Author Archives: Clark S. Judge

Trump, Flynn, Tillerson — Is this a Putin-Patsy Presidency? No Way. | Ricochet | 1.22.2017

This article originally appeared in Ricochet.  As Democrats and media continue their campaign to discredit President Donald Trump, no question is more potentially toxic – nor more misperceived – than the direction Mr. Trump hopes to take US-Russian relations. You know the list of accusations: Trump has said nice things about Russian President Vladimir Putin; […]
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Liberal Critics Should Take a Closer Look | New York Times | 1.20.2017

This article originally appeared in the New York Times. President Trump’s extraordinary Inaugural Address was at once familiar and surprising, combining echoes from a forgotten past with notes that are entirely new. The echoes were to a president who was viewed with as much alarm by the official Washington of his day as Mr. Trump […]
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Trump Should Remind Us to Acknowledge What’s Wrong Before Making Things Right | New York Times | 1.18.2017

This article originally appeared in the New York Times. In his first Inaugural Address, President Andrew Jackson said that the election that brought him to office “inscribes on the list of Executive duties, in characters too legible to be overlooked, the task of ‘reform.’” With this election, the American people told those of us they […]
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Trump and Twitter: Message to Washington — Let It Be! | Ricochet | 1.14.2017

Count me as a dissenter on the biggest question facing Washington: Should Donald Trump be allowed (whatever that means) to keep his Twitter account? With one voice, Washington shouts, “No. No. No.” I reply, “Yes. Yes. Yes.” I spent seven years in the Reagan Administration. My assignments ranged from management review of the government, to […]
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Organizing the White House: Trump Getting it Right | Ricochet | 1.2.2017

In all the stories about Republicans and conservatives lauding President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks – even as Democrats go scalp hunting – one surprising fact has escaped partisan and media attention: This may be the most shrewdly organized entering White House since Ronald Reagan’s. To see why, look at the history of the top inside […]
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The Rust Belt Is Right to Blame Obama | Wall Street Journal | 12.18.2016

Donald Trump hasn’t wasted time moving to revive America’s economic growth, with an emphasis on manufacturing. Critics may say the recent Carrier deal, which will save 800 American jobs, is small potatoes, but Mr. Trump’s pledge to reduce regulation is decidedly not. A new analysis confirms that the average industry’s regulatory risk has increased nearly […]
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Reading Bill Buckley in the Age of Trump | Wall Street Journal |9.30.2016

In their lifetimes, Winston Churchill, Alistair Cooke and Richard Nixon each published collected profiles of prominent figures in their time. In “Great Contemporaries” (1937) Churchill’s subjects (Kaiser Wilhelm II, Leon Trotsky and Adolf Hitler, among them) were indeed great or at least prominent, and his assessments were considered. But the totality read as if he […]
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A Man in Full | National Review | 2.15.2016

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, by Jon Meacham (Random House, 864 pp., $35) The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H. W. Bush, by John H. Sununu (Broadside, 432 pp., $28.99) American administrations don’t fall silent when their president leaves office. Just the opposite: Inauguration Day for the […]
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The Cowboy At Commerce| Wall Street Journal | 1.5.2016

Ronald Reagan was once asked if he considered any member of his cabinet a “true visionary.” Two, Reagan replied: United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige. In Reagan-era Washington, Baldrige was best known as the cowboy secretary. A card-carrying member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, he retained his professional status by […]
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Why the Fed Should Not Raise Interest Rates| Hugh Hewitt |11.9 2015

For months now, the biggest economic question in Washington and even the world has been, when will the U.S. Federal Reserve raise interest rates. After all, since 2008, the Fed has more than doubled M1 (the narrowest and most widely followed measure of money in the economy). If ultra-easy money policies aren’t reversed, won’t inflation […]
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Friday Night Fight: George Will KOs Bill O’Reilly| Hugh Hewitt |11.9 2015

On Friday night Bill O’Reilly had George Will on his program. The purpose was to “discuss” O’Reilly’s new book, Killing Reagan, and a column Will wrote criticizing it. In the column, Will took apart O’Reilly’s thesis that, as a result of the 1981 assassination attempt on him, Ronald Reagan suffered from developing dementia during the […]
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What is John Roberts Up To? | Ricochet.com | 06.23.14

Yesterday, a Washington Post review of Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution, by Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe and his former student Joshua Matz, ended with this observation: [T]here is one place where Tribe and Matz find real clarity [in the current Court]: the shrinking availability of judicial relief. “One of the defining features of the […]
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Regulation is blocking enterprise in Silicon Valley | Financial Times | 06.05.07

An anxious question is increasingly being asked in America’s entrepreneurially intense tech- nology communities: could we be seeing the death – or at least the decline – of exit strategies? When backers of high-risk ventures have ready routes to realise returns, they invest more. The US has long enjoyed multiple and largely uncongested exit avenues, […]
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Sailing through the Greek Crisis| Hugh Hewitt |7.2.2015

Last week, as Greece, and, as a result of Greece, the EU, were approaching a point of no return in their five-year economic and financial crisis, I was put-putting with four school buddies in a boat through the Greek Islands -– our ports of call a tour of life before the deluge. That life was […]
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Honoring Peter Schramm, American Philosopher and Patriot| Hugh Hewitt |7.13.2015

Last Monday evening, the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, held a tribute for its recently retired executive director, Peter Schramm. It was at once a triumphant, inspiring, and sad occasion. Schramm has recently been diagnosed with an especially aggressive form of cancer. Under Dr. Schramm’s more than quarter century […]
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Jeb Bush Surprises – Not with the Announcement but with the Substance| Hugh Hewitt |6.16. 2015

So Jeb Bush is in – the third Bush to run for president in three decades. Other than showing his ability to raise money (substantial, but not surprising, given the family history), Jeb’s pre-announcement performance had been clunky. Awkward speeches. Maladroit interviews. Then there was the choice to lead in policy positioning with Common Core […]
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Terrorism on our Doorstep: Senator Graham may be more right than he knows| Hugh Hewitt |6.9. 2015

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Friday, Senator Lindsey Graham spoke of the threat of “lone wolf” terrorists in the United States. He cited the recent incident of a young Boston man of Middle Eastern origin, reportedly radicalized via a website, who was shot dead when he attacked police with a hunting knife. We […]
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Knocking Out New York’s Bullyboy Leftist| Hugh Hewitt |5.8. 2015

It is not often that black tie awards dinners serve as a round in a prizefight. Last Monday New York City’s Manhattan Institute held is annual Alexander Hamilton Dinner and used the occasion to deliver intellectual knockout blows against the city’s radical leftist mayor William de Blasio and his circle. To do so, the Institute […]
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He Rose to the Challenge, Review of “Reagan: A Life”| Wall Street Journal |5.8. 2015

On the day Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency, the United States faced challenges as daunting as any in its history. The country’s globally dominant economy was like an all-but-beaten prizefighter, a giant on wobbly legs, eyes glassed over, swaying toward collapse. The legs were unemployment and inflation. Economists from the super-confident neo-Keynesian consensus of the ’60s […]
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Rubio and Walker (or Walker and Rubio). Dream Ticket?| Hugh Hewitt |4.15.2015

Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for president yesterday. He may be half of the makings of the 2016 GOP dream ticket. The Republicans have two big problems to solve if they hope to win the White House next time around. No, I am not talking about cracking the Latin American ancestry vote. It would be […]
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Baltimore Riots, Low Growth Economy: The Wages of Folly| Hugh Hewitt |5.5.2015

You don’t often see the wages of folly come due all at once. But in less that 48 hours last week, the nation was presented with two bills for the last six-and-a-half years. On Monday night, rioting broke out in Baltimore. We all know the immediate cause, the funeral of a young man who died […]
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Why Congress Must Insist on Reviewing Any Deal with Iran| Hugh Hewitt |4.7.2015

Several weeks ago I attended a small meeting with a leader in the global policy thinking of a major US ally. This leader — who has long been privy to the views and policy discussions of heads of government and the circles immediately around them – reported that the United States never in current memory […]
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The NFL, America’s Heroes in Uniform, and Traumatic Brain Injury | Ricochet |3.26.2015

I usually write about politics, economics, foreign relations and national security, law and the Constitution, and, occasionally, American history and culture. Today I am going to write about our armed services, professional sports and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  For the past month I have been immersed in understanding how TBI can be treated. Last week, […]
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Treating Traumatic Brain Injury — Telling a Mistold Tale | Ricochet |3.19.2015

In the last few weeks, I have been immersed not in an untold story but a mistold one. So far as I can see, the mistelling has nothing to do with politics, but here is what it is. War is hell. It is also a powerful catalyst for medical advances: penicillin in World War II; […]
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Lynch Would Be the Wrong AG at Wrong Time| Hugh Hewitt |3.16.2015

Eric Holder has received a bad rap. Yes, under his watch the Justice Department has pushed the boundaries of the Constitution and the law over and over in a manner that has turned a harsh spotlight on a now troubled – some would say corrupted – agency. But the abuse of law and power did […]
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Administration Suppressed bin Laden Raid Intelligence Trove,’ Steve Hayes tells Pacific Research Institute Audience Friday| Hugh Hewitt |3.9.2015

On Friday night, at Pacific Research Institute’s annual Southern California dinner, Weekly Standard columnist and Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes told why, as a presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may already be Dead Woman Walking – yet he hardly touched on her email scandal. Hayes reprised and elaborated on his Thursday Wall […]
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Giuliani’s Passion| Hugh Hewitt |2.25.2015

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Rudolph Giuliani wrote that he hoped the bluntness of his recent words about President Barack Obama would not obscure his meaning. If ever there were a case of twisted by naves to make a trap for fools, the criticism of the former New York mayor’s remarks is it. Giuliani had […]
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Flash: World Falling Apart. U.S. Responds… How?| Hugh Hewitt |2.6.2015

Morning reports have it that German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande are, as I write, flying to Moscow. Their mission: to head off what the London Telegraph terms a “total war” between Russia and Ukraine (http://bit.ly/merkel2Putin) that could draw in Western Europe and the United States. The paper reports “tensions are running […]
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“Can Hillary Clinton Get Her Mojo Back? Does She Need To?”| Hugh Hewitt |12.5.2014

Is Hillary Clinton the inevitable next presidential nominee of the Democratic Party? To hear the former secretary of State’s acolytes in the media, it is all but a done deal. But in their sudden sense of vulnerability following last month’s elections, Democrats and commentators are having second thoughts. Washington is abuzz about an apparently tedious […]
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“Not the Leader of the Free World” | Hugh Hewitt |1.12.2015

Sometimes history changes with a bang, sometimes with a whimper. A change in the course of American history may have occurred yesterday to the sound of silence. Yesterday the American president declined to act as leader of the free world – choosing to remain at home focused on a minor, non-starter legislative proposal while 40 […]
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SOTU Address: No Middle Class Economics but Lots of Spin| Hugh Hewitt |1.28.15

Last week President Obama delivered his next to final State of the Union address. In it, he extolled “middle class economics”, which was the name he attached to his economic policies. The more I listened, the more I thought, this is spin, not reality. As with many, perhaps most, Americans, when I hear the words […]
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Selma Misses the Historical Mark — Dr. King, LBJ and America Deserved Better | Ricochet |1.19.15

On Friday evening I saw Selma, the Academy Award nominated film about the 1965 civil rights march that Dr. Martin Luther King led from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery, fifty miles away. The film depicts the enormous courage of the marchers and the inspirational leadership of Dr. King. But it misses the historical […]
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The New Congress: A Three Dimensional Chess Game Begins| Hugh Hewitt |1.5.15

The new Republican Senate and the more-Republican House take office this week. Around this town, asked in one way or another, the universal question is, what difference will it make? Yes, long bottled up legislation will start coming to the Senate floor. After the Democrats lost the House in 2010, President Obama and Senate Majority […]
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Bush, Romney, Who: Picking the GOP 2016 Nominee| Hugh Hewitt |1.28.15

Is 2015 the new 2016? You tell me. This past week the New York Times ran two front-page stories about Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. This past Sunday (yesterday) panel after panel of TV interview show commentators focused the GOP field in the 2016, which by now seems to include everyone except my mother – […]
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Rioting in Ferguson – A Disheartening Rejection of the Civil Rights Movement | Hugh Hewitt |11.26.14

The most disheartening fact about the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, is that the rioters reject due process of law. Yet these same rioters are among the Americans who should be most invested in protecting the law’s protections. They are, after all, some of the chief beneficiaries of the nearly two-century struggle to achieve the very rights […]
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The GOP Establishment, the Tea Party and 2016| Hugh Hewitt |11.10.14

Sunday’s New York Times ran this top of the fold, front-page headline (left column, meaning the number two story of the day), “Before Battling Democrats, GOP is Fighting Itself.” To some extent The Times was trying to stoke the flames of Republican division. Even so, the Tea Party v. the Establishment is all the buzz in Washington just now.  […]
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Washington Braces for Democrat Defeat| Hugh Hewitt |11.1.14

Though Real Clear Politics’ race-by-race report on the average of polls is only just now beginning to reflect it, for several days the Washington tom toms have been beating out predictions of a big GOP sweep next Tuesday. I’m not just talking about the pundits, such as Roll Call’s Stu Rothenberg. His Rothenblog report on […]
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Visit to a Country of Ghosts| Hugh Hewitt |10.13.14

I spent September’s last full week in Budapest, capital of Hungary. Sharing a border with Ukraine, the former Warsaw Pact country is now member of the European Union and NATO.  For the United States, it is a strategic country in what has become, thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin, a tense region. Over four days, […]
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For the Mid-Terms, Does the GOP Have What it Takes?| Hugh Hewitt |09.29.14

By all rights, the GOP should be walking away with the mid-term elections, a shoo-in to capture the Senate and even make gains in the House, which they already hold by a comfortable margin. After all, the job environment remains dismal.  According to the union-backed Economic Policy Institute, if you are a recent college grad, […]
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At a Global Conference, Rumblings of Much Bigger War| Hugh Hewitt |09.22.14

“At a Global Conference, Rumblings of Much Bigger War” By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute. This past weekend the International Institute of Strategic Studies held its annual Global Strategic Review Conference in Oslo, Norway. Because of its elite membership and closeness to a wide range of […]
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Afterward for Vel Talt (Norwegian for Talk Well) by Kjell Terje Ringdal (H. Aschehoug, Oslo, 2014)

Some years ago a friend – another former speechwriter for a U.S. president — asked me to talk to a group of Scandinavians about working in the White House.  Every year since then, I have addressed Kjell Ringdal’s Washington Seminar. Each November, the seminars bring to this capital city Norwegian and Swedish journalists, legislators and […]
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Advice to GOP Candidates: No Coasting to Victory This Year | Hugh Hewitt |09.08.14

In today’s Wall Street Journal (http://bit.ly/WSJToday), I offer advice to this year’s Republican candidates, particularly candidates for the U.S. Senate. I urge them to remember that, though voters might be alarmed at the president’s performance, they aren’t that wild about the GOP either. Republicans can’t coast. Like the money of that brokerage house in the […]
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Countering the Democratic Midterm Push | The Wall Street Journal | 09.07.14

With an unpopular president in office and many congressional seats up for grabs, the Democratic high command is fundraising with a vengeance, hoping to swamp the 2014 midterms with dollars and attack ads to retain control of the Senate. So what should Republicans do? Here are some suggestions. • Remember why the GOP lost Congress in […]
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Rick Perry’s Indictment: The Price of Integrity | Hugh Hewitt |08.27.14

As the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth wrote at Real Clear Markets not long ago (http://bit.ly/1oQyWBT), the indictment of Rick Perry looks straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.” It is America’s current misfortune to have a major party in the hands of a faction that embraces […]
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Book Review: ‘Rising Tides’ | The Washington Times | 06.03.14

Is any American literary genre more despised than works by sitting members of Congress? Windy, vacuous, banal: with few exceptions, they are embarrassments to the republic. Not so on the far side of the pond. Edmund Burke, Winston Churchill, Roy Jenkins, Matthew Ridley: the houses of Parliament have long been among the United Kingdom’s richest […]
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Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution and Slavery| HughHewitt.com | 08.13.14

It was William Faulkner who wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” How we understand the origins of our institutions and the men and women who shaped them shapes what we value about them now. It informs what we keep and what we change and what we build that’s new. Last month, […]
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This weak and timid President talks big… and does nothing| Daily Mail |07.20.14

At a political event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, President Obama devoted only 40 seconds to the shooting down of the Malaysian airline, his first statement to the world following the news. His emotionless reference to the attack as ‘a terrible tragedy’ seemed disconnected from the horrific moment, particularly as he immediately reverted to script […]
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How Thomas Jefferson Freed the Slaves | Ricochet.com | 07.14.14

It was William Faulkner who wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” On the 4th of July weekend I found myself thinking about Thomas Jefferson and slavery. You know the derision directed at the author of the Declaration of Independence on this topic — and, in some quarters, at the legitimacy of […]
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Income Inequality in America: Is It Rising and Is It Bad| HughHewitt.com | 07.14.14

For anyone following the media just now, it is hard to get through a week without hearing about income inequality in America. In case you missed it, it’s gone up in the last few decades and this, we are told, is a bad thing. On both accounts, I wonder. The recent flurry of interest follows […]
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Democrats’ Strategy: Divert Media from Big Donors’ Big Gifts| HughHewitt.com | 07.11.14

