Nicholas Thompson

Playing With Numbers

My friend Rob took as few classes as possible at Stanford. He had top-notch SAT scores and high-school grades, and he was smart enough to graduate even if he was less at ease in the library than party-hopping in a caveman suit. We took one class together and were assigned Gulliver’s Travels—a book I had… Read more »

Sex in the Digital City

We spent the rest of the night talking and playing music together next to a pile of beer bottles and a pool table. He looked about 21 years old and wore black. He said he had grown up in Canada, someplace near Toronto that I’d never heard of. He had sex with lots of people,… Read more »

Greenspan? Gipper? Gates?

To his opponents, Bill Clinton is Don Liddle. The economy is booming on his watch, but only because of the work of others. Larry Lindsay, George Bush’s chief economic adviser, suggests that Ronald Reagan is the real Willie Mays. Conservative pundit Robert Novak thanks entrepreneurs and says that giving credit for the boom to Clinton… Read more »

One Eye on the Exit

From the chief of staff to the most obscure policy advisor, White House staffers show up with bubbling idealism, great expectations, and seemingly unlimited vigor. Then, usually within 18 months, they’re out. Although a few stick around until a new president has been elected and the moving vans roll up, most others call it quits… Read more »


In the Dirksen Senate Office Building a week later and several thousand miles away, Senator Jeff Sessions lit into Gen. Barry McCaffrey, America’s drug czar, and Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, for being doves on Colombia. It wasn’t enough that McCaffrey and Pickering had shown up to defend a Clinton administration plan to triple military… Read more »