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Character, Credibility and Elections

Wednesday, February 10, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

So Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton a beat down yesterday.  I figured him to win, but 22 points!?  That’s not a shake-it-off loss for Team Hillary; that’s a get to the ER and make sure she’s OK loss.  When a self-identified socialist beats anyone by that much, even in curmudgeonly New Hampshire, something is up.  Let’s turn to the exit polling.  With a majority of voters, Sanders was found to be “honest and trustworthy,” by a margin of 95% to 3%.  This comes in the face of voters overwhelmingly agreeing that Hillary has much better odds to win in November and far better experience for the job than Bernie.  I think that tells the tale pretty convincingly.  People were not voting issues or competence, they were voting on perceived credibility.

Credibility, which is closely related to honesty, flows from character.  This result seems to be in direct contrast to our discussion yesterday of no one caring about Cam Newton’s character provided he wins.  But does Bernie really have better character than Hillary?  Yes, he is more honest, but that is an awfully low bar when you are dealing with the Clinton’s.  The “charity” that seemingly underlies socialism would also appear to be an indication of character, but only if you ignore the confiscatory, some might say thieving, nature of the other side of the socialist transaction.  “Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” is a sympathetic stance, but that whole stealing thing makes it an act of pretty questionable character.

But the word “sympathy” starts to hint at what I think is going on.  This election cycle is very visceral.  Sympathy is something you feel, not something you reason about.  But I think it is more deeply visceral than sympathy, I think this election is about shame. Continue Reading


Ivanka Trump On The 2016 Race And Donald Trump As A Father

Tuesday, February 9, 2016  |  posted by Duane Patterson

The audio:


The transcript:

HH: We begin with a very special guest. I have said for months now the best interview in America is Donald Trump. I have to revise that today, because I have the new best interview in America, Ivanka Trump, who is the executive vice president of the Trump Organization. Ivanka, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show with Jon Allen. It’s great to have you, thank you for joining me on election day.

IT: Thank you, Hugh. I know you don’t mean that, but I appreciate it regardless.

HH: No, I do mean that. I got a letter, an email last night. I told my wife that Ivanka was going to open the show, and Brigitte, her friend, sent me a bunch of stuff about you. You are fascinating to Americans, and they don’t ever hear you interviewed. You haven’t done many interviews, have you?

IT: I have done a couple of interviews, but not too many.

HH: Well, I appreciate this. I want to congratulate you, by the way, on the opening of the Old Post Office early. I read that story this morning. I had an office in the Old Post Office when the National Endowment for the Humanities was there, and I don’t know how you turned that into a hotel.

IT: Oh, you’re kidding. That’s amazing. So I mean, you know, it’s an unbelievable building, and it’s got an unbelievable history, tallest building in Washington, D.C., and right on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. So it’s just such a beautiful, grand building that was becoming dilapidated and was totally under-utilized. So the government actually put out a process looking for private sector redevelopment of the asset. It was a very onerous and very competitive RFD, and amazingly, the Obama administration selected the Trump Organization above hundreds of developers who were seeking this opportunity to redevelop the building. And we’re going to be opening almost two years ahead of schedule. So I would say that’s probably a first for Washington, D.C. and for Pennsylvania Avenue. Continue Reading

Election Night Special: Such A Show For You. Plus Predictions (Mine: Trump/Kasich/Rubio) Then Results

Tuesday, February 9, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Having spent yesterday snow bound in a Boston hotel, I’m eager to get to the microphone tonight and spend six hours –from 6 PM until midnight EST on air– gathering predictions and then reporting results.  I’ll be joined in my Boston studio by Sidewire’s Jon Allen, also a columnist for Roll Call, who will be running a simultaneous “Livewire” event for Sidewire (download the great App for the site if you haven’t already.) A special guest will open program at 6 PM EST, and among the line-up are a number of Washington Post reporters on the ground in NH –Robert Costa, Ed O’Keefe, Phil Rucker, Karen Tumulty– plus Politico’s Mike Allen, Shane Goldmacher, Alex Isenstadt and Annie Karni, the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone, David Drucker and Michael Barone, and Senators Tom Cotton, Mike Lee and Jim Talent and House Financial Services Chair Jeb Hensarling, Commentary’s John Podhoertz, National Review’s Eliana Johnson and the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol.

And of course Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, and Ed Morrissey of Salem Media Group will call in as their reporting and posting schedules at and allow.

The best political coverage remains on the radio.  Join us via this site, my mobile App, on the Hughniverse or live on all the network stations carrying the regular broadcast and the network special.

One note: It was announced yesterday that beginning 4/4 I will move my broadcast to 6-9 AM EST as Dr. Bennett goes all Brit Hume on us.  He’ll be a frequent guest with me and all the other Salem Media Group shows, doing segments within my show as well as a weekend program and so the best of both worlds, except for the early-rising challenged.  Looking forward to driving America to work every day –and the news cycle as well on occasion.

Cam Newton and Character Formation

Tuesday, February 9, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

Much has already been made of Cam Newton’s petulant, childish, churlish, classless and unsportsmanlike conduct in the wake of the Denver Broncos Super Bowl victory and his Carolina Panthers loss.  It stands in sharper focus than the usual such behavior from professional athletes because of the contrast to Peyton Manning.  Given that word “usual” in the last sentence this is a story that will likely soon fade, if it has not already.  But that word “usual” actually greatly broadens the discussion and makes these actions, and others like it, more grievous than they appear on the surface.

For someone like Cam Newton to reach the pinnacle of success that he has, and yet still retain in his character that kind of behavior means that throughout his entire life people, from parents to coaches to teachers, valued his athletic prowess to the expense of the formation of his character.  The same can be said for people like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods.

This cannot be a question of great success in an endeavor demanding a certain single-mindedness because there stands Peyton Manning.  I am sure Manning is not perfect, but he has figured out how to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history without being a childish jerk.  In this age Manning does seem the exception rather than the rule, and that is the real problem.  That means that more athletes than not go through entire careers without having anyone worry about their character.

When I was a young man, sports were all about character.  Schools invested in them because they helped form character in a way that classrooms never could.  All that seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Apparently scholastic sports are now just another job training path, and no one worries about character formation at all. Continue Reading

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