Dec 15, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 14 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Many Brits are known to enjoy a pint a day. Winston Churchill certainly did—though his daily ration was a pint of champagne, not ale. So it was fitting that the wartime prime minister was toasted last week in Washington with clinking glasses of bubbly. House speaker John Boehner invited a small group—of which The Scrapbook was happily part—to celebrate two birthdays: that of the great man himself, and that of the bust in the Capitol that honors him. One was the 140th, the other just the first.
Fred Barnes chronicled in these pages a year ago how the bronze bust came to be. President Obama, redecorating when he moved into the White House in 2009, famously removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it to the British embassy. When Boehner became speaker in 2011, he passed a resolution that “an appropriate statue or bust of Sir Winston Churchill” be placed in the Capitol. The Churchill Centre at George Washington University donated the bust, sculpted by the late Oscar Nemon, last year. “Since then, we’ve confronted more grave challenges to our peoples. We’ve been fortunate to rely on our special relationship and, of course, Churchill’s wisdom,” Boehner said in the Freedom Foyer, the alcove where the bust sits, before raising his glass: “So here’s to Winston Churchill, the best friend America ever had.”
British ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott and Churchill Centre executive director Lee Pollock also toasted the only man ever given an honorary American passport. The ambassador spoke eloquently of the two nations’ shared tradition of freedom that goes back to the Magna Carta (which celebrates its 800th birthday next year). The group then retired to the speaker’s rooms for a reception—with more champagne, of course. Some stepped out onto the balcony to smoke the Romeo y Julieta cigars named after the man who helped save Western civilization and always enjoyed its fruits. After everyone shared their favorite Churchill anecdotes—including the apocryphal ones—the talk turned to other tributes. The USS Winston S. Churchill is the only American naval vessel that also flies a foreign ensign. A few attendees immediately had the thought that a second such destroyer would be another great salute to freedom and friendship. Rumor has it a campaign is now in the works for a USS Margaret H. Thatcher. We think the USS Maggie has a rather nice ring to it.
Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Scrapbook correspondent Richard M. Langworth, the author and longtime president of the Churchill Centre in Washington, D.C., weighs in on the new statue of Gandhi to be erected in London . . .
* * *
Every time you realize how badly the media mangles something you know about, you wonder how well they are interpreting what you don’t know.
A century-old precursor to the Obamacare debateApr 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 30 • By GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB
The debate over Obamacare may remind a student of British history of the debate in Britain over the National Insurance Act of 1911, which was in effect until the initiation of the welfare state after World War II. The protagonists in that debate (like ours, not formally a debate, but implicitly that) were Winston Churchill and Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Churchill, a rising star in the Liberal party and a member of Herbert Asquith’s cabinet, heartily promoted the act.
Jan 20, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 18 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
These observations of his on the Middle East have easily withstood the test of time:
Congress’s tribute to the wartime leader.Nov 11, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 09 • By FRED BARNES
Congress has rebuked President Obama. It may have come in a subtle or backhanded way and thus was ignored by the media. It may not have been intentional. But it was a rebuke nonetheless.
May 13, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 33 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
There was one moment in President Obama’s world-weary press conference last Tuesday when he seemed genuinely interested and engaged. At the very end, when Obama had already begun to depart the podium, a reporter shouted a question about the previously obscure but now famously gay NBA center, Jason Collins.
An unexpected ending for Manchester’s Churchill.
Mar 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 25 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD
This magisterial three--volume biography of Winston Church-ill, begun by William Manchester nearly 30 years ago, has at last reached completion, though the path to its finale took a circuitous trip through the wilderness, reminiscent of Churchill himself. The Last Lion is doubtless the most popular Churchill biography, its lyrical adulation for the subject comparable to Carl Sandburg’s six-volume Lincoln biography.
Nov 19, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 10 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
After his defeat in Britain’s 1945 general election, Winston Churchill’s wife Clementine consoled him: “It may well be a blessing in disguise.” Churchill replied, “At the moment it seems quite effectively disguised.”
12:00 AM, Oct 8, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The following excerpts of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy address, which will be delivered later today at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, have been released for preview by the Romney campaign:
8:15 AM, Oct 4, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Perhaps because Mitt Romney is a Winston Churchill fan and Barack Obama is not, I thought this morning of Churchill's "end of the beginning" remarks, delivered almost 70 years ago, at Mansion House in London, on November 10, 1942.
Here are a few relevant lines:
Why the author doesn’t like Churchill’s ‘History of the English-Speaking Peoples.’ Sep 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 02 • By EDWARD SHORT
Not long ago I was in Boston browsing the stacks of that legendary emporium, the Brattle Book Shop, when I chanced upon Winston Spencer Churchill: Servant of Crown and Commonwealth, a collection of tributes to the parliamentarian, war leader, historian, and wit, which his longstanding English publisher Cassell brought out in 1954 to celebrate the great man’s 80th birthday.
8:17 AM, Aug 1, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
After first insisting columnist Charles Krauthammer was wrong to say that President Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British embassy when he first became president, the White House is now apologizing. Here's the letter White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer sent to Krauthammer: