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Senator Frist and the New Media

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The Majority Leader gave a thrirty minute interview to Powerline’s Scott Johnson this morning.

Very smart move on the Majority Leader’s part.

Scott asked the senator about the nominations of Kavanaugh and Boyle:

What about judges? He said that nominees Terrence Boyle and Brett Kavanaugh had been waiting five years for a vote and that their nominations needed to be addressed. He referred to 60 other judicial nominations “in the pipeline” and stated that all these nominations “need to be taken through immediately.” He anticipates an acceleration of the confirmation schedule in the coming months.

This confirms some of the speculation at, BenchMemos, and RedState, but the senator would be well served by laying out details so as to allow the blogs to help get the message out about the signicance of these two votes (and I assume as well on the vote on Mr. Haynes, which Scott’s colleague at Powerline Paul Mirengoff has written extensively). These are votes which the Republican base will watch closely, and will demand fairness on and conformance to the “Gang of 14” agreement. If Senator Graham, for example, helps kill the Haynes nomination in the Judiciary Committee, that will be laid at Senator McCain’s feet and rightly so.

And if any of these three are filibustered, the Constitutional Option will have to be dusted off and deployed, exactly a year after it ought ot have been used in the first place.

All of the men (and the woman) who would be president are going to have to figure out new media over the next year. The Majority Leader should think about making himself available to the lefty blogs as well for such interviews –conducted online, perhaps– and the liberals should mix it up on talk radio, where if they swing at the hosts hard balls will surely earn the approval of the Democratic base.

The caution that has crippled presidential campaigns in the past few cycles isn’t going to disappear overnight, but with the debate so constant and often loud, it will be hard to attract and maintain a loyal following without every entering into the fray.


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