I’m sure you’ve seen all of the analysis about why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is leading a war on the Koch brothers. Energize the Democrats big donors and, as part of the party’s continuing class warfare strategy, make two billionaires the face of the GOP – those are the principal reasons pundits flag. I […]
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Matt Ridley Takes on the Global Warming World| HughHewitt.com | 06.30.14

The average global temperature has not risen for 15 years.  Extreme weather events are at or below historical norms.  In the Southern Hemisphere sea ice has hit record highs (http://bit.ly/1vlDqP6).  So of course the Obama Administration has once more declared that the debate is over and that global warming is a fact, and the Supreme […]
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America’s Security Today v. When George H.W. Bush Left Office: How Much We Have Lost| HughHewitt.com | 06.19.14

Last week marked the 90th birthday of President George H.W. Bush and the 89th of his wife Barbara. A splendid film honoring the former president aired on CNN – 41 on 41 (for the 41 people who spoke on camera about the 41st president) — and another on Fox News Channel. But it got me […]
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What Happened to Eric Cantor? | HughHewitt.com | 06.12.14

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 […]
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Today’s Kentucky Primary | HughHewitt.com | 05.20.14

Today, Tuesday, May 20th, Kentucky Republicans go to the polls to decide whether to nominate Senator Mitch McConnell for another term. Why is this even a question? The simple, essential fact is that the GOP would be no place — no place – today if it were not for McConnell’s leadership in the Senate. Does […]
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Why Is the President Throwing So Many Friends under the Bus? | HughHewitt.com | 05.12.14

Sometimes it seems there is nothing so dangerous as being a friend of this administration – dangerous in terms of how the administration treats you. I am not sure I had ever heard the term “throw under the bus” until, during the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama did exactly that to his deceased grandmother, suggesting she […]
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Russia, Ukraine and What’s Next: Overseas Conversations | HughHewitt.com | 04.26.14

In the month since I last filed a column, I have traveled overseas, as well as within the U.S.  In the course of these visits, I have taken in presentations by and had private discussions with a number of current and former players from both the senior and staff levels of a number of friendly […]
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The Crimea and The Global Leadership Deficit | HughHewitt.com | 03.20.14

The March 19th front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal announced, “Defiant Russia Claims Crimea as Violence Flares in Region.”  For the first time since the end of the Second World War, one European country invaded and annexed the territory of another. The unseen subtext of so many similar headlines around the world was that the end […]
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Charles Krauthammer and Frederick Hayek in Newport Beach | HughHewitt.com | 03.14.14

The Pacific Research Institute held its annual Baroness Margaret Thatcher Orange County (California) Dinner last week.  The site was the Island Hotel in the coastal town of Newport Beach.  The honoree was former California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon.  The main speaker was syndicated columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer. A dour man on camera, […]
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Division and Confusion: Europe Without America | HughHewitt.com | 03.10.14

If you want to see why American leadership is essential to the effectiveness of Europe in global affairs, just meet with a multinational collection of European political and other officials. I had occasion to share an evening with such a group this past week.  The discussions were on background, not for attribution, so, as with […]
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Question to Ricochet: Is this a brilliant idea or what? | Ricochet.com | 03.08.14

In Southern California for the Pacific Research Institute’s annual Baroness Margaret Thatcher Orange County Dinner last night, I had lunch shortly after landing with a veteran of political communications in this state. Over our meal, he began to go on in the manner all of us go on about the cluelessness of Republicans in Washington. […]
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Administration Lawlessness? Executive Orders Aren’t the Half of It. | HughHewitt.com | 02.19.14

Talk about a smokescreen. When President Obama pledged to use executive orders to do what he couldn’t get Congress to do, no one thought such an extreme, in-your-face challenge could be a diversion.  But it now looks as though that is what it might have been. For some of the most extreme unilateral administration actions […]
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A Dangerous Place Already, This Week the World Became More Dangerous | HughHewitt.com | 02.27.14

When based on principle, partisanship can be a good thing. Due to a series of coincidences, I have spent much of the past five days listening to lectures from foreign policy and national security intellectuals and former policy makers of the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 administrations.  All were partisans, of course.  But all […]
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Border Security – and Insecurity | HughHewitt.com | 02.14.14

Sometimes Washington is beyond clueless.  Immigration reform is a case in point. Central to the immigration reform is border security, stopping people from illegally slipping across the Mexican border into the United States.  Millions have done so in recent years, though far fewer since the recession began.  Many were seeking jobs. Some may have been […]
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The Ricochet 200th Podcast: The Larger Meaning | Ricochet.com | 01.26.14

As all Ricochetti know, tonight James, Peter, Rob and many more will have themselves a 200th Ricochet podcast. The golden voices and lively wits will record live at the Town and Gown Ballroom on the University of Southern California campus in downtown Los Angeles. One of the organizers tells me that the audience may exceed […]
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More on Walt Disney | HughHewitt.com | 01.27.14

Usually my columns stand by themselves.  This one is an exception.  It is a follow-on to last week’s, which concerned Meryl Streep’s charge that Walt Disney was anti-Semitic, as well as discriminating against women in hiring and promotion.   Among other things, I said that, “Disney had numerous Jewish friends, business associates and employees, supported a […]
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Defending Mr. Disney | HughHewitt.com | 01.24.14

As a child, I was fascinated by Walt Disney.  Not by his cartoons.  Not by the Mouseketeers.  Not by Davy Crocket.  But by Disney himself, the creator of the company that produced all those films and TV shows.  So I was dismayed two weeks ago when, as you have no doubt heard, actress Meryl Streep […]
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Senator Mitch McConnell Shows There is At Least One Adult In The Room | HughHewitt.com | 01.13.14

Perhaps like me you were taught in school that the nation’s founders feared popular rule.  That view is wrong.  The Founders wanted enduring popular rule.  They feared that rule by narrow, fleeting majorities would lead to wild swings of policy, undermining the public’s own trust in popular rule. So to ensure government by durable majorities, they created, […]
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Is Money Too Easy…or Too Tight? | Ricochet.com | 01.11.14

Last week, I posted a summary to a New York Times op-ed by financial crisis expert Peter Wallison (“Nightmare on Elm Street: A Picture of the New Housing Bubble”). Wallison had argued that a new housing bubble was developing.  I included with my summary a chart that he circulated privately to back up his claim. In a comment […]
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Nightmare on Elm Street: A Picture of The New Housing Bubble | Ricochet.com | 01.06.14

No one has written as deeply and well on the financial crisis as Peter Wallison, once White House Counsel for President Reagan and now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His core analysis: Beginning in the late 1990s, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — driven by the Clinton Administration and Congressional policy (read: […]
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Solution… Make Obamacare Voluntary | HughHewitt.com | 1.06.14

In the closing days of 2013, Senator Ron Johnson (R., WI) made national news when he opined that Obamacare could not be repealed.  Too much about health insurance coverage had changed since the program’s implementation commenced on October 1st.  There was no longer a way to go back. Set aside that, judging from the vagueness […]
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Help Wanted: Leaders Who Can Follow | HughHewitt.com | 12.27.13

Perhaps like me you have had a busy holiday season.  You have focused on family and friends and forgotten, for a moment, the larger world – including, like me, deadlines.  Now, I am trying to catch up. The polls tell what most of us see all around and in ourselves – that this divided nation […]
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Republican Civil War – Dealing with the GOP’s Dilemma | HughHewitt.com | 12.16.13

Over the weekend, Rasmussen posted the results of a poll showing GOP senator Ted Cruz trailing only Pope Francis and President Obama as “the most influential person in 2013.”  It has been a good year for Mr. Cruz, who was sworn in fewer than twelve months ago.  Some would say that it has a less […]
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Flash: Obamacare Dangerous To Health of Poor | HughHewitt.com | 12.05.13

Well, Halleluiah.  The Obamacare website is up and running. Of course, at only half a million applications processed so far… and accounting for the ones that the system garbled or couldn’t verify or seems to have lost… and anticipating the tens of millions of Americans predicted to lose coverage once the employer mandate kicks in […]
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Obamacare and Snap of the Fingers Government | HughHewitt.com | 11.25.13

Last week a senior Washington political journalist told me this story. According to the journalist’s inside-the-administration sources, a memo went from the Obamacare website developers to the White House several months ago.  It laid out in detail the problems with the now-infamous website and recommended – maybe begged is closer to it – the launch’s […]
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The Cure for Obamacare: The Widely Accepted Alternative and a New Idea to Go with It | HughHewitt.com | 11.18.13

At a luncheon in Washington last week, I stumbled across something new in the Obamacare debate. Most of the attendees were reporters.  The inevitable question came up: If not Obamacare, what?  And when a Republican ran through an answer (equalizing tax treatment of insurance bought through employers and individually; allowing insurance policies approved in one […]
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Prognosis for Obamacare: Terminally Ill, All Too Likely to Survive | HughHewitt.com | 11.10.13

Well, there is one thing you can say about Obamacare. Yes, it reflects the kind of “sweep away everything to impose our vision of the ultimate good on everyone” mentality that we all loved so much about the Soviet Union.  But it took the Soviet Union 75 years to fall of its own weight.  It […]
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Obamacare, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and Ken Cucchinelli: Lessons in Political Communications | HughHewitt.com | 10.24.13

The government is up and running full tilt again.  It can borrow as much as it wishes until next February.  But before moving on entirely, I wanted to share three notes on three men whose roles tell us something about what happened and what’s next: Ted Cruz: Senator Cruz addressed the American Spectator annual dinner last night.  […]
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Postmortem: The Budget Battle on the Morning After | HughHewitt.com | 10.17.13

“Obama Wins.”  That’s the lead morning headline at Politico.com and the unanimous view in this city about the outcome of the government shutdown and debt ceiling standoff of the last few weeks. In policy, we have the status quo ante: The government is funded at sequester levels; the debt ceiling has been suspended so the government can […]
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Scorecard: The Shutdown, the Debt Ceiling, the House GOP and Delaying Obamcare | HughHewitt.com | 10.07.13

If you want to see how the lockstep-with-the-Obama-administration media is trying to spin the American people, pick up Sunday’s New York Times (or click here: http://nyti.ms/15VMXAx<http://nyti.ms/15VMXAx> ).  In the middle of the front page you will find an article headlined: “A Crisis Months in Planning: Conservative Focused on budget as Health Law Weapon.” On a good portion of page […]
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Greek Tragedy in Washington: Obama, Obamacare, Republicans, Ted Cruz and the Shutdown | HughHewitt.com | 09.30.13

Greek tragedy is all about hubris — overweening pride and how it brings men down.  Hubris could be the story of the coming week in Washington but not for the reasons most think. As the whole world knows, this city is fixated on a standoff between the president and Congressional Republicans (all in the House, […]
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Midgame (Not Endgame) for Fighting Obamacare: Seeking Team Ricochet’s Reaction | Ricochet.com | 09.24.13

In response to Ted Cruz’s promised filibuster, critics are shouting “what’s your endgame?” I have a different question, directed in particular to GOP governors and gubernatorial candidates: What’s your midgame? Here is the key fact: We can’t repeal Obamacare until 1) the GOP wins the White House and both houses of Congress (the Senate by […]
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Washington Deadlock: Obama Speech v. Paulson Presentation | HughHewitt.com | 09.19.13

If you want to see why Washington has been in such deadlock since the GOP took over Congress, look no farther than two talks of this past Monday. The first was President Obama’s speech on the economy, delivered in the noon hour within the White House complex.  Many commentators described it as “unhelpful” and that […]
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Putin Rescues Obama | HughHewitt.com | 09.13.13

Many in the media have reported today (Wednesday) that, with the chemical weapons deal he offered to Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin saved Syrian president Bashar Assad.  Nonsense.  Mr. Putin saved the American president, Mr. Obama, even as he humiliated him. Here are some key points about Tuesday night’s speech and beyond: After the speech I […]
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Answering Senator Rand Paul’s Questions About Syria | HughHewitt.com | 09.05.13

In a highly intelligent article posted at the Time magazine site this morning (http://tinyurl.com/nyore9m), Senator Rand Paul asks a series of questions about intervention in Syria.  Here they are with my responses: Senator Paul’s Question #1: “Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster […]
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The March on Washington – Today and 50 Years Ago | HughHewitt.com | 08.28.13

Today is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” address. A commemorative march will climax with speeches on the same site as Dr. King’s storied remarks. President Obama will take the role of star speaker, clearly a marker for how much the […]
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Economic Canaries – and Obamacare is the Cat | HughHewitt.com | 08.22.13

Just as the Washington Establishment is trumpeting the economy’s revival, an alarming other story is gaining traction.  It isn’t a new edition of the headline grabbing “end to the stimulus” tale.  Instead, it is of obscure financial data that may be signaling bad time ahead – and pointing to a cause.  Call it the canary […]
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The Global War on US — What Should We Do About It? | Ricochet.com | 08.20.13

Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan and all the rest: Since the Obama Administration disclaimed the “Global War on Terror,” every crisis has been addressed ad hoc. That may be one reason our foreign policy seems to stagger around blindly, knocking over tables, breaking plate and pots, ever more dumbly desperate. The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy’s […]
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Flash: Obamacare is Unworkable… For Everyone | HughHewitt.com | 08.14.13

When will the charade stop? The New York Times reports this morning that yet another feature of Obamacare is proving unworkable.  The Administration has postponed to 2015 implementing a feature of the law that limits out of pocket medical costs to $6350/year for individuals, $12,700 for families. Furthermore, the paper adds, “some group health plans will […]
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Remembering Judge William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Personal Emissary | Ricochet.com | 08.12.13

William P. Clark — Judge Clark, as he was known in Washington during the Reagan years — passed away on Saturday.  He was a deeply good man and an essential contributor to the successful resolution of the Cold War.  The obituaries will tell you the main parts of his story, but on one point all […]
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Education Reform in America is Just Getting Started | HughHewitt.com | 08.08.13

Yesterday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush made news zinging actor/director Matt Damon with a tweet: “Matt Damon Refuses to Enroll Kids in Los Angeles Public Schools. Choice ok for Damon, why not everyone else?” The cafeteria food fight that is the U.S. education debate is on again.  After two decades it has come down to […]
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The Crisis In Entrepreneurial Finance: The Death of ‘Liquidity Event’ IPOs | HughHewitt.com | 08.04.13

Why are the American economy and the number of American jobs growing so slowly?  A few days ago, I stumbled on one answer.  And for once, it didn’t have to do – or, at least, much to do — with economy’s mismanagement by the current administration. As part of a swing through California, I spent […]
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The Buck Stops Somewhere Else | USNews.com | 07.26.13

Haven’t we seen this act before? This week, President Obama denounced Republicans in Congress who were trying, he said, to destroy Obamacare by mucking up its implementation. You’ve got to admire the president. A man of many gifts – intellectual, rhetorical – but none of his gifts matches that of passing blame. Harry Truman may […]
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President Obama’s Clueless Economics | HughHewitt.com | 07.25.13

Yesterday President Obama delivered a much-heralded (by himself and his minions) speech on the economy. It was a transparent attempt to change the Washington topic from, as he put it, “phony scandals”. Phony scandals?  Let’s see.  Could he have been referring to the White House-ordered IRS audits of the Administration’s political opponents, precisely the same […]
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As Global Storm Clouds Gather, Who is Paying Attention? | HughHewitt.com | 07.16.13

The nation’s eyes are fixed on George Zimmerman’s acquittal in Florida and Edward Snowden’s life in global air-travel limbo.  Meanwhile, a group of small stories from around the world tell of deeper dangers approaching. The first story comes out of Panama (http://tinyurl.com/m6tx2sp).  Yesterday, a North Korean ship traveling from Cuba was detained while attempting to […]
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Should Conservatives Fight Obamacare – Or Is There Nothing That Can Be Done To Stop It? | HughHewitt.com | 07.09.13

Last night, after a gathering of politios here in Washington, a prominent writer and authority on health care detailed for me the tremendous gloom among Capitol Hill Republicans and conservatives about Obamacare in recent days. The just-announce full-year postponement in implementing the employer mandate was not an admission of failure, I was told, but an […]
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President Embraces Flat Earth Science… and Economics | HughHewitt.com | 06.26.13

Yesterday President Obama joined the Flat Earth Society. That’s not how he put it, of course.  Just the opposite.  He said, “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” i.e. those not prepared to join him in embracing radical anti-fossil fuel policies. Put another way, he meant forget about Congress.  Congress […]
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What is the Greatest Force Shaping Our Age? | Ricochet.com | 06.25.13

On the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, two unrelated articles pointed to a greater story. The first concerned a 15- or 16-year-old factory girl in Bangladesh. Her name was Mahinur Akhter. She survived five weeks of burial in the collapsed garment factory where she had worked. A seamstress, she had earned $90-100 a month, essential […]
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When Professors Become Presidents | USNews.com | 06.20.13

Quick now. U.S. policy in Syria on one hand; Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and immigration reform on the other. What do they have in common? The answer is hidden in reports that have the Obama Administration saying both that it is attempting to create a democratic, pluralistic Syria and quickly end the civil war there. The administration has also made clear […]
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Overheated Frauds and Fools | The American Spectator | 06.13.13

Who can forget it? In April 2008, as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president, Barack Obama intoned that history would say of his election, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” The messianic declaration sounded over-the-top laughable, political theater meets theater […]
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Breaking Bad in Washington | HughHewitt.com | 06.07.13

So the morning papers are full of talk about the administration’s massive sweeping up and mining of communications data of all forms in the US.  The New York Times editorializes today that the Obama White House has “lost all credibility” on questions of domestic surveillance.   And the surveillance program does look might broad.  Who called whom […]
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The Scandals and the Unwritten Constitution | HughHewitt.com | 05.29.13

All the talk about the IRS targeting conservative for audits and the Department of Justice hacking into the email files of the Associated Press is disturbing enough.  But it may be only the start. Reports have been circulating in the past week that other agencies have engaged in similarly aggressive behavior towards administration critics.  The […]
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An Evening with Presidential Speechwriters of Days Gone By | Ricochet.com | 05.28.13

You may or may not have heard of the Judson Welliver Society.  It was the creation of William Safire, the now-departed columnist for The New York Times and before that a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon.  Periodically it brings together former presidential speechwriters from all prior administrations with living speechwriters.  Peter has asked me to report on […]
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Ike’s Warning: Beware the Corruption of Science | Ricochet.com | 05.20.13

Just before he left the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower famously cautioned the nation that “[i]n the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In that same address, he offered a less heralded warning: Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been […]
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The First Amendment Under Siege | USNews.com | 5.23.13

It has been a bad few weeks for the First Amendment. The sinister commonality to the Internal Revenue Service and AP scandals and the James Rosen affair is that each appears to have been (strike “appears “: each was) an attempt to suppress a core American right. Freedom of the press was clearly the target […]
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The AP, the IRS and President Obama’s Leadership | HughHewitt.com | 05.21.13

It will come as no surprise to anyone when I say that Washington is in full scandal mode these days. I attended a Washington dinner this past week — one of those fancy affairs in a fancy room with fancy speakers, fancy food, and funds raised.  There may be a dozen such events a night […]
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Watergate, Monicagate, and Benghazi | HughHewitt.com | 5.13.13

During Watergate, President Richard Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, became infamous for such remarks as, “This is the operative statement; the others are inoperative” in the face of the developing scandal.  Say what you want about Mr. Ziegler, who passed away a decade ago, that phrase was at least an admission that something the presidential […]
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My Most Recent OMG National Security Moment. Does it Give You the Shivers, Too? | Ricochet.com | 5.10.13

OK now, Team Ricochet, here’s a riddle: You are the U.S. government. You know, the same government whose Secretary of State and her superior could not get it together to send rescuers to the aid of our ambassador to Libya. That aside, your top concern is, as your mission statement puts it, “to provide for […]
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Question re. Benghazi: Does this Administration Have Any Idea How to Handle a Crisis? What is the Protocol? | HughHewitt.com | 5.08.13

Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on Benghazi. In case you’ve missed all the scuttlebutt, Wes Pruden, editor emeritus of the Washington Times, has an excellent curtain raiser in his paper this morning (http://tinyurl.com/ccrzea2). The committee will hear that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut out her department’s counterterrorism experts […]
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Beyond Boston | USNews.com | 4.29.30

Missed in all the talk about the Boston attacks is that key details suggest that something new is going on. Consider this about what we used to call the “Global War on Terror.” In its early stages, it was clearly a product of global forces that were almost a century old. World War I blew […]
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As he opens his library, George W. Bush “Grows in America’s Esteem” – and deserves to | HughHewitt.com | 4.25.13

The George W. Bush Presidential Library will be dedicated today as the 43rd president, in the words of this morning’s FoxNew.com headline, “grows in Americans’ esteem.” (http://tinyurl.com/anmhjxk) The assessment was to characterize Fox’s own poll results, released yesterday, showing about half the nation approving of Mr. Bush’s stewardship.  This was up from 23 percent in […]
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We Can’t Go Back Again (to 1950s Tax Rates) | HughHewitt.com | 4.17.13

In an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Lawrence Mone, president of the Manhattan Institute, took on the leftist contention that a return to prosperity requires returning to the high marginal tax rates of the 1950s – 91 percent for top earners. In an article full of telling points, for me the most telling point was […]
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Two Examples: Obama On How NOT To Lead. Thatcher On How TO Lead. | HughHewitt.com | 4.08.13

If you want a measure of what it means to have an administration in Washington that puts failed ideology first, take a look at last week’s jobs report.  If you want an example of how a president should be acting in a time like this, look at how Margaret Thatcher, who passed away this morning, […]
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The Case for More Sequester | USNews.com | 4.08.13

I’m guessing you missed the latest troubling economic news. I am not talking about last week’s unemployment figures. A record 90 million Americans are now out of the workforce, taking the U.S. labor participation rate back to Carter administration levels – 63.5 percent. The White House tried to blame The Sequester. But the job trend […]
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Same-Sex Marriage: Links to the briefs and a question about SSM and justice? | HughHewitt.com | 3.26.13

Same-sex marriage is, of course, the topic of the next two days at the Supreme Court. If you haven’t already, you may want to look at some of the briefs in the cases, United States v. Windsor, which focuses on the Defense of Marriage Act (http://tinyurl.com/bl2ew8j), and Hollingworth v. Perry, a challenge to California’s Proposition […]
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Obama’s Quiet Declaration of War on Oil and Gas Production | USNews.com | 03.18.13

Last week, the president traveled to the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago to deliver what the White House billed as a major speech on energy. To see what is wrong with the administration as it enters its second term, you could do worse than carefully reading that address. Despite the speech’s “energy” label, the oil […]
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Bill Bennett at the Claremont Institute: We must teach our children our nation’s story; our civilization’s survival depends on it | HughHewitt.com | 03.18.13

This past weekend, as conservative eyes were fixed upon CPAC and its cavalcade of presidential hopefuls, an organization that in time may prove more consequential held its annual Churchill dinner at the Los Angeles’ historic Biltmore Hotel. Here is what I particularly like about the Claremont Institute: They approach political discourse past and present with […]
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GOP Wise Up: New Media = Smarter Campaigns | Ricochet | 03.13.13

I was in a meeting with a nationally respected consultant to political campaigns this morning. We were talking about how the web had changed campaigns. His answer: Substance is becoming king. “Take endorsements,” he said. “When TV drove campaigns, all you would see about newspaper editorials in campaign advertising was the banner, ‘L.A. Times or […]
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Note to Certain Senators: Rand Paul Took the Right Stand on the Right Issue at the Right Time | HughHewitt.com | 03.11.13

I will make this posting short:  I find unsettling and dispiriting – close to unbelievable — the scorn some in the Senate GOP have directed at Rand Paul for his filibuster this week. These critics have suggested that Senator Paul was grandstanding, to the purpose of compromising presidential war powers. How is that again? The […]
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Taylor and Scalia: Two Giants on the Economy (and the Sequester) and the Constitution | HughHewitt.com | 03.04.13

The Hoover Institution was in Washington last week.  Every year the Board of Overseers of the Stanford University-based think tank meets in the nation’s capital.  Much of the two and a half days is spent listening to presentations from a mix of the institution’s world-ranked scholars and prominent men and women in government and journalism. […]
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President’s Second Term Prescription: Poison Pill Politics | HughHewitt.com | 2.20.13

FoxNews.com posted a home page story this evening that began, “President Obama pinned the blame on Republicans Tuesday for looming spending cuts that may be triggered by what was originally a White House proposal….” Well, duh. Hasn’t staging one deadlock after another been the Obama White House’s transparent game plan since Day One of Term […]
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The Next Big Wars Will Be Fought Over Water | USNews.com | 2.19.13

Recently here at the Thomas Jefferson Street blog, I looked at surprises that the next four years could spring on the nation. I focused on separatist movements around the world, in Asia and Africa, of course, but also in Europe. The gist was that the world map could change quickly, dramatically, and soon if even a […]
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What Will Tonight’s SOTU Tell Us? | Ricochet.com | 2.12.12

Do we even need to ask?  Mr. Obama’s recent inaugural address was 1937 all over again.  It seems government can achieve anything by decree, except revive the sick economy.  This SOTU is being advertised as a “bookend” to the inaugural — bookends without books, I suppose.  Mainly, as with after-the-fact edits to the Congressional Record, […]
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SOTU Address To Double Down on Climate Change. Why? Why now? | HugHewitt.com | 2.11.13

In case anyone doubted, the White House has indicated that in tomorrow night’s State of the Union address, President Obama will follow through on his inaugural address calling out of climate change as a major policy focus in his second term. Whether you come from a perspective of science, economics or politics, you’ve got to […]
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Next Tuesday’s State of the Union Address: What Will the President Say and Why? | HughHewitt.com | 2.7.13

The leaking and speculation have already begun as Washington looks to next week’s State of the Union address.  But is there any real doubt about what the president will actually say when he steps into the well of the House of Representatives next Tuesday night? After all, didn’t his second inaugural address point the way? […]
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The Framer’s Foresight and the Biggest Question the Nation Faces | Ricochet.com | 2.3.13

Over the last year and a half, the President has repeatedly announced that, since Congress won’t act on this or that, he will have to, by decree, uh, executive order and regulation. Challenges to the substance and even legitimacy of the Constitution comprise the biggest question overhanging our republic in this time of many questions. […]
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What The Second Amendment Says And What It Means To Us | Ricochet.com | 2.4.13

The President has taken up skeet shooting to show gun owners that his various gun control proposals and executive orders are nothing personal. But, personal or not, the first question in this debate remains not what the President says, but what the Constitution says. The Second Amendment strikes me as particularly anti-federalist in origin and […]
Posted in Constitution and Law | Comments closed

Notes From The National Review Institute’s Conservative Summit | 1.29.13 | HughHewitt.com

Most readers of the conservative blogosphere know by now that the National Review Institute hosted a “conservative summit” in Washington this past weekend – three days of panels and speeches.  Wonk heaven. The speeches came mainly from immediate – or in the cases of Tom Cotton, Mia Love and Arthur Davis longer term — prospects […]
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The Surprises No One Sees Coming | 1.28.13 | USNews.com

Whenever a new presidential term begins, everyone asks what surprises might the next four years bring. Think of the Bush 41 presidency. On inauguration day 1989, how many American experts expected the Soviet Union to collapse before the next election? How many anticipated Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and our troops going to war in the […]
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Inaugural Address: Right for the President; Wrong for the Country | HughHewitt.com | 1.22.13

It is 1937 all over again. In his second inaugural address yesterday, Barack Obama channeled the style, structure and substance of Franklin Roosevelt’s second inaugural with all but unprecedented fidelity. Each president employed a comparable rhetorical device to identify himself with his audience and with the programs of his first term.  For FDR it was […]
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Honoring Robert H. Bork | Ricochet.com | 12.24.12

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, it was remarked that the system the delegates were designing – a government of checks and balances, sovereign states, limited government and enumerated powers — would likely last intact no more than 150 years, that is, to the 1930s.  Today some would say the prediction was all too prescient.  […]
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Leader of a Country or a Faction? | HughHewitt.com | 1.15.13

In his press conference yesterday, the last before the inauguration, President Obama spoke in a tone remarkable – actually unprecedented — in the post World War II era, perhaps in the history of the nation.  He presented himself as the leader, not of the country, but of a faction. Again and again, the president wasn’t […]
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Next Up, Debt Ceiling: A Smart Idea from Senator Sessions | HughHewitt.com | 1.8.13

What to do about the debt ceiling?  An idea is circulating among Senate Republicans that has a real chance of compelling Democrats in Washington to confront – or at least take public responsibility for – outsized federal spending. The idea originated with Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, and […]
Posted in Economic Policy: US Debt Crisis | Tagged , , | Comments closed

At the New Year, the American Middle Class and the Ghost of Christmases Long Ago and Far Away | HughHewitt.com | 12.28.12

Looking back on the year now ending, I have been struck by a disconnect that has entered American language. Through the presidential campaign and now in the fiscal cliff fight, we have heard about “the middle class.”  The president – to the cheers of the media  — tells us he is for the middle class […]
Posted in Economic Policy: General, Economic Policy: US Debt Crisis | Tagged , , | Comments closed

What is Going on with the Fed? No, Not Anything Like What it Seems | Ricochet.com | 12.15.12

6.5% unemployment or bust; until then, the money spigot is open wide. This was the gist of the Fed’s world-headline-grabbing announcement this week. Less noticed was that, as the FT reported on the same day, “The US Federal Reserve is carrying out its first ever system-wide stress test of bank liquidity…”  Translation: The Fed will be pushing […]
Posted in Economic Policy: US Debt Crisis | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Honoring Robert H. Bork | HughHewitt.com | 12.20.12

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, it was remarked that the system the delegates were designing – a government of checks and balances, sovereign states, limited government and enumerated powers — would likely last in tact no more than 150 years, that is, to the 1930s. Today, some would say the prediction was all too […]
Posted in Political Commentary: General, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments closed

Federal Reserve Moves in Opposite Directions on Fixing the Economy | USNews.com | 12.14.12

Here’s a flash. Things aren’t always as they seem in Washington. Case in point: This week headlines around the world screamed that the Federal Reserve Board is making lowering unemployment, not controlling inflation, its key objective. It will continue holding down interest rates and expanding the money supply so long as unemployment remains above 6.5 percent. This means […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

A Quiz and Two Rules for the Budget Talks | Hughhewitt.com | 12.11.12

OK, class, here’s a quiz. If the government were to raise the top personal income tax rate by, say, 25 percent, what would be the increase in its take of the total gross domestic product? Twenty-five percent? Are you sure?  After all how much of the government’s total personal income tax take actually comes from […]
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Why The President Will Go Over The Fiscal Cliff Rather Than Compromise On Tax Rates | HughHewitt.com | 12.4.12

Why is President Obama so unmovable on about tax rates increases on high earners? Oh, I know what he says.  Fairness.  The rich – whoever they are – must pay their fair share (I’m not going to get into whether they already do or maybe even pay more than their fair share). But that’s no […]
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How We Are Racing Towards The Economic Cliff | Ricochet.com | 12.2.12

Forget about the fiscal cliff. Are we headed to the economic cliff? A successful software entrepreneur and school friend sent me this chilling email last week: Yesterday I was speaking to a banker in central California who related how he is being prevented from doing his job due to the compliance people (read government pressures) and could […]
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Looking Over the Fiscal Cliff: What Kind of Deal is a Real Deal? | HughHewitt.com | 11.26.12

The day after the election I found myself in a waiting room for television guests with Howard Dean, the former Democrat presidential candidate.  Passing the time, Dean talked and I listened.  The topic was the fiscal cliff.  Dean was for going over it and forcing the big increases in marginal tax rates that will go […]
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What Really Happened on Election Day? The Big Clue. | HughHewitt.com | 11.16.12

I know it’s painful, but let’s take a look – for me a last look – at what happened and didn’t happen in the election: Mandate? Who got a mandate?  The president?  His popular vote was nearly a 50-50 break with Governor Romney.  Congressional Democrats?  Yes, they won the Senate.  But the Republicans won the House, […]
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The Biggest Surprise of the ’12 Election | USNews.com | 11.12.12

A day or two before the election, U.S. News opinion editor Robert Schlesinger and I exchanged predictions to the percentage point for both tickets. Robert is the son of former John F. Kennedy presidential speechwriter and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., so you can imagine his preference, as you can mine. I’m a former Reagan presidential speechwriter. Our prognostications […]
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Confessions Of A ConfoBiOholic | Ricochet.com | 11.11.12

My name is Clark and I am a ConfoBiOholic. As you know, ConfoBiOholism is a well documented addictive disorder.  As with most addictions, the first step to recovery is acknowledgment.  In ConfoBiOholism, acknowledgment is known to be especially challenging.  The condition is all but invisible to the addict himself, no matter how persistently friends and […]
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OK, Here’s My Election Prediction. What’s Yours? | Ricochet.com | 11.3.12

The shouting has almost stopped. Weeks ago the voting began, but Tuesday the balloting storm reaches landfall. It is time for pontificators to prognosticate. So here you go.  My call: Romney 52%, 277 electoral votes; Obama 47%, 261 electoral votes. Romney wins Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin — and loses […]
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The Choice For Tomorrow | HughHewitt.com | 11.5.12

Among the great failures of the mainstream media in this campaign has been to claim that neither candidate has laid out an agenda.  Both have been as clear as candidates can be about their plans for the nation in the next four years.  On this, the day before Election Day, let’s review the particulars: Energy: […]
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The Bottom Is Dropping Out of the Obama Presidency | USNews.com | 10.29.12

Last week, we may have seen the bottom beginning to drop out of the Obama presidency. Even the MSMosphere is starting to feel the good Mitt Romney (or maybe it’s bad Barack Obama) vibrations. Last Friday, ABC News’s Terry Moran tweeted, “Obama’s campaign seems small-bore, predominantly negative, and downright weird (Lena Dunham)—a candidate off-stride in […]
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Benghazi v. Findlay: The National Security Stakes in the Election | HughHewitt.com | 10.29.12

In the week since the last presidential debate, national security – supposedly something the American people don’t care about – has become Exhibit A in the case for a new president. Why were reinforcements and air cover denied to our men in Benghazi under jihadist fire? The White House never misses a chance to trumpet […]
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What The Veep Smackdown Tells Us About Tonight’s Debate | Ricochet.com | 10.16.12

Since March, the lead in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll – perhaps the country’s most reliable poll – has switched more than thirty times.  It could happen again. The president has said he was “too polite” last time.  I say that if that is what he believes he did wrong in the first debate and […]
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Foreign Policy Debate, Romney Looked Like The Real President | HughHewitt.com | 10.23.12

Four debates, including the Veep debate.  Four wins for Romney-Ryan. Everyone had said about this debate that Romney needed to show we could trust him as commander in chief and head of our foreign policy.  He cleared that hurdle and then some. Given the political moment, the incumbent needed to look far superior to his […]
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Who’s Right, Gallup or Rasmussen? Today may tell. | Ricochet.com | 10.19.12

By now it is clear that, in terms of public perceptions (maybe on points, too), all three debates have been winners for Romney-Ryan. But have they been big enough winners to push the GOP ticket over the top? In Washington, the question is being framed this way: Is Romney up 49-47 points, as pollster Scott […]
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Biden’s debate night bluster looks even worse 48 hours later | Ricochet.com | 10.13.12

Rick Wilson persuasively argues below that Vice President Joe Biden’s principal objective going into Thursday night’s debate was to reenergize the dispirited Democratic base.  If so and if the vice president’s clownish performance fitted the script, it only confirms the cluelessness of the supposedly brilliant Chicago-based managers of the Democratic campaign. Everything I learned about […]
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“Lesson for POTUS Debate #2: It isn’t over ‘til it’s over” | HughHewitt.com | 10.15.12

Can things get any worse for the Obama-Biden ticket? Two weeks ago the president debates the first capable opponent of his career and comes off as an empty suit.  One week ago the vice president puts on a clownish performance in his matchup with Congressman Paul Ryan. Then the polls tanked.  On Saturday this week, […]
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Biden Unhinged! | USNews.com | 10.12.12

What was that all about? The inappropriate smiles, the aggressive laughs, the all but unhinged finger-pumping raging at moderator Martha Raddatz–I suppose Vice President Joe Biden could have come in with a less appropriate performance last night. I just don’t know how. Then there was the substance. The vice president’s charges that Rep. Paul Ryan […]
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Hidden factor in the election: Obama advertising advantage | Ricochet.com | 10.09.12

While, as Mollie notes below, the just released Pew poll showed a big move of voters producing a convincing Romney advantage, the Rasmussen poll today rates the race tied.  This was after a post-debate shift that that took Romney from two points down in Rasmussen’s tracking to as many up.  The two-point move between yesterday […]
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“Why the Obama Campaign and Such Friends as Paul Krugman Shout “Romney Lies” Even Though Romney Speaks the Truth” | HughHewitt.com | 10.08.12

Yesterday, the Sunday morning talk shows were filled with Democrats touting their new excuse (they always have excuses) for President Obama’s inability to engage during last week’s debate: Mitt Romney lied.  Governor Romney’s brazen misstatements, they said, left the president so overwhelmed with disbelief that he found himself all but speechless. If you are like […]
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Five Debate Night Ideas for Romney and His Team | Ricochet.com | 10.02.12

Last week Peter emailed me an invitation to join the Ricochet gang. I immediately said yes. As he explained in his generous introduction below, Peter and I met in Ronald Reagan’s White House, where we both served as speechwriters, first to Vice President George H.W. Bush, then to President Reagan.  Peter was one of the […]
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Reality Check: Mitt Romney’s Campaign Is Not Over | USNews.com | 09.29.12

To read Politico, The Washington Post, and just about every publication in the MSMosphere, the Romney campaign is over. Done. Running 4.1 percentage points behind the president, as of Friday morning in the RCP average he is deader than a doornail. I don’t believe it. Yes. Yes. I’ve seen all those polls in the average: Rasmussen, Fox, Gallup, Bloomberg, […]
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Advice to Romney: Go Big, All In | HughHewitt.com | 10.01.12

In GOP circles, the call continues to build for Governor Romney to deliver major addresses on the economy and foreign policy. In last week’s column, I noted that, in addition to my column the week before, this sentiment was being expressed among Republicans and conservatives around the nation.  I mentioned hearing it from another former […]
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Advice to the Romney Campaign: Time for Something Old (Policy Speeches); Something New (Twitter) | HughHewitt.com | 09.24.12

A tide of opinion is rising inside Republican ranks. In last week’s column, I said that Mitt Romney needed at least two policy speeches – one on the economy and spending, the other on foreign policy.  Pull his positions together.  Put them in the context of the nation and the times. For example, in a […]
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Two Speeches Governor Romney Should Deliver on National Television | 09.17.12 | HughHewitt.com

If you are wondering why President Obama came out of Charlotte with a week-long bounce, consider this: In the fortnight covering the Republican and Democratic conventions, the Obama campaign and allied independent expenditure committees ran roughly 41,000 ads, twice as many as their pro-Romney counterparts (http://tinyurl.com/8r2rhqq). Apparently the Obama people did not trust their man’s […]
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Real Story of the Campaign: President’s Crony Capitalism Prolonged the Downturn | 09.11.12 | HughHewitt.com

Last week, the Democrats in Charlotte partied as if there were no tomorrow… and no yesterday.  Friday morning, following the president’s peculiarly disconnected speech of Thursday night, reality returned. Last week’s jobs numbers – few new ones, an entire city of Americans dropping out of the workforce in the month before – were enough to […]
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Why the Obama-Romney Race May Not Be the Dead Heat Polls Describe | USNews.com | 09.04.12

As the Republican convention closed on Thursday night, a new poll pointed to the potential for a major surprise when Americans go to the voting booths in November. Pollsters will tell you that they cannot always count on voters to level with them about which candidates they favor. For example, Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in the […]
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Truth in Tampa; Hysteria in Charlotte | HughHewitt.com | 09.03.12

How do you know that the GOP convention was a big success? Just look at the near hysteria of the Paul-Ryan-lied stories coming out of the Obama campaign.  Obama manager David Axelrod and his minions want to make America forget that Mr. Ryan spoke the truth in his acceptance speech on Wednesday night, as Governor […]
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Right Time Right Man: GOP Mood in Tampa | HughHewitt.com | 08.28.12

As Republicans prepare in Tampa for their convention to at last get underway, the mood of the party is vastly different from four years ago. On the day John McCain delivered his acceptance speech to the St. Paul convention, I wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the GOP was “a party that doubts itself.”  […]
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Joe Biden Is the Problem VP Candidate, Not Paul Ryan | USNews.com | 08.18.12

It wasn’t supposed to go this way. For more than a decade now, the announcement of a GOP vice presidential pick has, with few exceptions, sparked a trumpeting from the Democratic campaign of the day on how extreme the candidate was, how unfit for the office.  The idea has been to use the lesser-known veep […]
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Obama versus Romney, a choice not of how to fix the fiscal mess but if to fix it – President No versus Governor Yes | HughHewitt.com | 08.21.12

With a little short of a week to go before the Republican convention, the campaign has taken a startling turn.  Cautious, bland Mitt Romney didn’t just pick a running mate when he tapped Paul Ryan.  He bet his entire campaign on grabbing the forbidden third rails of American politics: Social Security and Medicare.  At this […]
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Picking Ryan – Romney Shows He’s Got Serious Policies and Great Political Instincts | HughHewitt.com | 08.13.12

On Saturday Mitt Romney proved he is a serious man and will be a serious president.  He also demonstrated that he is a shrewd political strategist. In picking Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, Romney bet both his election and his administration on a central task, reducing the national deficit and debt […]
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We’ve Been Warned: Obama ad candid about post-election plans — and it’s scary | HughHewitt.com | 08.07.12

The president’s reelection campaign has been running an ad titled “The Choice.”  You have probably seen it during the Olympics or in other pricey slots.  In it, Mr. Obama, speaking to the camera, shows how little he has learned from the mistakes of his first term – and how extreme his plans are for the […]
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Americans Are Not Stupid … But the Obama Administration Is | USNew.com | 07.28.12

There is a web video making the rounds. According to the YouTube counter it has been up for five years and received 31 million views. Its title is “Americans are not stupid—WITH SUBTITLES.” Perhaps you’ve seen it. An interviewer stumps people on the street with questions such as: “Name a country whose first name begins […]
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Does White House Post on Churchill Bust Give Clue to Secret Social Media Campaign to Discredit Critics? | HughHewitt.com | 07.30.12

Last Friday presidential communications director Dan Pfeiffer posted a diatribe on the White House blog.  Did it point to an undercover part of the administration’s reelection campaign, a secret social media section assigned not just to rebut charges but to discredit critics? The post was the now-famous mistaken denial that the president had ever had […]
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Obama Rant Reflects Dangerous and Exactly Wrong View of Government | HughHewitt.com | 07.24.12

In last week’s incredible gaffe (“If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”) President Obama expressed an idea about the government and the people that most Americans do not accept.  And it wasn’t his idea alone. Elizabeth Warren, the ultra-liberal Massachusetts Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, used […]
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Is the Bain Bashing Campaign Backfiring on the President? | HughHewitt.com | 7.17.12

Team Obama has spent the last couple of weeks pummeling Mitt Romney over his long-ago leadership of Bain Capital and that Romney is (wasn’t this the revelation of the year) wealthy. Yesterday the Obama people were comparing Romney’s former company to the villain in the new Batman movie, whose name is the  homonym Bane.  The […]
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Communications Advice for the Romney Campaign | HughHewitt.com | 07.10.12

Anyone who has been in a presidential campaign knows that everyone has advice for how you can do better.  Right now everyone is telling Mitt Romney: You need to do a better job of connecting.  Not me.  Yes, I have advice – just not that advice. The campaign is in its battle of the agendas […]
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The Best Alternative to Obamacare | USNews.com | 07.09.12

“Repeal and replace” has become the GOP slogan for how to deal with President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, now that the Supreme Court has declined to declare unconstitutional the unprecedented U.S. government takeover of one-sixth of the economy. But replace it with what? In fact a plan has been circulating on Capitol Hill for […]
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How Chief Justice John Roberts Decoded Obamacare | HughHewitt.com | 07.02.12

Whatever else it did or didn’t do, Chief Justice John Roberts’s Obamacare opinion had the effect of cutting away major deceptions and hypocrisies surrounding the president’s health industry takeover legislation. For from the first, the administration has attempted to protect the truth about the 2,700-page Affordable Care Act with – in Winston Churchill’s characterization of […]
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Verdict if Obama Loses Health Care Decision: He and staff did it to themselves – through aloofness, isolation | HughHewitt.com | 06.26.12

It doesn’t take a Washington insider to suspect that the White House has a back channel to the Supreme Court, knows how the justices have come down in the Obamacare case and has learned, from the Obama point of view, the news isn’t good. The president’s defiance and what appeared to be his campaign of […]
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The Invisible Romney Vote Obama Should Fear | USNews.com | 06.15.12

Something strange is going on in the election campaign.  Former president Bill Clinton seems to look for every opportunity to undermine the sitting president of his own party. His former political aides publish a memorandum saying the White House message strategy is failing. The morning reports have the press corps dismissing President Obama’s supposedly major […]
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Barack Obama and the Arbitrary Exercise of Power | HughHewitt.com | 06.18.12

When The New York Times revealed not long ago that President Obama was personally selecting which suspected terrorists should live and which should die, everyone – supporters and critics – treated it as a national security story, period. I saw it as something else. Oh, yes, the Times story clearly had to do with national […]
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Advice to Mitt Romney on How to Pick a Veep | HughHewitt.com | 06.04.12

On Sunday, Reuters reported that GOP-nominee designate Mitt Romney might announce his running mate selection “earlier in the summer.”  Here are three names for Romney’s reviewers to consider: Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney. Together they tell you a lot about what’s ahead and how the campaign should prepare. Dan Quayle: Though all but forgotten […]
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Obama Assault on Romney’s Bain Out of Touch with the World Today | HughHewitt.com | 05.30.12

The Obama campaign’s attack on Mitt Romney’s role starting up Bain Capital may go down as one of the worst political misjudgments of recent decades.  It is based on an anachronism  — a picture of an America that hasn’t existed in decades, if it ever did. The attack is a spruced up version of Franklin […]
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The “War on Women” and the “War on the Middle Class” Backfire as Obama Campaign Themes | HughHewitt.com | 05.22.12

Here’s a shocker.  Judging by this morning’s top line polling data, almost nothing in the presidential race has changed since mid-January. Think of it. The first three-day Rasmussen head-to-head tracking poll in 2012 (taken January 19-21) found 46 percent of voters supporting President Obama to 43 percent supporting Governor Romney, a three-point spread. In Rasmussen’s […]
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Don’t Believe Obama on Income Inequality | U.S.News.com | 05.21.12

You’ve heard it a thousand times at least. The incomes of middle class Americans have stagnated in recent decades. Those of the rich—the 1 percent—have soared. It is a very compelling, very troubling, and very widely believed observation and, according to three economists from Cornell and Indiana universities, not true. If they are right—and their […]
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The Constitutional Convention and The 2012 Election | HughHewitt.com | 05.14.12

Today is Monday, May 14.  In 1787, also on Monday, May 14th, in Philadelphia, the Constitutional Convention held its opening session. Now, two hundred and twenty five years later, we are engaged in a great presidential campaign that, at its most essential level, is about the future of the governmental system the delegates to that […]
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Three Political Evenings and State of the Presidential Election Campaign | HughHewitt.com | 05.09.12

Here are three scenes from three recent evenings that to me told volumes about the state of this year’s presidential campaign. The first was last night — a gathering of Washington conservatives.  At the reception before the dinner, I questioned a number of pollsters and pundits about the shape of the race. The daily Rasmussen […]
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Washington’s Biggest Question: Will 2012 Equal 2008 or 2010? | HughHewitt.com | 05.01.12

The biggest question in Washington these days is this: Will the American voter in 2012 look more like the voter of 2008 or 2010?  Obama strategist David Axelrod recently tweeted criticism of a Gallup poll unfavorable to the president on exactly these grounds – that it incorrectly assumed an electorate like that of 2010 in […]
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Are the Debates About Manufacturing Jobs, Energy Independence and Illegal Immigration About to Become Irrelevant? | HughHewitt.com | 04.24.12

This is a cautionary posting. Here is the question: What if the major issues of the last four years became irrelevant to the nation’s fate in the next four?  I have three examples in mind. Manufacturing: The decline in America’s manufacturing dominance has become a talking point for everyone from the AFL-CIO to Rick Santorum […]
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The Beltway Snobbery of Hilary Rosen’s Attack on Ann Romney | U.S. News and World Report | 04.13.12

This week—in the person of attack pro Hilary Rosen—the Obama campaign tried out what must have struck them as a gambit born of genius.  Call it the mother of all linkages.  How do you link Big Campaign Theme No. 1 (class warfare) with Big Campaign Theme No. 2 (the GOP “War Against Women”)?  I’ve got […]
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Who is Warring on Whom? What is the White House Strategy and Why | HughHewitt.com | 04.18.12

Yesterday, senior White House campaign strategist David Axelrod put his finger on the exact question of the 2012 campaign. He did it in a Twitter rebuttal of the Gallup Poll’s latest survey.  The sampling was taken between Thursday and Sunday and shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama by five points.  Gallup, Axelrod wrote, “has a […]
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What Now: the GOP Race and the Election to Come? | HughHewitt.com | 04.10.12

Yesterday, Newt Gingrich all but conceded the presidential race to Mitt Romney.  In an interview, the one-time front-runner acknowledged that the former Massachusetts governor was the running away favorite to snag the GOP nomination. The former speaker of the House effectively said he would be going only through the motions of a campaign from here […]
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Intimidation in the Court: The President, the Supreme Court and the Constitution | HughHewitt.com | 04.03.12

NOT among the checks and balances that the Constitution incorporates into our system is intimidation by the president of the Supreme Court. But intimidation appears to be the course President Obama has selected, following his solicitor general’s stumbling defense of Obamacare before the justices last week. Conservative commentators have been gloating ever since that it […]
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The Supreme Court and a Plan for Replacing Obamacare, Whatever the Court Decides | HughHewitt.com | 03.26.12

Today the Supreme Court begins hearing three days of arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  For the rest of us, the arguments have been going nonstop since the program was signed into law in March 2010. In a particularly succinct posting this morning (http://tinyurl.com/6sl3yfw ), […]
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Few Questions Answered for Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich on Super Tuesday | USNews.com | 03.09.12

With a not-so-Super Tuesday behind us (only about half as many states participated this time as in 2008), where does the GOP nomination race stand now? The voting this week revealed both nothing and everything about the contest—and general election in the fall. The nothing part was thanks to an unappreciated oddity about this year’s […]
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GOP Crosscurrent on Display Last Night | HughHewitt.com | 03.21.12

As the Illinois returns came in last night, and Governor Romney racked up an impressive win, albeit in historically light voting, Washington supporters of the House GOP met at a massive – and massively successful (it raised $12 million) – fundraising dinner… and inadvertently demonstrated the crosscurrents in the party. The main speaker was South […]
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Is there a 2012 Political X-Factor? | HughHewitt.com | 03.14.12

