Mary Lynn Jones

Mary Lynn F. Jones is a Washington-based writer. Her work has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune, National
, the Washington Business Journal and Barron's Guide to the Most
Competitive Colleges
. A native Washingtonian, Jones has been a regular
political commentator for WMAL-AM and has made numerous radio and television
appearances, including on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation"
and Fox
News Channel. Mary Lynn received her master's degree in journalism from
Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College.

Recent Articles

New Year, New Fear

S hortly after the Republican sweep of Congress in November, President Bush said he looked forward to working with lawmakers to "make our country a better and more compassionate place." And when Sen. Bill Frist was elected majority leader in December, the Republican from Tennessee promised to "listen, to diagnose, to treat ... to heal," and to focus particular attention on strengthening Medicare, lowering the number of uninsured and boosting the economy. All worthy goals, but don't hold your breath. Just doing the math makes it highly unlikely that the Republicans, now in control of just about everything in Washington that matters, will come up with any programs to solve the health-care crisis for low- and moderate-income people, or any other pocketbook issues for the poor. For starters, consider Bush's proposal to cut taxes by $674 billion over a decade. Throw in the tens of billions of dollars it will take, at a minimum, to fight a war in Iraq. Couple that with already ballooning...

Vote Oprah

Oprah Winfrey should run for the U.S. Senate next year. I know it sounds like a crazy idea, but it actually makes a lot of sense. She could fund her own campaign. She has a good personal story, having gone from "humble beginnings in rural Mississippi" to being "one of the most important figures in popular culture," according to her Web site. She has high name recognition -- about 21 million people in the United States watch her show each week -- and Time magazine named her one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Plus, she'll be looking for employment soon: Oprah's already announced plans to quit her weekday gabfest in 2006. The Democrats could use a candidate like Oprah in Illinois. She'd have a natural base of support from suburban women, who make up a crucial part of the electorate. She's already familiar with Capitol Hill, having testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in the early 1990s. And the bill she was championing at the time -- the National...

No Difference

There are lots of ways to meet people these days: dating Web sites, newspaper personals, matchmaking services. And then there's the newest one: appearing on a reality-television show. Trista Rehn takes it one step further. Rehn was spurned last year on ABC's The Bachelor . But she got a sweet consolation prize: a chance to be the star of ABC's The Bachelorette -- which debuted Wednesday night -- and to choose from among 25 potential Prince Charmings. I have to say, it must be nice to have someone pick out about two dozen men who suit your interests and have them show up, decked out in suits, trying to win your heart. One guy presented Trista with a bracelet from Tiffany's. Another wrote her a poem. Others told her she looked beautiful and tried to establish a personal connection with her that would get them to the second round (she had to cast 10 men aside on the show's premiere). As ABC declared at the show's beginning, the tables -- for the first time since the networks started...

Dynamic Duo

As the 108th Congress convened today, the two men charged with leading the Democrats in recent years each made stunning announcements. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) declared that he will not run for president in 2004, while former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) has decided not to seek re-election to Congress next year. Their announcements came as Democrats are gearing up for their race for the White House and as they are trying to stymie President Bush's agenda in Congress. Whether or not their statements were intentionally timed to do so, Gephardt and Daschle seem to have carved out a Democratic division of labor for the next two years: One will run for the White House; and one will focus his energy in Washington and on the legislative battles ahead. Daschle -- who, unlike Gephardt, experienced what it was like to be in a majority -- sees an unusual opportunity in the Senate, and one that would not have existed if Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) had remained...

Northern Exposure

Al Gore's decision to drop out of the presidential race last month signaled a huge shift for the Democratic Party. Not only did he leave the primary field wide open but, for the first time in a dozen years, the party's nominee will likely hail from north of the Mason-Dixon Line. And if President Bush loses his re-election bid, 2004 could mark the first year a non-southern Democrat has been elected to the White House since 1960. The most recent candidates to throw their hats into the ring are former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) -- although in a recent article for TAP Online , I outlined the reasons I don't think Edwards' candidacy will get very far. The other two declared candidates -- Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) -- come from New England. So does Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), who's expected to run. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), a midwesterner, is likely to announce any day now that he's...