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Did You Notice John Kasich In Arizona, Ted Cruz at Heritage, Bobby Jindal on Fox

Thursday, December 11, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt


Ohio ‘s ebullient, peripatetic governor John Kasich dashed in and out of Arizona yesterday to press the case for a Balanced Budget Amendment (and to meet with key money folk who bankroll presidential campaigns.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, fresh from a West Coast swing, made a foreign affairs speech at The Heritage Foundation Wednesday.

And Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was on Fox News Sunday bashing Common Core.

The race has begun, and the courtship of the money and the talking heads under way.  The need for speed and the need for buzz put a premium on many appearances in many places, appearances that generate comment in the new virtual world where the primaries will be won.  The old rules emphasized the Sunday shows.  The new rules? The Independent Journal Review, The FederalistThe Washington Free Beacon –and of course Twitter, Facebook etc. as well as the old new gatekeepers at Politico, Washington Examiner, NRO.  The old old gatekeepers are still around, worm ridden with their ramparts down and their walls breached, but the stumble along as well.

Point is, the one ring to rule them all is lost.  There is no one ring.  Every one of the 2016 would-be nominees is going to have to work a hundred different bylines because each of those bylines can push out stories and buzz.

It is going to be a fun two years for my business, especially because it appears that the candidates all know this and are far more accessible than ever before and willing to answer all sorts of questions and to engage in the sort of back-and-forth that is both winsome and winning.

Iowa’s caucuses are barely 14 months out, with the first debates probably in September –nine months from now.  Enjoy.  The end of the Obama era is within sight.

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Breaking News: Small Signs Of Strategery Among Congressional GOP

Wednesday, December 10, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt


Well the Senate GOP did not rush to prove they were not easy marks for Harry Reid and refused yesterday to restore the filibuster to exactly what it was before Harry Reid broke the rules and made confirmation of judges a 51 vote matter.  So the Senate GOP held out for at least a day against its reputation for being the easiest group of legislators to roll in America.

Some Republican lawmakers are indeed pushing for two sets of rules, those that are for Republican presidents which require 60 votes to confirm a judge or justice and those for Democratic presidents which would require 51, and they are doing so out of misplaced hope that Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again.  Of course it cannot be.  If the Senate GOP “restores” the filibuster without a counterbalancing two years of GOP presidential nominees under the system of 51 votes, it will prove itself a push-over, and also wildly naive about “their colleagues across the aisle.”  Enough Republican senators seem to realize this to stop the push to try and pretend that Harry Reid didn’t slap the GOP across the mouth this session with the jam down of the 51 vote rule.

Senator McCain, an advocated of gluing the arms back on to the Venus de Milo, says it is “hypocrisy” not to do so after arguing against the “nuclear option” before Reid detonated it, in a routine display of his genial approach to negotiation with his colleagues that ascribe to them stupidity or moral defect.  Of course it isn’t hypocrisy to abandon old arguments when those arguments were defeated and circumstances and rules fundamentally changed.  When the “replay” option wasn’t introduced into the NFL, coaches who had opposed it would have been fired if they didn’t use it once it became the rules of the game.  Harry Reid rolled the GOP’s arguments against ending the filibuster.  It isn’t hypocrisy in the least to say that that act that broke the Senate’s long tradition and itself rendered irrelevant the arguments for keeping it in the first place.  Once done, Reid’s move cannot be undone.  The precedent of the undoing by ruling from the chair cannot be undone.  The GOP needs to impose a penalty and win the presidency and after two years of 51-vote confirmations of judges, then they can talk about a new, unbreakable codification of the old rules.

In another healthy development, it looks like some of the riders in the Cromnibus are worth having, indeed have real merit — a hopeful sign for next year.  Too bad the GOP didn’t go with a short term CR for all the agencies and then bristle Appropriations Bills in early 2015 with such necessary bindings on President Obama’s out-of-control bureaucracy.  But some wins are better than none, and the idea of having the Department of Homeland Security shut down in February unless the president pulls back his Executive Amnesty is an interesting one, and one I’ll explore on today’s show.  A shuttered DHS along with a complete embargo on all Obama nominees not related to Homeland Security –Senator Cruz’s idea– seems to me to be excellent first steps in the upcoming two year wrestling match with a lame duck president.

So the end game isn’t going badly.  Not how I’d have designed the last few plays of Obama’s third quarter for my team, but not bad either.  If the Senate GOP doesn’t restore the filibuster.  That would be a disaster.

NYT’s Peter Baker On The Release Of Senate Report and On Hillary’s Unfolding Campaign

Tuesday, December 9, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The New York Times’ Peter Baker joined me on Tuesday’s show to discuss the release by Senator Dianne Feinstein of the Senate report on interrogation and detention, as well as his and Amy Chozick’s piece from the weekend on Hillary Clinton as she prepares to open her campaign for the presidency:




HH: Joining me to discuss it is Peter Baker of the New York Times, the author of the celebrated Days Of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House, which will be under a lot of Christmas trees, I suspect. Peter Baker, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

PB: Oh, thanks for having me as always.

HH: I want to discuss three major things with you, and I’m going to start with actually the smallest one, which is the collapse of the New Republic. I see you’ve tweeted on this a little it. What do you make of the Chris Hughes moves that led to the mass exodus from TNR?

PB: Well, you know, it’s been a real big media story, obviously. It’s kind of funny, because it’s a small publication, but it has a long history. And I think that’s why it’s kind of resonated a little bit. And you saw the sort of multimillionaire young person, who’s a Facebook guy who didn’t have any background in journalism buy it up a couple of years ago. And you know, today, it kind of looks like a vanity project, because he now wants to kind of convert it in a way that the folks that have been there for a long time didn’t appreciate. Now you could say this is a generational thing, you know, change versus resistant staff kind of thing. But I think it goes beyond that. He clearly didn’t sell a group of very talented people there on the idea that what he was suggesting was substantive change. Continue Reading

Max Boot Blasts Release Of Senate Report

Tuesday, December 9, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Max Boot was my guest today, and he blasted the release of the Senate report on interrogation and detention policies during the Bush years.  Links to the Minority Report and other rebuttals which Boot and I discuss are at www.CIASavesLives.com.

The audio:


The transcript:

HH: Probably not many Christmas parties will be as happy tonight in Washington, D.C. with the release of the Senate report, which has been called by the former members of the CIA who put together www.ciasaveslives.com, the single-worst example of Congressional oversight in our many years of government service. Joining me to discuss it, Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Hello, Max, welcome and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you in advance.

MB: Thanks very much.

HH: What do you make of this report?

MB: Well, I’m dismayed that it’s being released, that it really is not clear to me what the imperative is to put this out unto the world when we know it’s going to have harmful consequences. We know it’s going to become a recruiting tool for terrorists, that they will go to town on all of these allegations contained within the report. And yet the practices described therein have already been discontinued, long discontinued. So this is certainly not an attempt to change current policy. To me, it’s very counterproductive and harmful, and I’m deeply sorry that Senator Feinstein decided to release it. Continue Reading

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