“Who can do anything about gas prices, anyway?”:  So was the Democrats’ response to yesterday’s The New York Times poll finding a dive between February and today in President Obama’s approval rating.  The fall was all the fault of the price at the pump, they and the Times said.  But the Times is famous for […]
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There’s No Sighing in Politics | HughHewitt.com | 03.06.12

As Super Tuesday dawns, national opinion polls are telling a clear story.  Despite a residual ennui about the choices and anxiety about November, Republican voters are coalescing around Mitt Romney as their standard bearer for the fall. The book on Romney has been that a large part of the GOP electorate didn’t like him.  He […]
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How the GOP Will Win… or Lose | HughHewitt.com | 02.28.12

As two more states hold Republican primaries today, the message out of national data is that the election is the GOP’s to lose – and the party may prove fully up to the task. Yes, I have heard talk about the president’s approval ratings surging.  But look at the Rasmussen tracking graph (http://tinyurl.com/5tnd2b).  If the president’s […]
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Permanent Downsizing of the American Dream? | HughHewitt.com | 02.21.12

So what is happening with the economy?  Employment numbers go up and Greece gets bailed out.  Presto.  The markets rise and the clouds of bad times dissipate.  Or do they? Yes, economic recovery has been in the news all week. The president has modestly credited his own policies as the cause.  A media intent on […]
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Lesson of the Week: For this administration, only faux compromise welcome | HughHewitt.com | 02.14.12

One fact has become sharply clear this past seven days: it is no ordinary administration that occupies Washington just now. In the face of a fiscal crisis of unprecedented magnitude, yesterday the president submitted a budget of fake spending cuts (“a mirage” the Wall Street Journal called them this morning) and gigantic tax increases guaranteed, […]
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The Administration, the Constitution and the Campaign | HughHewitt.com | 02.07.12

In 1961, Ronald Reagan warned that embracing government-mandated health care would be a big step toward losing our freedoms.  This week we saw how big a step that could be. Leave it to the Obama Administration.  If they have a choice between restraint and respecting national norms on one hand and maximization of government power […]
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SOTU: Did I hear that right? | HughHewitt.com | 01.25.12

It sounded like such a soft, even conservative speech. But let me get this straight: 1) banks will be punished (do I understand this right, by a committee headed by Eric Holder?) if their lending is too risky, 2) and they will be required (by the same committee) to give more home loans (meaning, it […]
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Gingrich’s Secret Weapon: Incredibly Innovative Campaign | HughHewitt.com | 01.23.12

As they stumble dazed into Florida, the Romney forces had better think hard about what happened in South Carolina.  They will want to dismiss Saturday’s results as a fluke.  But in the Palmetto State, Newt Gingrich put into harness a totally new strategy of presidential campaigning – some of it visible, some below the surface. […]
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The GOP Race Turns Upside Down Again | HughHewitt.com | 01.17.12

In this up and down year, last night’s South Carolina GOP debate turned the political world upside down again. Going into the debate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney had every reason to believe that he was within days of locking up the nomination.  He had won (if just barely) the Iowa caucuses and more convincingly […]
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Three Tips for Political Communication | GOPAC.org | 01.11.12

When it comes to making your case to the voters, here are three tips for every candidate to keep in mind. I. Communication is simple – and hard: Simple:Let’s start with the simple part: communicating has three elements, only three – strategy, message, and distribution. To put them to use, all you have to do […]
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New Hampshire GOP Debates: How Candidates are Like iPhones (good thing, too) | HughHewitt.com | 01.09.12

You’ve got to hand it to this year’s GOP candidates.  Saturday night for nearly two hours starting at 9:00, they debated.  Sunday morning at 9:00, there they were, different town, different channel, doing it all over again. Some have observed that certain candidates – Romney is most often cited – are becoming better as a […]
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Challenge for Iowa, and the rest of us – Tapping the Right Candidate for “the Job” | HughHewitt.com | 01.03.12

Tonight, all over Iowa, Republicans will be debating with one another not just who can win (we’ve all read loads of stories about the “can he win” factors).  Electability will be balanced with a second question, not necessarily one that produces a different answer, but a different question nonetheless.  Who as president would do best […]
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GOP New Year’s Blues | HughHewitt.com | December 27, 2011

With the Iowa caucuses a week away, uneasiness pervades GOP circles in Washington and around the country. Part of the reason – but only part – stems from continuing disquiet about the field of candidates. “Mitt or Newt,” I was asked at a holiday party of longtime conservatives and activists last night.  No matter how […]
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Can the Iowa Caucuses be Far Behind? | HughHewitt.com | 12.20.11

If Christmas is here, can the Iowa caucuses be far behind?  What are the candidates’ prospects weeks before the voting begins? You have heard about ups and downs in the major polls. Following are data on Romney, Gingrich and Perry you have probably not heard about, as well as an item on Ron Paul. Romney-Gingrich-Perry […]
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We’re not in Kansas Anymore: Why the 2012 White House Strategy is Wrong | HughHewitt.com | 12.13.11

Talk about tone deaf. A week ago, President Obama traveled to Kansas, to deliver his updating of Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech.  His key word was “fairness,” and his message was that only the big government could deliver it.  “Greed” was his term for anyone who has done well in the private economy. But, as […]
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The New White House Reelection Strategy: Three Questions | HughHewitt.com | 12.05.11

With all the talk of Herman Cain’s fall and Newt Gingrich’s rise, it has been easy to miss reports of the White House’s emerging 2012 strategy this week. Though the president is down in the polls (he trails former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the latest Rasmussen matchup), only the deluded will count him out. […]
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Two Polls Show What is Driving the GOP Presidential Race | HughHewitt.com | 11.29.11

The best poll for grasping the ups and downs of the Republican presidential contest ran in the National Journal magazine in late October (http://tinyurl.com/7nnvpw3) and has been updated several times since (http://tinyurl.com/d92zrqh). In prior columns I have argued that GOP voters in this cycle are breaking differently than in 2008, when there were distinctly social, […]
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Post-Mortem on the Supercommittee | HughHewitt.com | 11.22.11

Following the collapse of the budget supercommittee, a story about Ronald Reagan comes to mind. It was early in his first term as governor of California.  Two aides – I believe Lynn Nofziger was one – took him to lunch and gave him a lecture. Forget you’re a movie star, they told him.  Forget all […]
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Heard at a Reception of Washington Insiders | HughHewitt.com | 11.15.11

With the GOP presidential race in upheaval again and members of the budget supercommittee violating their own rule of silence to take public shots at one another, the Washington political gossip mill was working overtime last night. At a reception of insiders (primarily Republicans), the talk in the back of the room started off focusing […]
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Embracing Basel III: Did the Administration Drive Another Nail Into its Reelection Coffin Last Week? | HughHewitt.com | 11.8.11

Overseas and unbeknown to it, the Obama Administration may have sealed its 2012 fate in the past five days. I am not talking about its feckless response to the expected report from the UN nuclear monitor – the International Atomic Energy Agency — that Iran can now produce nuclear weapons.  Nor do I mean the […]
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Gingrich and the Logic of the 2012 Race | HughHewitt.com | 10.31.11

All of a sudden, Newt Gingrich is the talk of the GOP presidential contest.  A story anticipating his resurgence ran on the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post.  This was not too many days after Weekly Standard editor William Kristol first suggested that the former speaker of the House might be getting a second look […]
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Weird Statements from President and Democrats and What They Mean | HughHewitt.com | 10.24.11

Today (Monday) President Obama will launch what The New York Times reports is “a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: ‘We can’t wait’ for lawmakers to act.” This apparently in your face bypassing of Congress and the constitutional system is […]
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Democrats Ride With Occupy Wall Street: Fast Road to Nowhere | HughHewitt.com | 10.18.11

If you want a good measure of how completely the White House and Democrat leadership in Congress have lost their political minds, look at how they have become cheerleaders for the Occupy Wall Street mob and its copycats. From the president to former House speaker Nancy Pelosi to lesser party spokespeople, leading Democrats have lined […]
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Tomorrow Night’s Debate Could Shake Up the GOP Race | HughHewitt.com | 10.10.11

Tomorrow night’s GOP presidential candidates debate at Dartmouth College will be do or die for Rick Perry.  What accounts for the Texas governor’s rapid rise and, to date, equally rapid fall?  Where does the Republican race go from here? As noted in last week’s column, two clusters of voters have emerged in the 2011 phase […]
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How Christie Could Change Everything | HughHewitt.com | 10.04.11

Odds are that New Jersey governor Chris Christie will jump into the presidential race today (Tuesday) or tomorrow – which says a lot about how the 2012 GOP presidential primary contest has shaped up, and where it will go.  Christie’s entry could change everything. The 2012 dynamics are totally different from those of 2008.  And […]
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The Week’s Most Impressive News About the GOP Race | HughHewitt.com | 09.26.11

The GOP presidential sweepstakes this past week has been an ongoing tale of ups and downs.  But the most interesting campaign story I heard in the past seven days received only footnote level notice when it broke – and that was three months ago and overseas. This week all the top-level talk has been about […]
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Failed Presidential Plan. Is it a Fatal Moment of Turning? | HughHewitt.com | 9.20.11

Yesterday’s “Buffett Plan” speech may be remembered as marking a fatal moment of turning in Barack Obama’s presidency. Yes, Mr. Obama will remain in the Oval Office for at least a year and a half more.  Who knows, he may even win a second term.  But there was something about Washington’s reaction to his remarks […]
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Is America Retreating from the World? Global Worries on 9/11 Weekend | HughHewitt.com | 09.14.11

On the tenth anniversary weekend of the 9/11 attacks, a remark to a global security conference held in Geneva underlined the urgency of the coming U.S. election. Speaking of the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East, an expert panelist from the region uttered a lament that would have been inconceivable anytime from 1945 to […]
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President’s Thursday Night Economic Speech: Tragedy or Farce? | HughHewitt.com | 09.05.11

Karl Marx wrote that, “History always repeats itself twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” Like much of Marx, this is basically nonsense dressed up as deep insight.  But maybe, just maybe, we’re about to see something like Marx’s dictum played out in Washington on Thursday night.  That will be when […]
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Exactly One Year to the Nomination | HughHewitt.com | 08.29.11

One year from today, the Republican National Convention will nominate the party’s 2012 candidate for president.  With Texas governor Rick Perry now in the race, the field is almost complete – almost but very likely not quite. With President Obama’s disapproval ratings having hit a remarkable high of 55 percent in Gallup daily tracking results […]
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Hitting the Policy Reset Button | HughHewitt.com | 08.08.11

With the S&P downgrade of U.S. government debt on Friday, it is time for the Obama Administration to hit the reset button.  The question in Washington and around the country is, does the Administration have it within itself to do that? The answer is probably no.  During an interview that ran in Saturday’s Wall Street […]
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Postmortem | HughHewitt.com | 08.02.11

As usual, the mainstream media has it, if not 100-percent wrong, pretty close.  Here is a rundown of questions and answers, winners and losers coming out of the debt ceiling standoff. Question:  Was it a long, hard negotiation?  Answer:  Hard, yes; long, no.  OK, it seemed to go on forever.  But that’s because when 24/7 […]
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Where Do Debt Talks Stand After Last Night’s Presidential Speech? | HughHewitt.com | 07.26.11

Last night, towards the end of his speech to the nation, President Obama recalled Thomas Jefferson’s aphorism on making legislation: “Every man cannot have his way in all things.” The president was trying to pin the intransigence blame on House Republicans, particularly Tea Party freshmen.  But he did it in a speech in which he […]
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The Stakes in the Debt Ceiling Debate | HughHewitt.com | 07.18.11

If you want to pinpoint when the United States became a global power, you could do worse than pick 1917.  That was when U.S. government first received a Triple-A bond rating.  The rating is now in jeopardy and could be lost by the beginning of next year – but not for reasons that the Obama […]
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The Debt Battle Is Good for the GOP | Wall Street Journal | 07.18.11

Watching the debt-ceiling battle on Capitol Hill—and even more the battle between the tea party young guns and older House Republicans—feels like déjà vu, or, rather, 1995, all over again. Sixteen years ago, in the middle of the government shutdown, I found myself racing up Capitol Hill in a car filled with Republican congressmen. I […]
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News of the World Scandal: Murdoch Should Take Ronald Reagan as his Model | HughHewitt.com | 7.11.11

The two big stories of the past week have been the budget negotiations between the President and Congress and, amazingly enough, a scandal at a British tabloid all but unknown to most Americans, News of the World. By now most Americans know the top line facts about the News of the World fiasco.  The paper […]
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The 4th of July and the Willingness of the American Heart | HughHewitt.com | 07.04.11

There has been a lot of talk of “American exceptionalism” of late.   In response to a question from a Financial Times reporter, the president said the nation is exceptional in the way that Britain and Greece are exceptional, and he wasn’t talking about levels of government debt.  Immediately his critics jumped all over him — […]
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Reagan’s great promise from an early age | The Washington Times | 06.27.11

As a boy, I read hortatory biographies of Washington, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, each intended to teach young people lessons of character as found in the lives of these great leaders. The genre included more than presidents as subjects – I remember similar volumes on Thomas Edison and George Washington Carver – but among presidents, […]
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Another Fine Mess | HughHewitt.com | 06.28.11

In this morning’s Wall Street Journal former Federal Reserve Board governor Lawrence Lindsey says “the deficit is worse than you think.” (see: http://tiny.cc/2q8wx) But rumors around Washington and Wall Street suggest that Lindsey’s is the optimistic scenario. To see why, let’s start with what he says. His argument is simple: the Obama Administration’s projections incorporate […]
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Smoke Signals from the Treasury Department | HughHewitt.com | 06.13.11

How bad is the developing U.S. government debt crisis? A recent Washington lunchtime conversation with a Reagan-era Treasury Department official suggested that the answer could be much worse than the administration acknowledges or the president understands. Not long ago the president refused to put his own spending cut plan on the table. House Republicans had […]
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Honoring George H.W. Bush | HughHewitt.com | 06.07.11

Among the most unlikely and most fortunate events in American history was the 1988 election of George H.W. Bush, who will celebrate his 87th birthday on Sunday. You may consider each of those points – unlikely, very lucky – an overstatement, so let me explain. First, was Mr. Bush’s election really all that unlikely? In […]
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Lessons of NY 26 | HughHewitt.com | 05.31.11

What are the lessons of New York 26? We all know the narrative:  The GOP candidate was riding high until the Democrat shouted Medicare.  Does that mean Medicare is the new third rail of American politics?  Now that we are getting down to specifics of cutting spending, is the Tea Party finished? Are we back […]
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Republican Pros Handicap 2012 Presidential Run | HughHewitt.com | 05.16.11

In looking to the 2012 campaign, the mood among Republican pros in Washington at the moment is low-grade manic depression.  Anyone can beat President Obama, the conventional GOP wisdom goes, except the anyones who are actually running. You might ask, why would anyone believe that anyone can beat the president?  The killing of America’s most […]
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New Reality in the Ancient Middle East? | HughHewitt.com | 05.09.11

In the Middle East, an old and confounding puzzle may soon be solved, for the better and in an entirely unexpected way – if the United States acts wisely. About six years ago, I met with one of the senior most players in the making of our foreign policy during the prior two decades.  Our […]
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Killing bin Laden | HughHewitt.com | 05.02.11

In 2001, speaking to Congress not long after the September 11th attacks, President George W. Bush said that the United States would bring the terrorists to justice or bring justice to the terrorists but that one way or the other justice would be done.  As President Obama reported last night, yesterday it was. The Obama […]
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Reality Check As We Approach the Opening of the Presidential Political Season | HughHewitt.com | 04.25.11

The story of the 2012 presidential race was previewed over the last few days in an odd couple of journalist venues, an entry in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal Political Diary and this weekend’s edition of Meet the Press. The Political Diary piece was by John Fund, a columnist who shows up everywhere around Washington.  The […]
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Checking Out? The President and the American Debt Crisis | HughHewitt.com | 4.18.11

The White House stance on reducing the deficit, laid out in the president’s speech at George Washington University last week, was clueless – clueless and dangerous. Starting moments after Mr. Obama stepped down from the podium, political commentators have been giving the address a thumbs down.   Everyone has seen the media comments about the talk’s […]
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Ronald Reagan at 100 | Claremont Review of Books | Spring 2011

Early in his presidency, Ronald Reagan caused a stir in the media when he hung in the White House Cabinet Room a portrait of Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge had been persona non grata in the executive mansion since the Great Depression.  Franklin Roosevelt’s followers blamed his policies for the economic catastrophe.  By the early 1960s, with […]
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Today’s Budget Speech: How Clueless Is He? | HughHewitt.com | 04.13.11

Here is good gauge of the cluelessness and disarray of the Democratic Party’s present leadership in Congress and the White House. Over the weekend, the president and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid congratulated everyone in sight on the just-concluded budget deal.  Meanwhile, also over the weekend, former House speaker – now House minority leader – […]
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Putting Odds on the 2012 Presidential Race | HughHewitt.com | 04.04.11

This past week, in Washington and around the country, Republican activists have been having a collective anxiety attack.  Everywhere you go, you hear doubts that no likely candidate has what it takes to beat Mr. Obama.  Following are two ways – polls and electoral votes — of assessing this worry. Polls Nearly as I can […]
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Tonight’s Presidential Address | HughHewitt.com | 03.28.11

