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Talking Trump Transition With President Obama Speechwriter Jon Lovett

Tuesday, November 22, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Obama White House alum (he was a speechwriter) Jon Lovett joined me this AM after disagreeing about General Mike Flynn over the weekend on Twitter:




HH: We’ve got a special hour planned. I’m calling this the preview, the modeling of how you ought to conduct Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday with friends and family who voted differently from you. My special guest, first time on the show, Jon Lovett, longtime speechwriter in the President Obama White House, himself now a writer of TV shows, and as he says on his Twitter feed, @JonLovett, a writer of speeches and TV shows and strongly worded letters mostly water. Jon, welcome, it’s good to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

JL: It’s good to be here. Let’s not end by yelling at each other and leaving the table.

HH: No, we won’t turn anything over, and we won’t throw the knives, and we won’t throw the turkey out to the door. Jon, let me begin for people who don’t know you with some background. Would you tell people where you were born, raised, went to school, all that kind of stuff?

JL: Sure. I was born in Manhattan. I grew up on Long Island. I went to Williams College in Massachusetts. My family had a box factory on Long Island started by my grandfather. I went to Williams. I studied math. I graduated. I tried to be a stand-up comic. I think I could have made it. The audiences maybe felt otherwise. I ended up in politics. I was an intern briefly on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, which didn’t end well. But one thing led to another, and I ended up writing some jokes for Hillary Clinton, and then became her junior speechwriter, stuck with her for three years during her first 2008 presidential campaign, which ended in the same way as her second presidential campaign. And once that race was over, I ended up moving over to the White House and being a speechwriter for President Obama for three years working on a full range of domestic policy issues as well as doing the White House Correspondents dinner and all the comedy speeches I could get my hands on. Continue Reading


Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC Talking Trump Transition

Monday, November 21, 2016  |  posted by Duane Patterson

First, with Kristen Welker

Later, with Kate Snow:

Yet later, with Brian Williams:

Dan Balz of the Washington Post Talkin’ Transition

Monday, November 21, 2016  |  posted by Duane Patterson

The audio:


The Transcript:

HH: Joined now by the Washington Post’s Dan Balz on transition week, Thanksgiving week. Dan, how are you? Happy Thanksgiving in advance.

DB: I’m good, thanks. How are you, Hugh? Happy Thanksgiving to you.

HH: I am great. I have one question I have been dying to ask you.

DB: Yes.

HH: You and Philip Rucker put together this amazing oral history of the election, which if anyone didn’t read it, they ought to go back and look up Balz-Rucker oral history. And I was pleased to participate in it. When I talked to you before the election, I was quite certain Trump would lose. And I am wondering, did anyone you talk to in that vast effort think Trump would win?

DB: I would say no.

HH: (laughing)

DB: I think that there were a few Trump people who, you know, we finished most of the reporting on just the weekend before and then we did a little clean up on Election night. But I think nobody really thought, the Trump people thought it had clearly tightened, and they had some opportunities, and they were going after them. I give them credit for that. But I don’t think at the time we talked to them they really thought. I think it really took until, for some of them, Monday when they thought we really actually do have an opportunity. But all the way through that, there was no question that the Clinton people clearly believed they were going to win, and the Trump people were, you know, were at best hopeful that they could create a path. Continue Reading

From “Old Hand” Re: DOJ

Sunday, November 20, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My pal, “Old Hand,” spent decades as a career lawyer in DOJ, though at one of the outlier United States Attorneys Offices, prosecuting bad guys, working with the FBI and Main Justice. He weighed in a few times in this space on Director Comey’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s server, ans sent along the following this AM:

Politico and a couple other places have had stories about a potential “mass exodus” in the Civil Rights Division if Sessions is confirmed. 
Why would that be?   Is the Civil Rights Division full of liberal attorneys?  Is being a left winger a necessary prerequisite to working in the Civil Rights Division?  
If I recall correctly (and I do because I remember it vividly), one of the “outrageous” aspects of the 2006 scandal involving the firings of 7 US Attorneys in the second term of the Bush Administration was the fact that a mid-level DOJ attorney named Monica Goodling — way over her head in the job she was given — came under intense scrutiny by Congress when it became known that she was evaluating some DOJ hires based on their political leanings as gleaned from their resumes.   Bradley Schlozman, the interim Chief of the Civil Rights Division was also found by Congressional investigators and the DOJ Inspector General to have favored applicants with conservative credentials, and disfavored applicants with prior civil rights or human rights affiliations considered too liberal — both in violation of DOJ hiring policies and federal law.
After all, these positions were “career” appointments, and by law political and ideological views are not to be considered in hiring.
So how is it — after 8 years of Obama Administration hiring in the Civil Rights Division — that there might be a “mass exodus” of trial attorneys simply because there is going to be a conservative AG?  Has there been a pattern or practice in hiring by the Civil Rights Division that has favored liberal leaning applicants?  
If there is a “mass exodus”, maybe there should be an investigation into how the staffing of the Civil Rights Division came to be so tilted that it would be so chock-full of liberal and left wing attorney activists who simply can’t bring themselves to handle civil rights cases in a politically neutral manner.
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