaigns. He is currently writing a handbook on political communication.

Entries by Dave Helfert

Gingrich Revolution Still Revolving

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2016 | 5:35 PM

Among the leading contenders for Donald Trump's general election running mate is former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Ironically, an 'Outsider' Trump-Gingrich ticket would only be possible because of a political revolution led by Insider Gingrich.

Trump supporters have had their core in mostly-white Southern working class...

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Turns Out Trump was Just Kidding

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 2:49 PM

Have you heard? The Donald has admitted that this whole "President Thing" was a joke. He was never serious about running for the highest office in the land. He was just testing a concept for a new television show he wants to sell the networks: "Celebrity Republican Apprentice President."

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Thank You for Your Service

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 6:29 PM

I just had the privilege of participating in an act of genuine patriotic appreciation: escorting nineteen World War II veterans, including two women, as they prepared to take Honor Flight from Austin, Texas to visit the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.


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GOP Electile Dysfunction Becomes Chronic

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 1:59 PM

The worst characteristic of many physical ailments is that they can be long-term with no apparent remedy. Such is the case with the Republican Party's Acute Electile Dysfunction. It appeared initially in 2012, and wreaked havoc on the party faithful. The condition evidently persists into 2016. It's changed in how...

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It's in the Constitution Somewhere!

(22) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 6:11 PM

Ohio Governor John Kasich, one of the Republican presidential candidate gaggle, wrote a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post under the headline "Washington has become obsolete." Governor Kasich, who chaired the House Budget Committee during his 18 years in Congress, was clearly a member in good standing of the...

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GOP Presidential Math: 1x1= -15

(1) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 1:24 PM

Observers on all sides of the Republican Presidential Stampede have been watching with everything from delight to horror as Jeb Bush has begun returning fire at Donald Trump's barrage of insults. Rather than a mistake, as some pundits suggest, this may be a brilliant strategic move by the Bush folks,...

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"A Conservative Government Is Organized Hypocrisy." Benjamin Disraeli

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2015 | 1:13 PM

Of all the more popular political sins, my personal favorite has always been hypocrisy. One of the wonderful things about hypocrisy is that it so often comes around to bite the hypocrite on the butt. It's widely practiced by people on both sides of the great political divide, but my...

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Some Still Don't Know What We Knew Then and Aren't Sure What We Know Now

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 9:47 PM

Former First Brother Jeb Bush sure popped the top on a can of worms when he was asked if he would have made the same decision his older brother did to invade Iraq in March 2003. Within a week, and apparently because he didn't want to be too critical of...

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One Nation Under God, So Divisible

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:33 AM

Over the last 225 years, most of our country's proudest moments have come in the face of dire threats or calamitous events, some from foreign powers; some internal. The American public's response to these crises has been marked by strong resolve and common purpose. And the crises have often become...

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We Hold These Truths to Be Inconvenient

(136) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 1:21 PM

Among the most sacred rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution is the ownership and control of private property. It's not quite as sacred as our God-given right to cruise Main Street with military-style automatic weapons, of course, but still pretty sacred.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank founded...

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(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2015 | 1:34 PM

"Political designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
George Orwell
Politics and the English Language

Orwell had a particularly dark view of political rhetoric. And if you reflect on the language...

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The Ghost of Christmas Past

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 7:57 AM

All the hullaballoo over the United States government's' use of torture as an officially-sanctioned intelligence gathering process was bad enough. It brought back memories of a shameful period in American history. But when Dick Cheney reappeared to defend the practice of torture, it was the worst specter of Christmas past....

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Republicans and the Prehistoric Foop Bird

(2) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 10:07 AM

Their near sweep in the mid-term election has generated a lot of speculation about the impact of a Republican majority in the House and Senate for the first time since 2006. Will Mitch McConnell and John Boehner lead a unified, purposeful GOP and move major legislation smoothly through the legislative...

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Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

(1) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 5:05 PM

We'll never know if Democrats actually could have emerged from the November 4th mid-term election with a few new Senate seats, like Kansas, Kentucky or even Georgia. Or if they could have held on to a few they lost, like Arkansas, Colorado or South Dakota. We'll never know because once...

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It's a MAD, MAD, MAD World

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 1:41 PM

Way back during the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviet Union were locked in a tense face-off for decades. Both sides had huge arsenals of thermonuclear devices. But there was a doctrine of military strategy called Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, that kept the missiles in their silos. It became...

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Discrimination Isn't Part of Religious Freedom. Never Was. Still Isn't.

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 11:29 AM

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, it's ironic to see the same kinds of bigotry outlawed by that landmark legislation specifically protected by law in several states and considered by state legislatures in many...

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Using One Frame of Film to Review the Whole Movie

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Depending on their political gland, a lot of folks are either highly agitated or highly elated over the performance of the Obama administration, especially if their opinions are formed or reinforced by day-to-day political news coverage and punditry. But the frustration or elation might be a tad premature because the...

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Gov. Rick Perry's New Eyeglasses Haven't Improved His Vision

(3) Comments | Posted November 10, 2013 | 5:18 PM

Texas Governor Rick Perry has recently taken to appearing around the country at political events and in television interviews wearing stylish dark-rimmed eyeglasses. And, while, according to some observers, his new specs make him look smarter, he continues to display a profound case of myopia.

Gov. Perry appeared at several...

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Retreat Hell!

(5) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 12:26 PM

Okay, everybody who thinks the tea party and the other rightwing nuts and bolts in Congress have learned a difficult but valuable lesson take one step forward. Not so fast!

The far right's immediate reaction to overwhelming rejection of tea party priorities by the American public has been to take...

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Just Sorting Things Out

(2) Comments | Posted October 13, 2013 | 6:26 PM

The government shutdown serves no discernible purpose beyond setting a very dangerous stage for competing political interests to try to advance their agendas and, of course, giving the news media and political commentators an urgent issue to cover and interpret.

Yet it's a fascinating time to be...

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