Here is some advice to the White House about tonight’s presidential television address. I take an interest in presidential speech giving.  I wrote speeches in the White House for nearly two-thirds of the Reagan presidency, the first half of that time for the Vice President, second half for the President. Presidential rhetoric is an instrument […]
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Charlie Wilson’s War and Big Time Politicians | HughHewitt.com | 03.21.11

Here is a story about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill.  It applies to the upcoming contest for the Republican presidential nomination.  I heard it at a dinner party around the new year. A few other guests and I were gathered in a side room.  A former senior U.S. national security official was telling Cold War […]
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Action By Inaction | HughHewitt.com | 03.14.11

This week the op-ed columns have been full of outrage at the do-nothing presidency. In National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson writes of “Obama as Hamlet,” indecisive in his approach to the uprisings across the Arab world. In the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone says the president is still following his practice in the Illinois legislature […]
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Facing the Facts to Save Our Future | HughHewitt.com | 03.07.11

This week, with the battle over public finance continuing across the country and in Congress, the left launched an amazing counter attack.  Too bad for them that new facts belied their argument even as they were making it. The counterattack came down to four words: “We are not broke.”  Predictably, The New York Times led […]
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Did I Hear It Right? The Battle of Wisconsin is Over? The Governor Has Won? | HughHewitt.com | 02.28.11

At a private Washington dinner last night, one of the nation’s most prominent political scientists and pollsters said that the battle of Wisconsin is over.  Governor Scott Walker has won. The remark came amidst a flurry of wide ranging discussion and passed almost unnoticed, until one guest interrupted, “What did you say a moment ago? […]
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What is NOT at Stake in Wisconsin | HughHewitt.com | 02.22.11

Let’s look for a moment at what the standoff in Wisconsin is NOT about. The standoff is NOT about whether state employees may engage in collective bargaining: With some success, the unions have characterized the battle as an up or down vote on the right to bargain collectively.  They have agreed, they tell us, to […]
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Report from 2011 CPAC | HughHewitt.com | 02.14.11

The CPAC conference was held this weekend in Washington.  Here are a few notes taken at the proceedings and in the hallways: Numbers: How much energy is in the conservative movement?  Here is one small but telling detail. The conference has been held annually for decades.  Under the leadership of David Keene, who retired at […]
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Egypt: What Would Ronald Reagan Do? | HughHewitt.com | 02.07.11

Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth.  With the news for the past several weeks focused on popular upheavals in the Middle East, let’s ask, what would Ronald Reagan have done in a situation like the one we are now facing in Egypt and elsewhere? In fact we have a good idea how […]
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Notes on the Upheaval in Egypt and throughout the Middle East | HughHewitt.com | 01.31.11

As street riots continue in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, Americans should keep in mind both the threat and promise in the regional upheaval.  Here are three sources of both: The Muslim Brotherhood: Some have suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood has evolved into primarily a social service organization without much political influence, a minor […]
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What the State of the Union Address Will Tell Us | HughHewitt.com | 01.24.11

Tomorrow night Barack Obama will deliver this year’s State of the Union Address. But who is Barack Obama? Polls show that a sizable slice of the public has moved from seeing him as “liberal” to “moderate.” And with that change, his popularity has started rising for the first time in a year. He may have […]
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Rise to power echoes back 100 years | Financial Times | 01.18.11

From Mr Clark S. Judge. Sir, Philip Stephens (“The perils of mutual miscalculation”, January 14) notes the rising power of China’s military and its recent challenges to the US. Modern China bears an unsettling resemblance to Germany before the first world war. Like China in our time, Germany enjoyed rapid industrialisation in the late 19th […]
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“Repeal or Revise” and the Thunder out of China | HughHewitt.com | 01.18.11

A column last Friday in The Financial Times underscored the urgency of the new GOP House majority’s “repeal or revise” agenda.  Not that addressing domestic U.S. concerns was the author’s intention. The article by columnist Philip Stephens (see: http://tiny.cc/my1m0 ) surveyed the deterioration of US-China relations during the past year:  tensions over Korea, Taiwan, and […]
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The Constitution and Tuscon | HughHewitt.com | 01.10.11

Last week, the new Congress opened with House members, one by one, reading the Constitution into the Congressional Record.  Who knew that within days we would be sidling up to a debate on the one part of the document about which Left and Right were supposedly in total agreement? It all started predictably enough. In […]
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Searching for Mr. (or Ms.) Right | HughHewitt.com | 12.27.10

With the New Year arriving in only a few days, Washington has turned to its favorite game: handicapping the next presidential race.  Like many voters at this stage, I don’t have a candidate.  I have requirements.  My guess is they are the same as those of more than a few voters. Here they are. Spending: […]
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Observations from Israel | HughHewitt.com | 01.03.11

For the past week, I have been visiting Jerusalem. My only prior visit was in the mid-80s when I served on the staff of then-Vice President George Bush as a speechwriter.  That time I saw much that tourists could not — a gathering of Knesset members and a trip to the demilitarized zone (both occasions […]
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Wanted: Political Leaders They Respect | HughHewitt.com | 12.20.10

It’s about time. Last week saw a pair of pass-the-torch moments.  The first was when Democrat majority leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to jam through one last massive all-purpose spending bill. The second was when they couldn’t perform their planned exorcism of the Bush Administration’s growth-oriented tax policies and indeed got […]
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Whose Century Is This Anyway? | HughHewitt.com | 12.13.10

The news out of Washington this week has focused on the tax bill before Congress.  Both House and Senate liberal Democrats continue to display their economic illiteracy, playing the class warfare card even after the current and prior presidents of their own party have, at least for a time, given up that ghost.  The real […]
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Not bipartisan; Right: Answering Questions About Team B, a Shadow CBO | HughHewitt.com | 12.06.10

Judging from the feedback, including a call from Fox Business, last week’s column struck some kind of cord.  Everywhere I was asked about it, the same questions kept coming up.  So this week, I want to acknowledge those queries and give answers. As a reminder, the column called for creation of a shadow Congressional Budget […]
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Splitsville: American Politics Heading into 2012 | HughHewitt.com | 11.22.10

With the 2010 campaign over, Washington can start to do what it does best – obsess on the next campaign.  And here is an early bulletin:  Each party enters the cycle deeply split. Everyone knows about the divide between Tea Party Republicans and party moderates. Some of this division is over policy.  The Tea Partiers […]
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Create a Team B to Fight Budget Estimate Battles, a Citizen’s Budget Office | HughHewitt.com | 11.29.10

As the new Congress faces job one – putting the government’s fiscal house in order – here is a modest proposal:  Create a new Team B. The first Team B convened in the mid-1970s and dealt with intelligence estimates.  Many experts felt that CIA reports systematically discounted the actual strength and aggressiveness of the Soviet […]
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Splitsville: American Politics Heading into 2012 | HughHewitt.com | 11.22.10

With the 2010 campaign over, Washington can start to do what it does best – obsess on the next campaign.  And here is an early bulletin:  Each party enters the cycle deeply split. Everyone knows about the divide between Tea Party Republicans and party moderates.  Some of this division is over policy.  The Tea Partiers […]
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Arthur Laffer in San Francisco | HughHewitt.com | 11.15.10

On Thursday night last week, supply-side luminary Arthur Laffer spoke to the Pacific Research Institute’s annual dinner in San Francisco. Laffer is among the most consequential economists of the last half century.  Though lampooned and denounced on the left, his Laffer Curve has had a greater impact on American and global economic dialogue than, say, […]
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Time for Humility | HughHewitt.com | 11.07.10

On the night he was elected president in 1980, Ronald Reagan stood on a stage in Los Angeles with his wife Nancy beside him and said that winning the presidency was  “the most humbling moment in my life.” Now there’s a contrast.  Judging from his “our failure was we talked too fast for the people […]
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What Happened? A pre-election post-election look at tomorrow’s voting | HughHewitt.com | 11.01.10

Where do we stand today, on election eve? Late yesterday, Gallup posted the following pre-election assessment: “Taking Gallup’s final survey’s margin of error into account, the historical model predicts that the Republicans could gain anywhere from 60 seats on up, with gains well beyond that possible.”  That would mean 238 Republican votes in the House […]
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A Political Transformation | HughHewitt.com | 10.25.10

It is the final week of the campaign, and as the two sides begin to make their closing arguments, CBS’ 60 Minutes dropped a bombshell last night. For a segment on the economy, the television news magazine added to the official unemployment rate of 9.5 percent the number who had quit looking for work or […]
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Needed: Unmistakable Signal | HughHewitt.com | 10.18.10

Why were the president and vice president campaigning last week for Christopher Coons, the Democrat’s Senate candidate in Delaware? Delaware is an eleven-point race in favor of Coons, who is facing Christine O’Donnell, the most reviled GOP insurgent in the nation.  Normally campaigns don’t send their big guns into blow-aways that they are winning and […]
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Bigger Than Anyone’s Expectations | HughHewitt.com | 10.11.10

Recently in this space, I suggested that a 54-vote GOP pickup in the House and as much as a 12-vote swing in the Senate could be coming in November.  Reports last week suggest that Republican House gains may prove even larger. On Wednesday Politico ran a front-page story (see http://tiny.cc/teo7k ) headlined, “House chairmen in […]
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Ice in Their Veins Pros | HughHewitt.com | 10.04.10

The House of Representatives adjourned last week with all the style we have come to expect from the Obama-Pelosi-Reid congress.  The normally all but unanimous shout of acclaim to go home turned into a one-vote-margin, roll-call squeaker in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to descend from the podium to cast the deciding ballot. Messy?  Yes.  […]
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Pledge to Fight | HughHewitt.com | 09.27.10

The House GOP Pledge to America was unveiled last week.  The Pledge was intended as a reprise to the 1994 Contract with America.  The response to it has been surreal. First have been the retorts from the Democrats.  “Warmed over.”  “Nothing new here.”  You’ve heard it all.  And you’ve seen the mainstream media following behind […]
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Tea with Sympathy | HughHewitt.com | 09.20.10

It is good times for the Tea Party movement. I am not talking about winning Republican Senate nominations in Delaware, Alaska, Kentucky, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and without firing a shot in Florida.  Nor am I talking about a Christian Science Monitor poll last week that found a near majority of Americans view Tea with sympathy […]
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Report on Global Security Review Conference in Geneva | HughHewitt.com | 09.13.10

Every September since 2002, the International Institute for Strategic Studies has held, in Geneva, Switzerland, what it calls a Global Strategic Review.  This year’s meeting finished on Sunday. The IISS is a London-based equivalent to the U.S.’s Council on Foreign Relations – an establishment-oriented think tank on global security.  The weekend conference typically draws current […]
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Election Outlook on Labor Day: A Veto-Proof Senate or Even a Congress? | HughHewitt.com | 09.06.10

It is Labor Day, beginning of the final phase of the 2010 midterm congressional campaign.  A quick look at the polling tells a surprising story: Washington has utterly failed to grasp how much may change after November 2nd. We have all heard about the incredible deterioration of the Democratic Party’s approval numbers on all fronts […]
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Unforced Errors | HughHewitt.com | 08.30.10

Here is a rule of thumb: When looking for the true emotions under a top-level politician’s necessarily controlled exterior, take note of the unforced errors.  On Sunday, President Obama committed an unforced error. It came in his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams. Mr. Williams asked him about the strange polling phenomenon that nearly a fifth […]
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Biden to the Rescue? | HughHewitt.com | 08.23.10

It is all too easy to become cynical about the mainstream media. Last week Vice President Joe Biden uttered the now famous, “I’m going to get into trouble for saying this.  This ain’t your father’s Republican Party.  This is the Republican Tea Party.” As it happened, this kindhearted warning to voters of the insidious transformation […]
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Systemic Pessimism | HughHewitt.com | 08.16.10

When Shakespeare’s Richard the Third decried the “winter of our discontent”, he meant that unhappiness had gone into hibernation.  He intended to awaken it.  No need for R-III-R in Washington these days.  With all problems diagnosed as “systemic”, systemic pessimism is everywhere. Two weeks ago, in her weekly Wall Street Journal column ( http://tiny.cc/4gkz6 ), […]
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Too Many Yeses for the Party of No? | HughHewitt.com | 08.09.10

The rhetorical trajectories of Washington can be bemusing to behold. In the past week, the White House had taken up the mantra, “Party of No,” and this weekend even conservative leaning Sunday talk show panels and interviewers adopted the chant. As in, when it comes to the president’s program for reviving the economy, all the […]
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Snooki Economics: More Astute than Administration Economics | HughHewitt.com | 08.02.10

“I don’t go tanning anymore, because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning.”  Snooki, New York Post, Sunday, August 1st, 2010. It’s a sad day when Snooki, breakout buffoonette of the MTV hit reality show Jersey Shore, knows more about economics than the White House policy staff.  You tax an activity; you get less […]
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Why Has Trust In Our Institutions Fallen? | Forbes.com | 07.22.10

Reading a poll is not a simple thing. Nowhere is that so true as with the American people’s so-called collapse of faith in their institutions. When it comes to trust, all institutions are not created equal. Through the years faith in some has remained strong. The June Gallup survey found 82% of respondents reporting a […]
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Distant Threats Closing Fast | HughHewitt.com | 07.19.10

With late Thursday’s detonation of what Drudge on Sunday called a “’Hezbollah-like’ car bomb” in Ciudad Juarez, just across our southern border from El Paso, it is worth asking, are we preparing for the national security challenges ahead? (See Drudge-linked story here: http://tiny.cc/kiqgg ) The border with Mexico is an obvious prize for anyone hoping […]
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Bad Weekend for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue | HughHewitt.com | 07.12.10

White House insiders must be holding their heads. The National Governors Association met in Boston this weekend.  Usually NGA meetings rank among the blandest of political events. The convening organization for American governors is bi-partisan.  Out of courtesy if nothing else, the fifty state leaders hold their more colorful political pronouncements for other occasions.  Good […]
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Requiem for a Canary | HughHewitt.com | 07.05.10

“If the economy were a coal mine,’ wrote the editorialist of The New York Times on Sunday, “the job market would be a 800-pound canary, warning of a recovery that is running out of steam.”  Added Fareed Zararia in this morning’s Washington Post, “The American economy is sputtering and we are running out of options.” […]
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JFK, Abe, RR and the Firing of General Stanley McChrystal | HughHewitt.com | 06.28.10

In Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Elliot decries “the right deed for the wrong reason,” a view I have never shared.  In politics, lots of right deeds are done for lots of wrong reasons, and we are all better for it.  The president’s firing of General Stanley McChrystal is an example.  To see why, […]
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Gulf Oil Speech: Administration Dead in the Water | HughHewitt.com | 06.21.10

It is no news now, but on Tuesday last week, President Obama delivered the least effective Oval Office address since Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech.  Why? It wasn’t just the awkward use of his hands, the hackneyed and inappropriate wartime metaphors, the equally banal “if we could land a man on the moon” drivel.  All that […]
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More Storm Clouds Over US-UK Relationship | HughHewitt.com | 06.14.10

More storm clouds appeared over the US-UK relationship this weekend and as late as this morning, London time.  Today’s London Telegraph headlined “BP oil spill: Barack Obama tells David Cameron ‘I’m not out to wreck BP’”.   The White House didn’t get the memo. It seems that the president and the newly elected prime minister talked […]
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Potential Casualty of Gulf Oil Rig Crisis: Our Most Critical Global Relationship | 06.07.10 | HughHewitt.com

The biggest long-term casualty of the administration’s mishandling of the Gulf oil rig crisis may turn out to be our most critical global security relationship. As Hugh has been on top of from the first hour, the administration has fumbled every aspect of the environmental disaster.  The president took days to even seem to notice […]
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Diminishing Margins for Global Error | HughHewitt.com | 06.01.10

Yesterday’s Israeli-Turkish convoy incident was a warning of what the world will look like if the United States recedes as a global power. We have all read the headlines by now.  Sometime on Sunday, Israeli commandos boarded a flotilla of vessels that had sailed from Turkey on a supposedly humanitarian mission to the Gaza Strip. […]
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Seizing the Moment – Or Not | HughHewitt.com | 05.23.10

The question around Washington this past week – in the air, even when it wasn’t on the lips – was, will the Republicans make the same mistake the British Conservative’s made?  Will they fall short of the electoral triumph that appears to be waiting for them? In a recent Wall Street Journal article (see: http://tiny.cc/pvdi9), […]
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Voter Disgust and the Washington Narrative | HughHewitt.com | 05.19.10

Last night another wave of voter disgust hit the Capitol Hill sands and swept more incumbents into the out-of-office ocean. Kentucky is part of this story.  Outsider Rand Paul, son of libertarian sensation Ron Paul, took the GOP nomination from the party establishment’s nominee. The biggest news though came from Pennsylvania.  While Democrats held onto […]
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Senator Robert Bennett and the Story of 2010 | HughHewitt.com | 05.10.10

Over the weekend, Washington received the first of what are likely to be many wake up calls in advance of the November elections.  The Utah Republican Party convention declined to re-nominate three-term U.S. senator Robert Bennett.  It didn’t give him even enough votes to qualify for a place on the party’s primary ballot. The Mainstream […]
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Arizona and the Southern Border | HughHewitt.com | 05.03.10

