Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: while others cast him as a bully, Trump cast himself  at a New Hampshire rally as a tender soul trying for self-actualisation. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

The White House has a strange, mind-warping effect on its occupants. Presidents are exalted and fawned over. Reaching the pinnacle of power often ha(...)

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump: “When Palin turned out to be utterly unqualified and unintelligible, spouting her own special Yoda-like language, it did not reflect poorly on women as a whole – only on her and John McCain.” Photograph: Cassi Alexandra/Bloomberg

It’s a tough call to figure out which place is more benighted: Hollywood or Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was pulling ahead with all its beheadings and i(...)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures as she walks on stage at a Democratic fundraising dinner featuring all three candidates in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Getty Images

After running as a man last time around, Hillary Clinton is now running as a woman. Matthew Dowd, the former George W Bush strategist who became an(...)

Former US president Bill Clinton  campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Photograph: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

It’s hard to say which of the three monomaniacal, monumentally gruelling quests is the most riveting. There is the torturous trek portrayed in The Rev(...)

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday: with all his bombast and incivility, Trump has joyfully debunked political correctness for the complete fraud that it is. Photograph: Scott Audette/Reuters

The intense interest in the thrill-a-minute, through-the-looking-glass 2016 US presidential race, fuelled by anger at maladjusted Washington(...)

Former US president George HW Bush: “Like many uptight, upper-class families, the Bushes seem unable to directly confront tensions and talk to each other candidly. In the case of the Bushes, this ended up rupturing the globe.” Photograph: Aida Crawley/EPA

Westeros. I visited HBO’s Game of Thrones set in Belfast last week and, after watching Daenerys Targaryen in firelight for a couple hours, I learned h(...)

 Jeb Bush: this was going to be the year that settled sibling scores – he would get what his parents considered his birthright. Photograph: Joe Skipper/Reuters

Jeb, dragging his wilted exclamation point around, is so boring that it’s hard to focus on the epic nature of his battle. Not the battle against Donal(...)

Hillary Clinton at the end of her day-long appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill last week. Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

Nobody plays the victim like Hillary. She can wield that label like a wrecking ball. If her husband humiliates her with a girlfriend in the Oval Offic(...)

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign meeting in Keene, New Hampshire. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Hillary Clinton is wrong about the Benghazi committee. It’s not the longest-running special congressional investigation ever, as her campaign tweeted.(...)

US house speaker John Boehner: When asked whether he would advance a debt limit Bill before resigning from Congress on October 30th, he said: “We’ll have to see. There are a number of issues that we’re going to try to deal with over the coming month.” Photograph: Jonathan Ernst

John Boehner stands smiling in front of the mirror in the bathroom of his English basement apartment on G Street on Capitol Hill. He breaks into song (...)