Fred Barnes


Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard, which he cofounded in 1995. From 1985 to 1995, he was senior editor and White House correspondent for the New Republic. He covered the Supreme Court and the White House for the Washington Star before moving to the Baltimore Sun in 1979. He served as the national political correspondent for the Sun and wrote the "Presswatch" media column for the American Spectator.

Barnes appears regularly on the Fox News Channel. From 1988 to 1998 he was a regular panelist on the McLaughlin Group. He has also appeared on Nightline, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Barnes graduated from the University of Virginia and was a Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.

(Member: Washington Speakers Bureau)

Stories by Fred Barnes


Cantor to Step Down as Majority Leader

12:42 PM, Jun 11, 2014

Eric Cantor is expected to announce his plan to resign as House majority leader today, probably at a meeting of all House Republicans. Cantor lost the GOP primary to David Brat, a little-known college professor, in Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District on Tuesday.

 Read more

‘Amnesty’ Has Claimed a Victim

10:20 PM, Jun 10, 2014

With their misleading talk about passing an immigration bill this year, Republican leaders are partly to blame for House majority leader Eric Cantor’s defeat at the hands of an unknown college professor.

 Read more

A Performance Review

The president needs a lot of improvement.
Jun 02, 2014

The public’s judgment of President Obama is that his performance in office is not so great. Nearly every opinion poll shows that more Americans disapprove of how he’s doing his job than approve. Sometimes the gap between disapprove and approve is more than 10 percentage points.

 Read more

Some Juggernaut

Democrats look awfully frantic for a party with history on its side.
May 26, 2014

Democrats think they are the party of the future. After a last hurrah for Republicans in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats will have a commanding majority at the polls as far as the eye can see. A rising tide of minority, young, female, and affluent liberal voters assures them of this. And perhaps it will.

 Read more

Barnes Podcast: The VA Scandal Is Getting The 'Obama Treatment'

Hosted by Michael Graham.
11:45 AM, May 24, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the handling of the VA scandal by the Obama administration.

 Read more

A Conservative Candidate of Character, Conviction, Knowledge, and Leadership

7:01 AM, May 22, 2014

Gary Palmer, who is seeking a House seat in Alabama, is a unique candidate. Until this year, he’d never run for political office. Yet he has a long and impressive record in politics. He was a walk-on for Bear Bryant’s University of Alabama football team – whoops, that’s not politics.

 Read more

Ken Tomlinson, 1944-2014

Fred Barnes remembers Ken Tomlinson
May 19, 2014

My first contact with Ken Tomlinson was a phone call. He was a top editor at Reader’s Digest, and I was a political reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He wanted me to write a piece on the least savory provisions of President Reagan’s tax-cut legislation. It must have been late 1981, after the bill had been enacted and become part of the Reagan legend.

 Read more

Casual Podcast: Fred Barnes Remembers Ken Tomlinson

9:00 AM, May 18, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Casual Podcast, with Fred Barnes reading his Casual Essay remembering his friend and colleague Ken Tomlinson.

Remember, when you sign up for our digital premium access, many of our print magazine articles are available to you courtesy of our professional readers.

 Read more

Ben Carson Moves Toward Presidential Run

6:01 AM, May 15, 2014

Ben Carson is warming to the idea of running for president. Since the famous brain surgeon retired last year from Johns Hopkins Hospital, he’s been speaking around the country to enthusiastic audiences. And they’ve affected his thinking about seeking national office.

 Read more

Shut Up, They Explained

The illiberal left.
May 12, 2014

A favorite saying of liberals not long ago was: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Hillary Clinton, then a senator, said it. It was on bumper stickers. John Kerry, also a senator, said in 2006, as violence engulfed Iraq, that dissent in wartime and support for a war are “two sides of the very same patriotic coin.”

 Read more

Tillis Wins, Boosts GOP's 2014 Hopes

10:35 PM, May 06, 2014

The Republican drive to capture the Senate in the 2014 midterm election got a significant boost Tuesday in North Carolina with the victory of house speaker Thom Tillis in the GOP Senate primary.  Tillis will face Democratic senator Kay Hagan in the November election.

 Read more

Barnes Podcast: Obama's Strategy? Divide And Get Conquered

Hosted by Michael Graham.
1:49 PM, May 06, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on President Obama's performance and the Democrats' chances in 2014.

 Read more

Mudslinger in Chief

Harry Reid takes the low road.
May 05, 2014

The Romney strategy is back. Not the flawed campaign plan of Mitt Romney for the 2012 election, but the effort by President Obama and Democrats to malign Romney, even before he’d become the GOP nominee, as morally unfit for the presidency.

 Read more

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, 1944-2014

9:55 AM, May 02, 2014

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the great editor of Reader’s Digest and later head of Voice of America and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, died last night at the Winchester Medical Center in Virginia, where he had been hospitalized for several days. He was 69. He lived in Middleburg, Virginia.

 Read more

As Goes North Carolina

So go Republican hopes to take over the Senate.
Apr 28, 2014

Raleigh, N.C. 
To win the Senate, Republicans must win North Carolina. While it’s mathematically possible to take the Senate without ousting Democratic senator Kay Hagan, the chances of that happening are close to zero. For Republicans, North Carolina is necessary. It’s the key to control of the Senate.

 Read more

They Got Game

Fred Barnes, March mad.
Apr 21, 2014

Arlington, Texas
The Super Bowl is boring. I checked out at halftime when Seattle crushed Denver. When the competition among TV ads is more gripping than the game, there’s something wrong. The college football championship? It beats the Super Bowl. And maybe it will generate more excitement with four teams playing for the crown. The World Series has tradition and lots of tension, but major league baseball meanders through the season before playing for keeps—a month too late in the year.

 Read more

Casual Podcast: Fred Barnes, March Mad

3:45 PM, Apr 16, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Casual Podcast, with Fred Barnes reading his Casual Essay, "They Got Game."

Remember, when you sign up for our digital premium access, many of our print magazine articles are available to you courtesy of our professional readers.

 Read more

Time to Win the Vote

Mar 31, 2014

Democrats are waiting. They’re waiting to see if Paul Broun is the Republican nominee for the Senate in Georgia. They’re waiting to see if challenger Matt Bevin and the Senate Conservatives Fund lacerate Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell sufficiently in Kentucky’s Republican primary to make him vulnerable in the general election against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. They’re waiting to see if Republicans nominate beatable Senate candidates in Alaska, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Colorado.

 Read more

The Luck of the Republicans

They owe it all to Obama.
Mar 24, 2014

President Obama is a gift to Republicans. His policies, his partisanship, his allegiance to liberal interest groups, his indecisiveness​—​they all have served Republicans well. Without Obama’s self-destructive presidency, Republicans would probably be somber today. Instead they are bursting with optimism about the November midterm election.

 Read more

Job Destroyer

Mar 17, 2014

President Obama talks, talks, talks about jobs. The first 20 minutes of his State of the Union address in January was all about jobs. Immigration reform would “create jobs for everybody,” he said. His energy policy “is creating jobs.” Obama said he’s assigned Vice President Biden to make sure training programs match workers with “good jobs that need to be filled right now.” Last week he described his new budget as “a road map for creating jobs.”

 Read more

Barnes Podcast: Obama's Job Is to Stop Putin

Hosted by Michael Graham
4:25 PM, Mar 06, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with executive editor Fred Barnes on President Obama's Ukraine statement and why it's his job to stop Vladimir Putin.

 Read more

The Resistance

Mar 03, 2014

Texas attorney general Greg Abbott has a famous saying: “What I really do for fun is I go into the office [and] sue the Obama administration.” Abbott’s relentless struggle against an administration that routinely exceeds its authority and tramples on federalism made him the ringleader among the two dozen Republican state AGs. He’s now running for governor.

 Read more

Barnes Podcast: Obama Keeps Finding New Ways To Talk About All The Wrong Issues

Hosted by Michael Graham.
3:40 PM, Feb 18, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with executive editor Fred Barnes on President Obama's approval rating among those who voted for him and how he keeps finding new ways to talk about all the wrong issues.

 Read more

Barnes Podcast: O'Reilly Interview Shows How Bad WH Press Corps Is Doing

Hosted by Michael Graham.
4:35 PM, Feb 03, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with executive editor Fred Barnes on the pre-Super Bowl interview Fox News's Bill O'Reilly had with President Obama, and how it shows what a bad job the White House Press Corps is doing.

 Read more

Barnes Podcast: Obamacare Will Be a Big Problem Come November

Hosted by Michael Graham.
4:20 PM, Jan 23, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with executive editor Fred Barnes on Obamacare and how it will impact the midterm elections in November.

>

 Read more

Stars Fell on Auburn

Fred Barnes sees Auburn through Rose-colored glasses
Jan 20, 2014

We're a UVA family. My three daughters, two sons in law, and I are graduates of the University of Virginia. We have season tickets to UVA football and basketball games. We’re loyal UVA fans.

 Read more

A GOP Year

Jan 13, 2014

A White House official once noted that the problem with the national press corps is it can only keep one idea in its mind at a time. And while that’s often true, it’s not at the moment in regard to Republicans.

Today’s media line on the Republican party is it faces irreversible decline. That’s on the one hand. On the other, Republicans have a solid shot at capturing the Senate in the midterm elections in November, are all but certain to retain control of the House, and have reasonable prospects of winning the White House in 2016.

 Read more

Government Man

Dec 30, 2013

President Obama is more perceptive about the shortcomings of government than we thought. “We have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly,” he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Wow!

 Read more

Twilight of the Sequester

Dec 23, 2013

In Washington, folks are celebrating a new bipartisan budget deal that saves us from another full round of reductions in federal spending mandated by the “sequester.” Far fewer are lamenting the dwindling of the sequester itself. As usual, Washington has things upside down.

 Read more

Poll Position

Obama’s collapsing numbers.
Dec 16, 2013

President Obama is 5-for-5, but not in the way he’d prefer. In baseball, 5-for-5 signifies perfection. In Obama’s case, it means the opposite. On the five most important polling questions that measure a president’s success, he’s not only dropped significantly, but he’s now regarded negatively overall.

The five yardsticks are presidential job approval, honesty, handling of
the economy, strong leadership, and the public’s impression of him personally. Being underwater on all five is extraordinary, if not unprecedented. 

 Read more