This is a story about illegal immigration and why people in border states feel so strongly about it. In March, I was in Los Angeles on business.  After my meeting, a cab took me to the airport.  My driver was a woman, well spoken, clearly affluent, and sad.  She told me that she and her […]
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The Foreign Policy Equivalent of the Health Care Overhaul | HughHewitt.com | 04.19.10

Newt Gingrich made the rounds in Washington last week.  At an American-Spectator-sponsored breakfast he talked –- among other topics –- about what he called the Obama Administration’s “fantasy foreign policy,” a major instance of which was Iran. It was, in some respects, Iran week in town. It had started out as nuke week. Monday and […]
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Strategic Obfuscation | HughHewitt.com | 04.12.10

From all health care reform all the time, the Obama Administration has turned to all nukes all the time. Over the past six business days the White House has debuted a three-act nuclear extravaganza, from release of the Nuclear Posture Review last Tuesday to signing of the new US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on Thursday, […]
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Some Call It ObamaCare for the Financial Sector | HughHewitt.com | 04.05.10

Having taken over the auto industry and the health care industry, last week Washington turned its attention to securing its grip on the full sweep of American financial institutions. Last year’s and this year’s bailouts had given the government a stake – supposedly passing – in a number of commercial banks.  The reforms that Congress […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

A Titanic Struggle Begins | HughHewitt.com | 03.29.10

All through the health care debate, the Administration and Democratic leaders in Congress promised wavering members that all would be right once they passed the bill. Starting almost immediately, the American people would see that the legislation delivered more and cost less than anyone thought.  And they would respect the majority party’s show of strength. […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

The Smart Money was Right | HughHewitt.com | 03.22.10

The smart money was right.  The health overhaul bill has now passed both houses of Congress.  When the President signs it later in the week, it will be law. At around four o’clock yesterday, Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak and the White House announced a deal on right to life.  The health overhaul effectively repeals the […]
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Betting Against the Smart Money | HughHewitt.com | 03.15.10

As the week begins, the smart money in Washington is betting that the House will adopt the Senate health care package and send it to the President by week’s end. Count me skeptical. The postponement of the President’s Far Eastern trip was a sign of White House anxiety that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could not […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Amateur Hour in our “Ungovernable” Government | HughHewitt.com | 03.08.10

A great deal of talk has come out of Washington these last few weeks about the nation being “ungovernable.”  What that means, of course, is that the White House can’t find sixty votes for health care overhaul in a senate that their party controls by sixty votes.  So they are pushing the legislation through using […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Republicans, Conservative Democrats, the Health Care Summit, and American Exceptionalism | HughHewitt.com | 03.01.10

“Blue Dogs want health care to come up again,” said a long-time veteran of the House in a closed door briefing last Monday.   “So they can vote against it.” Many conservative Democratic members of Congress cast their ballots for the bill last time – and those who did not are widely seen as part of […]
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Glenn Beck, George Will, Amity Shlaes, CPAC and the American Swing Voter | HughHewitt.com | 02.22.10

It is a good gauge of the mainstream media’s cluelessness that so many of its commentators were surprised when Fox News star Glenn Beck slammed the Republican Party in his Saturday CPAC keynote address – and the CPAC audience cheered. The annual conservative meeting’s attendance numbered something like ten thousand, a record.  But as of […]
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A Prosecutor’s Take on a Civilian Trial for KSM | HughHewitt.com | 02.15.10

It wasn’t exactly “My Funny Valentine “ that Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Dick Cheney sang to each other on the Sunday talk shows. Among many areas of sharp disagreement was the proposed trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) in civilian court.  So we now know what the former and current vice […]
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Health Summit Starting Point: Ban Three Bad Ideas | HughHewitt.com | 02.09.10

How bad have the last few weeks been for Mr. Obama’s White House? You can keep the score in headlines and magazine covers. Covers?  My favorite is The New Yorker’s, with the President in three cartoon panels walking across the water.  In the fourth he’s falling in. Headlines?  Take this one from Monday’s Washington Post, […]
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Democracy Deficit? | HughHewitt.com | 02.01.10

Despite a weekend Rasmussen report showing a post State of the Union uptick in Strong Approval for Mr. Obama, the president’s performance last Wednesday was a setback for the Administration. Yes, Democrats liked it.  A large block of Democratic Party loyalists moving from neutral or weakly supportive to strong support was the reason for the […]
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Answering the Call: Corporations and Campaigns, Part 3 | HughHewitt.com | 01.25.10

This posting appeared as one of a four part series on HughHewitt.com.  Hugh Hewitt wrote 1 and 4, another columnist who goes by the handle “Bear in the Woods” wrote 2.  According to Hugh, “Bear in the Woods” is a senior advertising executive.  To see the other entries, please go to the www.HughHewitt.com: Bear in […]
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Four Words | HughHewitt.com | 01.18.10

With the Democrats looking about to lose Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, a single line near the end of a front-page story in Sunday’s New York Times should send chills through the White House’s top echelons. The story’s headline announces “Election Tests Staying Power of Democrats.”  Most of the focus is on why the Massachusetts race […]
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How the GOP Lost Congress | HughHewitt.com | 01.10.10

In today’s Wall Street Journal (here: http://tiny.cc/T958J), I offer “10 Tips for the GOP in 2010”.  Over the weekend I found an online interview that gives excellent context to criticism I offer of recent GOP congresses. First, background. In the article I argue that, if they are to win big in 2010, congressional Republicans must […]
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10 Tips for the GOP in 2010 | Wall Street Journal | 01.10.10

It is an old rule of politics. When your opponent is in the process of destroying himself, don’t get in his way. Despite tanking poll numbers both for themselves and their president, congressional Democrats have persisted for months in a stunning act of political self-destruction. The evaporation of home-state support for Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson […]
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Spies, Terrorists, Brits, and Us in 2010 | HughHewitt.com | 1.04.10

With the White House claiming it was on top of the global terror threat, the oversized-type front-page headline in the weekend Financial Times suggested a different story. It read: “Yemen terror summit called.” The lead paragraph reported: “Western governments have convened a top-level meeting for this month to discuss strategies to counter Yemen’s growing role […]
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Address to “The 20th Anniversary of the Liberated and Reunited Europe” Conference | Timbro & Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism, Stockholm, Sweden | 9.18.09

I am honored to speak at this conference sponsored by Timbro, one of the major free market think tanks of Scandinavia and Europe… and by the Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism, which is undertaking with the clarity and force of truth the essential task of insisting on memory of the injustice, misery, […]
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The March of the Senate Democrats | HughHewitt.com | 12.21.09

As one early morning report puts it, the Senate is now “marching” to passage on Christmas Eve of its version of health overhaul.  Three motions preliminary to a cloture vote have passed 60-40, all Democrats for, all Republicans against.  What does this Democrats-only bill do?  What are the consequences? As it stands today, the health […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

“The economic mess we inherited” | HughHewitt.com | 12.14.09

On Sunday, Rasmussen reported an amazing nineteen-point negative gap between President Obama’s strong favorable (23%) and strong unfavorable ratings (42%) among likely voters.  In polling terms this deficit is almost as big as the trillion-dollar-plus one in Mr. Obama’s 2010 budget.  To it, the administration has one response, repeated last night in the president’s interview […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

Global Eyes on the President at West Point | HughHewitt.com | 11.30.09

As everyone knows, President Obama will address the nation on Tuesday night and reveal his decision on what to do in Afghanistan.  Most weekend commentary focused on the announcement’s political implications at home and how various players in and around Afghanistan will see it.  But there will be another and in the long run at […]
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Trying on Every Front to Increase the Role of Government | HughHewitt.com | 11.23.09

It is a rule of thumb among conservatives, not just in Washington but around the country, that the United States does not deserve the government that the Democratic administration and congress are currently giving it.  But the Republican Party, whose drubbing in the last election delivered to the Democrats the excessive power they now enjoy, […]
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Capitalism by Proxy Fight | Wall Street Journal | 11.22.09

It’s no secret that sometime in the fall of 2008, the waters of the Potomac River began to flow into the Hudson. With the vast underwriting of Wall Street financial firms by the government, a handful of corporate executives received a searing education on Washington rules under klieg lights. Now the world of politics is […]
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Report From London | HughHewitt.com | 11.17.09

A week ago Monday Henry Kissinger addressed a dinner in London sponsored by The Atlantic Bridge, an organization dedicated to the U.S.-U.K. special relationship in global affairs. He delivered an unmistakable warning about the direction of American foreign policy. Introducing Kissinger were Dr. Liam Fox (all but certainly the UK’s secretary of defense following the […]
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Reviewing the Health Overhaul Bidding | HughHewitt.com | 11.09.09

Let’s review the bidding now that Obama/Pelosicare has passed the House. As reported here two weeks ago, according to one of the nation’s leading experts on the federal budget, former OBM deputy director and Hoover Institution economist John Cogan, by mid century without the president’s agenda, the federal spending including Medicare and Medicaid are on […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

What Will Tuesday’s Voting Mean? | HughHewitt.com | 11.02.09

We have all heard the prognosticators by now.  The fate of the Administration’s health care legislation could be sealed tomorrow, when voters in Virginia and New Jersey pick their new governors – or not. It has become something of a superstition in Washington that if the two Democratic candidates go down in defeat, next year […]
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“Affordability”, 2010 and the Health Overhaul | HughHewitt.com | 10.26.09

This morning’s Politico (here: http://tinyurl.com/yf8pchm ) headlines “Public Option resurfaces as an affordability issue”.  In the paper version, a bigger headline to the same story explains, “2010 Haunts Health Care Debate”. You may be inclined to say, “duh.”  But though, as Politico also reports, Mr. Obama’s demand for a $900 billion cap on the planned […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Conservative Hot Spots in Liberal San Francisco Bay Area Lead Consumer-Driven Health Reform | HughHewitt.com | 10.19.09

The San Francisco Bay Area is, of course, a Mecca of American left liberalism.  But unnoticed throughout the rest of the nation, it is also nurturing ground for free-market intellectuals and home to two major institutions for free-market economic and political thought, the Hoover Institution and the Pacific Research Institute. On Friday night former presidential […]
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Report From Geneva and Stockholm | HughHewitt.com | 9.21.09

As luck would have it, for the last ten days, just as the Obama Administration was upending America’s global relationships, I was in Europe and attended two conferences on international politics.  Together these conferences gave a good cross section of opinion about Mr. Obama and the U.S. in policy centers around the world. It proved […]
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Questions for the President Tonight | HughHewitt.com | 09.09.09

When he stands before Congress tonight, the president will almost certainly replace his demand for an immediate “public option” (government-provided insurance plan) with endorsement of a so-called “trigger.”  Under his new plan, failure of health insurers to reduce their rates in some period – probably five years – will “trigger” a public option. His implication […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Wednesday’s Speech Won’t Hit Reset Button for Obamacare | HughHewitt.com | 09.07.09

Washington is in a state of something approaching suspended animation this Labor Day weekend. With the president scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, the DC power game is in time out, waiting to hear what Mr. Obama has to say on that brightest stage of American political theater: the joint session […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

With ObamaCare in a Hole, Will the White House Stop Digging? | HughHewitt.com | 09.02.09

Increasingly in Washington over the last few weeks, we have heard this assessment of the president’s health care upheaval prospects: Something will pass, because the president and his party have such large majorities (nearly 60 percent) in both chambers of Congress that it is inconceivable that they could not bludgeon their way to the necessary […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Where Does White House Health Overhaul Policy Go Now? | HughHewitt.com | 08.31.09

On Sunday the Rasmussen organization reported that 42 percent of likely voters had told them they strong disapprove of the president’s job performance.  At this rate it is not out of the question that the new year could see this number break the 50 percent mark. The record strong disapproval – which also must set […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Danger for the White House: Collapse of Public Trust | HughHewitt.com | 08.24.09

Washington is abuzz over the latest pronouncement from Charlie Cook, celebrated editor of the Cook Political Report. Last week, Mr. Cook announced in his online newsletter that polling data “confirm anecdotal evidence, and our own view, that the [political] situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and Congressional Democrats.”  Poll […]
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Obamacare, the Economy, and the Battle of Washington | HughHewitt.com | 08.03.09

It has been a bad couple of weeks for President Obama and his signature health care overhaul package.  Now help may be on the way in the form of a reviving economy. But if prosperity is returning, did the Obama Administration really have anything to do with it?  And will the recovery save the President’s […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

Obama Misunderestimates Why He Won the Presidency | HughHewitt.com | 07.27.09

There are limits to what a great communicator can accomplish if he is communicating the wrong message. In the last few weeks, Barack Obama has been receiving a lesson in this truth and learning, perhaps, too, that he, in the words of his less audibly gifted predecessor, “misunderestimated” why he won the presidency. On Sunday […]
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Remarks at “The Catholic Bill Buckley” Conference | Portsmouth Institute, Portsmouth Abbey School, Portsmouth, RI | 06.20.09

At this conference we have talked about Bill Buckley as a man of faith, a man of letters, a man of creativity.  That creativity included founding National Review magazine, becoming the central figure in a new kind of debate television with Firing Line, authoring thousands of columns and articles, dozens of books, founding the New […]
Posted in Speeches/Lectures | Tagged | Comments closed

President Obama’s Stimulus v. Milton Friedman’s Rule | USNews.com | 02.06.09

Milton Friedman had a rule: Increases or decreases in the money supply take six to nine months to alter economic output and as much as two years to move prices. As the Senate takes up the president’s stimulus package, the administration argues that, to avert another Great Depression, it is better to do too much […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

Obama Inauguration Speech Marks Moment Solidly and Well | U.S. News & World Report | 01.21.09

As a former presidential speechwriter, I have been asked over and over in interviews how I would grade President Barack Obama’s inaugural address. My answer: solid A. Not A plus, like Jefferson’s first inaugural or both of Lincoln’s or Franklin Roosevelt’s first or JFK’s or Reagan’s first—but a solid A nonetheless. Like most incoming presidents […]
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An American Speech | New York Times Blog | 01.20.09

President Barack Obama delivered a deeply American inaugural address. He called for putting aside old rivalries and hostilities, as did Abraham Lincoln in both of his inaugurals. He put forward his view of the current crisis and the principles he will follow in meeting it, as did Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan when they were […]
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Farewell Themes in the State of the Union | NPR – Morning Edition | 1.28.08

President Bush is set to deliver his last State of the Union address Monday night. Like Presidents Reagan and Clinton before him, it will mark the last such address of a two-term presidency. “The State of the Union address is very much an address of the great themes of a presidency together with the moment […]
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What Now? | HughHewitt.com | 11.10.08

For those tuning in late, I was no supporter of Barack Obama’s candidacy.  But the election is over.  Senator Obama is now President-elect Obama.  Here are some thoughts on what now: * Yes, I remain (as I was during the campaign) worried that President Obama and the Democratic Congress will raise taxes on entrepreneurs and […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

Obama’s Defensive Rhetoric – Bad Sign for His Closing Campaign | HughHewitt.com | 11.03.08

Perhaps it’s my imagination, but as we enter the last 48 hours of the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s rhetoric on the stump is sounding increasingly defensive. That is a bad sign for his prospects.  Here’s why. I wrote speeches – in three cases many, many speeches — for Republican candidates or key surrogates (for […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

The Economics of 2008: A Choice of Middle Classes | HughHewitt.com | 10.27.08

When it comes to visions of the middle class, the 2008 presidential campaign is not between Barack Obama and John McCain so much as between Andy Stern and Joe the Plumber. What does that means for our country and its future? Andy Stern is head of the Service Employees International Union.  By Senator Obama’s standard […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe the Plumber | HughHewitt.com | 10.20.08

From the aftermath of former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to George Stephanopoulos’ repeated dismissals of Newt Gingrich on ABC’s “This Week”, yesterday the Sunday talk shows all but declared the election over.  Can John McCain still win even so?  Yes.  Joe the Plumber is part […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

Obama’s Cluelessness in Our Time of Surprises | HughHewitt.com | 10.13.08

With the MSM turning a blind eye to his every policy gaffe, Barack Obama has made more than his share of commitments that – if he acts on them – could shatter a fragile economy and undermine US security. From raising taxes on entrepreneurs (in an economy in which entrepreneurship is among the few remaining […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

Everything Old is New Again | HughHewitt.com | 10.01.08

This is the week the new-style campaign turns old. Early Monday morning the Obama campaign released a TV spot slamming John McCain for his involvement in the Keating Five scandal.  The attack itself is a scandal.  McCain was totally exonerated by the special counsel appointed for the case. But that hasn’t stopped Obama, who, of […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

The First Bank Run of the Non-Bank Bank Era | HughHewitt.com | 09.29.08

According to a late night email from the House GOP leadership, floor debate on the financial rescue bill may begin as early as 8am Eastern Time and will be limited to three hours.  So the House will almost certainly be discussing the bill by the time this column is posted. No one needs to be […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

A Wall Street Rescue That Makes Every Player a Winner | HughHewitt.com | 09.26.08

