Mary Lynn Jones

Mary Lynn F. Jones is a Washington-based writer. Her work has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune, National
Journal
, 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

Edwards Isn't For Real

At first glance, Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) seems like the perfect presidential candidate for Democrats: He's handsome, smart and southern, and he's a man with a compelling personal story. But go beyond the media's surface fascination with him and you'll find an inexperienced pol who isn't well-known -- and may not even be re-elected in 2004. Edwards, who defeated Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.) in 1998 with 51 percent of the vote, has done a masterful job of courting party leaders and the media since coming to Washington almost four years ago. In his first weeks in office, he became one of six senators to interview witnesses in the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton. His political action committee, the New American Optimists PAC, has raised millions of dollars, and he's been a frequent visitor to early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. He was Al Gore's second choice as a running mate two years ago. The 49-year-old freshman has also been the subject of fluffy...

Woman on Top

W hen it became clear that U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would be the next House Democratic leader, an unusual thing happened: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle cheered. Democrats, who felt the party had never found its message in the 2002 campaign, were pleased to have a leader who takes strong positions regardless of political expedience. Republicans, meanwhile, were happy to have the 62-year-old San Francisco liberal as their newest target. It remains to be seen which side will be happier two years from now, but there are good reasons to bet on Pelosi. Pelosi won the leadership race with 177 votes out of 206 on Nov. 14, shortly after her main competitor, centrist Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas), dropped out and endorsed her. And she has the resources to keep the troops rallied once she takes over as minority leader in January. Her prodigious fundraising efforts -- she pulled in close to $8 million for individual candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in...

Pelosi Snares Post

House Democrats today elected their first new leadership team since 1994, installing U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the top post in a bid to win back control of the House in 2004. Pelosi, who hails from San Francisco and has served as minority whip since January, was cheered by her colleagues as she trounced centrist Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) by 177-to-29 votes en route to becoming the party's first woman leader. She vowed to work with President Bush and Republicans when possible, but also emphasized that Democrats will not be afraid to oppose the GOP. "We will work together with the Republicans on terrorism and we shall seek common ground on domestic issues and on the economy," she said. "But where we cannot find common ground, we will stand our ground." Pelosi also talked about the party's need to fertilize its grass roots and increase voter turnout, as well as to promote civility within its ranks. By stressing issues important to the party's base, Pelosi hopes to spur...

Early Frost

Just one day after entering the race for House minority leader, Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas) dropped out and threw his support to House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Frost's decision came as Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) announced his intention to run against Pelosi for leader, although it is widely expected that Pelosi will win the top job. Should Pelosi win the Nov. 14 vote, which will be conducted by secret ballot, it could be the first signal as to which strategy Democrats will pursue as they try to unseat President Bush in 2004 and regain control of Congress. Unlike Frost, Pelosi represents the party's liberal base. Last month, she stood up to both the Bush administration and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) in opposing the resolution giving Bush authority to take military action against Iraq. Earlier this year, she favored Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Mich.) in her primary race against Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.). Rivers, the more liberal of the two candidates,...

House Cleaning

Now that the congressional elections are over, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are turning their attention to the next big vote: the race to see who will replace Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) as the House Democratic leader. After failing to help the party retake the House in four straight elections -- and after Democrats lost seats on Nov. 5 -- Gephardt announced today that he will not seek the post in the 108th Congress. Speculation about who will take his spot has consumed Washington for months, and the candidates, Reps. Martin Frost of Texas and Nancy Pelosi of California, haven't been shy about making their ambitions known -- and both made their intentions formal today. As Democrats look for a new leader, lawmakers must decide what direction they want the party to head in. Frost and Pelosi offer different ideological, geographical and demographic choices. Frost is moderate, Pelosi is liberal. Frost is from Dallas-Fort Worth, Pelosi hails from San Francisco. Frost would be the highest-...

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