Skip to content

Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.

She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, Talk Radio Network and other news organizations. Born in Elizabeth, N.J., Ms. Harper grew up in Texas and arrived in Washington in time for Watergate -- and has been tracking the political and media landscape ever since.

She is an active member of the American Federation of TV Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild. She has won 14 journalism awards during her years at The Washington Times.

To read Jennifer Harper's Inside the Beltway columns, click . Contact her at

Articles by Jennifer Harper

People are silhouetted against a logo for the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Climate conference underway — whether the weather is ready or not

There is already a lot of chatter in the press about climate change -- and no wonder. The world's best-known climate conference is underway in the United Arab Emirates and will continue through Dec. 12. More than 70,000 delegates are expected to attend, according to the United Nations. Published November 30, 2023

In this June 15, 2018, file photo, twenty dollar bills are counted in a North Andover, Mass. business.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)  **FILE**

$34 trillion national debt called ‘our generation’s world war’

As of Wednesday, the national debt was $33,836,693,993,860.35, according to the U.S. Treasury, which updates this startling statistic through a helpful online feature titled "Debt to the Penny." In the meantime, the House Budget Committee got a stark earful from its chairman about the burden of this debt. Published November 29, 2023

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump waves during halftime of an NCAA college football game between South Carolina and Clemson, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)

Tracking polls show Trump at his all-time high as a presidential candidate

"As of this writing, Trump leads Biden by 2.6 percentage points nationally in the RealClearPolitics Average. This is Trump's largest lead in the RCP average to date. Not for 2024, mind you. Ever," said Sean Trende, a senior elections analyst for Real Clear Politics. Published November 28, 2023

A Merriam-Webster dictionary sits atop their citation files at the dictionary publisher's offices in Springfield, Mass. Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2023 is "authentic. "(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

Merriam-Webster looks for 2023’s most authentic word

Merriam-Webster -- which has been publishing dictionaries since 1847 -- has revealed its annual choice for the "Word of the Year" -- an honor bestowed upon a single word which has emerged as much both popular and sought after. That word is "authentic." Published November 27, 2023

Shoppers walk through Macy's  on Nov. 26, 2021, in New York City, just as the holiday shopping season gets underway.  (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File)

A long — and crowded — weekend expected as 182 million plan to go shopping

"An estimated 182 million people are planning to shop in-store and online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to the annual survey released Monday," the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics advise. This figure is 15.7 million more people than the number listed last year and is the highest estimate for shopping participation since the survey was launched in 2017, according to the groups' new research. Published November 23, 2023

This image provided by Southern Living magazine shows a tabletop garden centerpiece with small bunches of kale, herbs, ornamentals and even radishes (for a punch of red). (Laurey W. Glenn/Southern Living via AP)

The Senate’s famous bean soup — and how to make it

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. And without further ado, a recipe of note which has a few political overtones, and some history. "Senate Bean Soup" is a revered entry on the menu up on Capitol Hill, and a regular feature on tour guides and travel books. Published November 22, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the Republican Party of Florida Freedom Summit, Nov. 4, 2023, in Kissimmee, Fla. Ramaswamy's presidential campaign has seemingly mirrored his meteoric rise as a biotech entrepreneur. The political novice from Ohio has taken the route of a self-described outsider. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Ramaswamy plans ‘fun on the campaign trail’ in New Hampshire

One Republican presidential hopeful appears to be in a good mood at the moment. Republican presidential candidate and political outsider Vivek Ramaswamy is heading back to New Hampshire on Saturday for a full "weekend of barnstorming," according to his campaign. Published November 21, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is embracing voters of faith in no uncertain terms. The Republican presidential hopeful launched his own national Faith and Family Coalition in September which includes the motto ‘God Above Government” in its public outreach. Over 100 pastors and faith leaders in Iowa now have stepped forward to support him. (IMAGE courtesy of Ron DeSantis for President)

‘God above government’: DeSantis touts religious outreach, support

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is embracing voters of faith in no uncertain terms. The Republican presidential hopeful launched his own national Faith and Family Coalition in September, which includes in its public outreach the motto 'God Above Government." Published November 20, 2023

House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, joined at right by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the ranking member on House Appropriations, testifies as the House Rules Committee meets to advance Speaker Kevin McCarthy's debt ceiling package for the floor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 25, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The GOP’s master plan to restore fiscal responsibility

"Reverse the Curse." Yes, it sounds like the name of a 1950s horror movie, perhaps -- but it happens to be the main title of a wide-ranging and helpful new report from the House Budget Committee. A subtitle explains it all: "The Plan to Restore Fiscal Responsibility, Economic Freedom, and Prosperity in America." Published November 16, 2023

Not everyone thinks the U.S. should be a leader on the world stage according to a new poll from NPR, PBS and Marist College released Wednesday.   (Image courtesy of NASA).

Americans differ about country’s role on world stage

Not everyone thinks the nation should be a major player in world affairs, according to a new poll conducted by NPR, PBS and Marist College, released Wednesday. "Half of Americans (50%) think it is crucial for the U.S. to play a major leadership role in world events. 47% say the U.S. should focus on its own problems and take less of a leadership role," the poll analysis said. Published November 15, 2023

A new study of major coverage of the war in Gaza reveals that broadcast news is fond of citing one particular source. (AP PHOTO)

Media’s reliable sources include Hamas terrorist group

"The American news media have been catching a lot of flack for uncritically quoting Hamas as a source for much of their on-the-ground coverage in Gaza. In the month following the terror organization's horrific October 7 attack on Israeli civilians, exactly two-thirds of the evening newscasts on ABC, CBS, and NBC cited either Hamas itself or Hamas-controlled entities when reporting on the conflict," wrote Bill D'Agostino, media editor and a senior research analyst for, a conservative press watchdog. Published November 13, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

DeSantis reminds us — politicians need convictions

Amid the hubbub of the campaign trail, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis clarified his basic mission during an appearance on the Fox News show "One Nation." The Republican hopeful was asked his opinion on "doing what's right" -- and why he was not "beholden" to anyone. Published November 12, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy answers questions from reporters after speaking at the Republican Party of Florida Freedom Summit, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Ramaswamy schedules ‘Stop World War III’ rally

"Political outsider and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy will host a rally on Tuesday night to 'Stop World War III' in Miami ahead of the next GOP presidential debate," his campaign advised in a written statement. The event will be staged in a museum and performing arts center, but there were not too many details about the activities, except that the gathering begins at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Published November 6, 2023

In this Aug. 5, 2014 file photo a farmer drives his tractor past a soybean field toward grain storage bins near Ladora, Iowa. U.S. agriculture has a big appetite for freer trade with Cuba, and soybeans are one of the main products Cuba now buys from the United States. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Dirt Road Democrats hope to revive party’s rural fortunes

Consider this newly formed organization: "Dirt Road Democrats PAC." This political action committee has debuted on the Democratic landscape in recent days, and it already has been active in Indiana, Mississippi and Virginia. Published November 5, 2023