With the Wall Street rescue talks on the ropes, there is a deal waiting to be done that fixes the Paulson Plan’s problems and gives each key player a win. The key objectives of the rescue are: 1) to restore stability and liquidity to a US financial system currently threatened by the collapse in value […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

Sin and the Financial Meltdown: Sloth, Not Greed | HughHewitt.com | 09.22.08

Barack Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress need an economics lesson. Greed is not the deadly sin at the root of the current financial crisis.  If anything, sloth is.  And that means that loading a ton of new regulation on the already highly regulated financial sector will not prevent future crises. Populist Washington holds […]
Posted in Economic Policy: The Great Financial Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

Palin v. Obama: Who’s Better Suited for National Security Leadership? | HughHewitt.com | 09.15.08

In the Category 100 hurricane of mainstream media sarcasm, dismissals and denunciations that has blown over the number two spot on the GOP ticket this week, one simple fact remains standing amidst the debris: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is better suited to take responsibility for the national security of the United States than is Illinois […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

Health care too important to be a partisan issue | Orlando Sentinel | 09.14.08

Ever since Franklin Roosevelt first considered including universal health coverage as part of the Social Security Act of 1935, America has seen five attempts to overhaul our federal health system. All have one thing in common: They ended in failure. With eight weeks to go in the presidential campaign, there are signs that this time […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

McCain’s Successful Convention: How So and Why | HughHewitt.com | 09.08.08

By last night (Sunday) it had become clear:  Despite almost exactly opposite reporting in the mainstream media, the Democrats two weeks ago had their second failed convention in a row.  It was the Republican convention that proved a huge success.  How so and why? First the “how so.” Politicians live and die by polls. A […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

Where Does the GOP Go From Here? | Wall Street Journal | 09.04.08

When John McCain accepts the Republican nomination tonight, he will address a party that doubts itself. In the hall and around the nation Republicans are asking, why does every generic ballot show the GOP losing to the Democrats? Is it just the normal public fatigue after eight years in control of the White House and, […]
Posted in Political Commentary: Campaign 2008 | Tagged | Comments closed

McCain’s Challenge: Redefine the Campaign as Inside Change Blame Versus Outsider Reform | U.S. News & World Report | 09.02.08

U.S. News asked speechwriters from past Republican administrations to weigh in with their thoughts on John McCain’s acceptance speech. Clark S. Judge wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan. Republican nominee-to-be John McCain has a chance to redefine the 2008 presidential race on Thursday—if his convention acceptance speech lives up to the standard set so far by […]
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Thursday v. Friday: Set Piece Battle v. War of Maneuver | HughHewitt.com | 09.01.08

Last week the nation witnessed two top-of-their-game presidential campaigns at work, campaigns as stunningly different as they were impressive — different in ways that told a great deal about each candidate. On Thursday night the Obama campaign mounted a show unlike any ever seen in a presidential election: a massive stadium filled to the top […]
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Barack Gatsby | HughHewitt.com | 08.25.08

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Denver, the media is full of profiles of the party’s soon-to-be nominee.  Who is Barack Obama? they ask, an odd question.  After 19 months of campaigning shouldn’t they know?  But reading the stories, it is clear that those covering him – despite the worshipful reporting — are […]
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Let the Contest Begin | HughHewitt.com | 08.18.08

By Monday next week, all eyes will be turned to Denver and the Russian roulette convention that the Clintons have now forced on Team Obama.  The GOP presidential nominating meeting starts the following Monday.  So this is the last week of the long primary and post-primary season before the traditional campaign begins.  How does the […]
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New Face for the Veepstakes | HughHewitt.com | 08.11.08

Following a Thursday Wall Street Journal editorial sizing up the field, the GOP veepstakes is now officially in full swing.  According to the Journal, no obvious candidate is to be found.  Maybe that’s because the editors weren’t looking in the right place. In the Journal’s assessment, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and Alaska governor Sarah Palin […]
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Obama’s Bad Trip | HughHewitt.com | 08.05.08

In the Reagan speechwriting shop, we had a rule about what today is called the mainstream media: The media does not just get things wrong; they get it EXACTLY wrong.  Barack Obama’s recent overseas trip is an example. Widely reported as a triumph, the tour in fact marked the worst week in the Democratic candidate’s […]
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Video: Clark Judge On The State of the Union Address | Miller Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA | 06.20.08

On June 20 2008, the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs hosted a White House Speechwriters Symposium, bringing together speechwriters from the Nixon through Clinton administrations to discuss White House communications and crafting a presidential message. Clark Judge participated on a panel discussing the State of the […]
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Dealing with the D-Word | National Review Online | 04.04.08

Two days after the 1988 Democratic National Convention, President Reagan tagged the GOP’s opponents with the “L-word” — the unutterable, to the Democrats, name “liberal” — and more or less ended Michael Dukakis’s race for the presidency as it began. This year the Democrats are on their way to attaching to themselves a new fatal […]
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Figuring Out Prof Ben’s Fed | New York Post | 05.03.08

Worrisome inflation reports and rising unemployment have left economic pundits asking if the Federal Reserve and the Bush administration learned anything from the Great Stagflation of the 1970s, other than the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis of the 20th century. They ask: Are plummeting Fed funds rates and the president’s stimulus package a 2008 […]
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World Without Walls | National Review Online | 01.28.08

As the president prepares to deliver his final State of the Union address and the candidates work Florida and the Super Tuesday states, the 2008 election is — perhaps without any major player noticing it — shaping up to be about one central question: How does America deal in a world without walls? All the […]
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Bush’s Surprising Hand | HughHewitt.com | 01.28.08

Talk about surprises. Tonight George W. Bush delivers his final State of the Union address under astonishing circumstances.  Last January, almost unanimously, the smart money prophesized that 2007 would mark the President’s effective demise.  His party had just lost control of both houses of Congress.  Iraq looked like an irretrievable disaster.  Mr. Bush’s popularity was […]
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Regulation blocks US enterprise | Financial Times | 06.04.07

Almost unnoticed in the rest of the economy, an anxious question is increasingly being asked in the US’s entrepreneurially intense technology communities: could we be seeing the death – or at least the decline – of exit strategies? Exit strategies are critical to entrepreneurial finance. When backers of high-risk ventures know that, should the ventures […]
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Say What They Want to Hear — And, if Possible, Mean It | Wall Street Journal | 01.23.07

A few weeks after President Reagan delivered his 1988 State of the Union address, Dick Wirthlin, the president’s pollster, met with the White House speechwriting staff, of which I was a member. In the first and only presentation of its kind to Reagan’s writers, Dick shared the results of a new polling technique: pulse, or […]
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Surge Scoring: Listening to the president’s new Iraq plan | National Review Online | 01.08.07

Early on Thursday, January 11, 2007, National Review Online (NRO) posted a symposium of reactions to President Bush’s January 10th, 2007 address to the nation detailing changes of strategy in Iraq.  Clark S. Judge, managing director of the White House Writers Group, was one of eight experts NRO invited to participate and whose responses it […]
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Video: Clark Judge on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer | PBS | 01.03.07

On the eve of President George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address, Clark Judge, Managing Director of the White House Writers Group and former presidential speechwriter, discussed the process of crafting the President’s remarks. Click the following link to view the interview: Clark Judge on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
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Urgency on the Battlefield: Further Thoughts On Our Hundred Years War | Hoover Digest | 12.12.06

Last summer, the president and his senior advisers tried to define the adversary in the wider war on terror when they spoke, for a brief time, of “Islamo-fascists.” After the predictable catcalls from the predictable circles, the administration backed off. But it may have been onto something. For if there is not necessarily a tight […]
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Reaganomics and the American Renaissance | El Impacto Reagan | La Fundacion Centro de Estudios Americanos | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 11.01.06

This essay was written at the request of La Fundacion Centro de Estudios Americanos in Buenos Aires.  In translation it was published in November 2006 as a chapter in the Center’s El Impacto Reagan, the first originally Spanish-language book to examine Reagan Administration policies.  The Center asked that it open with a personal recollection of […]
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How W Got His Mojo Back: Behind Bush’s Great Week | New York Post | 06.15.06

Who’d have thought it possible even a month ago? President Bush is getting his mojo back. The president just had the best week of his second term, perhaps of his entire presidency – and the end of the investigation of Karl Rove, which would have been the headline grabber not long ago, had little to […]
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Dubya’s Drift | New York Post | 10.10.05

WHY, all of a sudden, are things going so wrong for the White House? Conservatives up in arms about Harriet Miers and about the president’s plans for the Gulf Coast; an anti-war mother camped outside the Crawford ranch dominating the news for a month; Bush’s approval ratings lower than they’ve ever been: This is the […]
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Bearing the Burden of Writing the Speech | Wall Street Journal | 08.24.05

Three days before his inauguration, as Time magazine correspondent Hugh Sidey sat down to interview him, president-elect John F. Kennedy was scribbling on a yellow pad, crossing out words and scribbling more. The two men were on JFK’s campaign plane, flying from Palm Beach, Fla., to Washington. Kennedy was writing his inaugural address and eager […]
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Enron Lives | New York Post | 03.08.05

Talk about shooting the messenger: Critics are slamming President Bush’s drive to reform Social Security for its supposedly astronomical transition costs. But those costs don’t arise from Bush’s solution. They show up on the books simply because Bush wants to undo the Enron-style techniques that the government has used on Social Security. That honest accounting […]
Posted in Economic Policy: US Debt Crisis | Tagged | Comments closed

Debate Remarks on Proposition: “This House Believes That Despite Its Flaws Neo-Liberal Globalization Is A Good Thing” | University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland | 11.11.04

Mr. Chairman, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the University Philosophical Society, Ladies and Gentlemen: I don’t know how many of you have actually seen the letter that the Society sends to prospective speakers. It’s more of a summons than an invitation: “World’s oldest debating society”… “Founded: 1684″… “Previous speakers: Alexis de Tocqueville and Winston […]
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The Real Debt | New York Post | 08.28.04

In his speech Thursday to the Republican convention, can President Bush do better with the American people than John Kerry did in Boston? The answer may turn on how aggressively the president addresses the senator’s signature economic charge — that Bush budget deficits have saddled the government with crushing debt. Handled assertively and self-confidently, this […]
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Sen. Kerry, It’s French for Kiss Off | Los Angeles Times | 08.01.04

WASHINGTON — Throughout the last week and in his acceptance speech Thursday night, Sen. John Kerry charged that the Bush administration should have — and could have — won greater international support before it launched military operations in Iraq. Few presidential challengers have offered such a telling and disturbing critique of an incumbent’s foreign policy […]
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Labor Lessons | New York Post | 06.10.04

This week’s Ronald Reagan retrospectives have given only passing notice to the fact that he was a labor leader. Yet his service as a union president is at least as important in understanding his unparalleled impact on our world as his years as an actor. Take this story that Reagan used to tell about his […]
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Nike and the First Amendment | Hoover Digest | 12.08.03

In early January, the Supreme Court announced that it would review what some have called the most significant First Amendment case in a generation: Kasky v. Nike, Inc. et al. (2002). At the heart of this case is the long-debated distinction between commercial and political speech now forced by a simple question: If speech is […]
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Expanded Legal Privilege Needed For Litigation Public Relations | Washington Legal Foundation | 10.03.03

Unless you are a devotee of the legal and public relations trade press, you probably missed a small but important story about one of the essential rules of the litigation and prosecution game. On June 2nd, a U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan reaffirmed that under some circumstances some public relations advisors to some attorneys […]
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Our Own Hundred Years’ War: U.S. Strategic Context, World War I to the War on Terror | Hoover Digest | 10.01.03

From the fall of the Berlin Wall until the September 11 attacks, Americans believed they were living in a largely post-conflict world—the “end of history” as Francis Fukuyama titled his famous 1992 book. Humanity was embracing an enduring state of liberal democratic happiness, a world entirely broken from the bloody past. Since the September 11 […]
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Lessons From the U.S. Past on Monetary Policy | Financial Times | 08.07.03

Sir: Bill O’Rahilly (“ Goodbye, yellow brick road”, August 5) makes several mistakes about US economic history in the McKinley-Bryan period and its meaning for today. He suggests that the issue of the time was deflation and stagnation (McKinley and the gold standard) versus easy money and renewed growth (Bryan and free silver). This was […]
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P.R. Lessons From the Pentagon | Wall Street Journal | 04.01.03

As bombs drop and bullets fly, the global media has turned a growing part of its coverage of the Iraqi war to the subject it knows best — itself. But as the war thickens, the embedded reporters will continue to be a brilliant strategy by the Pentagon — one that should echo in the rules […]
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Congress’s Stealth Tax | Wall Street Journal | 06.24.02

Congress is racing to enact an accounting reform bill. But have the members stopped to consider the fine print? If they did, they would find in the Senate version of the legislation a provision with the potential to cause more havoc in our markets than a dozen Enrons. The bill, written by Sen. Paul Sarbanes […]
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Hegemony of the Heart: American Cultural Power in the Post-9/11 World | Policy Review | 12.08.01

The power of the United States looks very different in the aftermath of September 11. Since the attacks, the earth’s major nations — ranging from the nato countries to Russia to China to Japan — and so many others have put aside their differences with the United States. The U.S. and Russia may even emerge, […]
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“Learnings from Political Persuasion” Symposium | Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI | 11.30.01

Click 4th Link: Learnings from Political Persuasion – Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication, University of Michigan
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‘Poor’ Assumptions in the Tax Debate | Wall Street Journal | 05.04.01

Now that House and Senate conferees have agreed on a $1.3 trillion tax cut, Democrats are lining up to attack this package as a giveaway to “the rich.” Many Republicans have taken this critique to heart by crafting tax cuts weighted toward “fairness” instead of economic stimulus. But all these criticisms are based on a […]
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The Electoral College Is a Bulwark Against Chaos | Los Angeles Times | 12.17.00

When Vice President Al Gore finally conceded the Y2K presidential race, one national institution deserved more credit than any other for keeping our postelection political slamfest from spinning into chaos: the electoral college. In this year of hanging, dimpled and pregnant chads, the college has emerged as much more than a quirky blast from the […]
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“The Globalization of Public Opinion” | Institute of Economic Affairs, London, United Kingdom | 06.14.00

BACKGROUND: On 14 June 2000, the Institute of Economic Affairs in London hosted an evening of dinner and discussion with the White House Writers Group. In attendance were members of Parliament, journalists and business representatives. Peter Robinson, Daniel Casse, Mark Davis and Clark Judge represented the Group. The president of the San Francisco-based Pacific Research […]
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‘My Fellow Americans’: What Mr. Clinton Can Say | Washington Times | 01.24.95

Tonight President Clinton becomes the first Democratic president since Harry Truman to deliver a State of the Union address to a Republican Congress. All over Washington liberal pundits (who can’t believe that those barbarous Republicans have seized the citadels of the Democratic patrimony) are offering the president advice on what to say. Mrs. Clinton has […]
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Thresholds of Pain | Wall Street Journal | 08.10.94

Like a canary in a mine, an obscure, high-technology entrepreneur named E.O. Schonstedt may have been a warning signal to the U.S. economy. In the 1970s, he learned that a friend of his, in complying with civil-rights reporting demanded of government contractors with 50 or more employees, had been required to submit eight pounds of […]
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Reagan Gives Republicans A Reality Check | Wall Street Journal | 08.17.92

Tonight Ronald Reagan will speak before the Republican convention in Houston. You’d think the media would consider it a momentous event: a distinguished elder statesman addressing his party and the nation for the first time since leaving office. Don’t count on it. Mr. Reagan’s long frustrated adversaries in oh-so-clever Washington have devoted much of the […]
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The Tax That Ate the Economy | Wall Street Journal | 06.24.91

Between May 1990 and this April, the U.S. suffered a net loss of 879,000 jobs. It wouldn’t have happened and there would be no recession today if the financing of small and young companies had not collapsed after 1986, when tax reform mandated raising the top rate on capital gains to 33% from 20%. Despite […]
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Indexing Capital Gains — Fool’s Gold | Wall Street Journal | 06.27.90

As the current inning in the long-running game called the budget process reaches its climax, many in Washington are betting that the congressional Democrats are about to make a double play. Getting George Bush to move his lips on taxes was their first out. Stopping him from moving them on capital gains tax reduction could […]
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Let Consumers Pull the Health-Care Purse Strings | Wall Street Journal | 09.26.89

Some issues get rolling and there’s no stopping them. A case in point is national health insurance, growing in popularity in policy circles even as the nation’s elderly cry for relief from the catastrophic burden of federal catastrophic care insurance. Now, in New York, the Cuomo team has barged into the act. David Axelrod, the […]
Posted in Economic Policy: Health Care | Tagged | Comments closed

Handstands by the Reagan-wreckers | Washington Times | 07.27.89

One evening during the last campaign, around midnight, I was in the middle of yet another dusk-to-dawn stint pounding out speeches in the Old Executive Office Building. The press had been carping again about the president’s detachment, although they were beginning to catch on to how potent an asset he was to the ticket, and […]
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Problem Isn’t Rate of U.S. Savings, but Where the Money Goes | Wall Street Journal | 03.23.89

A rose may be a rose, but, as anyone who buys a house or analyses a financial statement discovers, when it comes to money, a number is not necessarily a number. It can appear to tell one story but, once explored, really tell another. For example, look at a report issued earlier this month by […]
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