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I Think I’ll Keep Covering It As Though It Is Still A Race

Thursday, June 12, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, among the best if not the best reporter of all things GOP on the Hill, is reporting via Twitter that Kevin McCarthy appears to have locked up the race to become Majority Leader, and that his aides are crowing about  inevitability.

Perhaps.  But the grassroots has not been heard from and the idea of replacing Eric Cantor with his hand-picked successor is like the Washington Redskins firing head coach Mike Shanahan on December 30 –which they did– and hiring his son and the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan the next day –which Dan Snyder did not do.  He fired both Shanahans.

Many outside of the Conference are going to see in such a rush to close ranks a complete indifference to the message sent on Tuesday night and to general dismay with the skills set of the leadership.  Yesterday on my show Chuck Todd asserted that the Cantor endorsement was “the kiss of death.”  But this morning McCarthy is inevitable because Jeb Hensarling said “Pass” and Paul Ryan endorsed?  I admire Ryan as much as the next guy, but he’s been wrong before.  Wait and see if by the end of the day angry calls rom Tea Party and other movement conservatives –and especially defense hawks– don’t start to flow into the Hill asking “Why not the best?”  Wait and see if the base erupts at “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

The GOP Conference has been a disaster all year and the last three.  Pete Sessions may be the vehicle to deliver the message or a third name not yet looked for may step up.  It was flat footed, old-D.C. rules to declare victory without even asking conservatives across the country to weigh in and without giving one interview on key issues like immigration reform, the debt limit etc.  Wait and see what Rush, Sean, the Great One etc say today.  By the time I get to my opening interview with Mark Steyn tonight we will see what reaction is, but mine is very negative and I have known and liked Kevin McCarthy for a long time, since his central valley days.  But I don’t like a jam down after “a Wednesday night dinner with Washington donors,” being announced to the plebes.

Wonder where Steyn will be on the subject?  Wonder what callers are going to say?  This is a fundamentally unserious act by a House Conference that appears completely unaware how badly it screwed up the immigration issue, how it misjudged the veteran’s COLA issue a few months back, that Iraq is falling apart, that the president blows off their  mandated notices and that their collective record in four years is “Zero.”

If Jim Jordan or Trey Gowdy put up their hand, they’d have 200,000 online email endorsements in a day.  Pete Sessions is not as well known but he is a hawk.  I think I’ll keep covering this as a race for today and tomorrow.

And I hope Kevin McCarthy and Pete Sessions, as well as Steve Scalise and Pete Roskam –the two announced candidates for Whip– all agree to come on the shops today and sit for longer interviews before Thursday.



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“What Happened to Eric Cantor? by Clark S. Judge

Thursday, June 12, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The weekly column from Clark Judge

What Happened to Eric Cantor?
By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute

Behind every political upheaval is a mix of the momentous and the mundane. The fall of Eric Cantor is no exception.

On the mundane side is a congressman who lost touch with his district. It turns out that listening to constituents was low on Congressman Cantor’s list of priorities. Many Virginia 7th voters have been quoted in the last 24 hours complaining that they barely ever saw him.

Out of touch is a particular problem if, as happened with Cantor, a good deal of your district is new to you, as of the last redistricting. Cantor allies in the Virginia legislature thought they were doing him a favor, making his district even more secure from Democratic assault after the last census. But Cantor made little effort to introduce himself to his new constituents, leaving him even more vulnerable to criticism that he was lost to Washington. Continue Reading

An Open Offer To Any GOP House Member Seeking To Be Majority Leader Or Whip

Wednesday, June 11, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

When John Boehner and John Shadegg squared off to be the GOP minority leader in 2006, both men appeared on the program and in effect pitched this audience on why they should be elected by the House GOP members.  The audience has no direct impact on the vote of course, but the willingness to do so was a high water mark for communicating with the base for the Speaker.  (He has not agreed to an interview in four years, nor Eric Cantor.  Kevin McCarthy has appeared once.)

This is an open invitation to any House GOP member seeking to be elected Majority Leader or Whip to come and spend an hour on air with me over the next few days before the leadership election, taking my questions only –no callers with ambush questions– and we will then make the audio and transcript available online that night for anyone to read who can’t hear the show live. For Members with tough schedules, I will come in and pretape the interviews if necessary to make sure they get their turn at bat.

I will be interested to see who accepts this invitation, because it will tell me about who has confidence in their ability to communicate and present the conservative case –a key skills set in the months and years ahead.  Watch this space, and hope the sound you hear isn’t crickets.


Joe Scarborough Says He’d Vote For Hensarling Over McCarthy, Urges Boehner To Announce Retirement

Wednesday, June 11, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Morning Joe was my guest today, and analyzed the race to succeed Eric Cantor, and John Boehner’s best path forward:




HH: I can’t overestimate how important, overstate how important next week’s leadership election is for the Republican Party and for the country, because whoever becomes the majority leader is almost certain to become the Speaker. And whoever becomes the Speaker is going to negotiate with the President and the [Senate] Majority leader. This morning, I was on JetBlue, because I had the 6:30am flight from Washington, D.C. back to California, and had the treat of watching all of Morning Joe following by the Chuck Todd show. And it was a remarkably good show, and Morning Joe joins me now. And Joe, I normally don’t watch. I’m not normally up at that hour, but I had the cross-country flight. Congrats. That was just a terrific show this morning.

JS: Thanks so much. I appreciate it. It was a fascinating story. Continue Reading

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