My Final Column: “Have Fun Storming the Castle”

My Final Column: “Have Fun Storming the Castle”

In six short months I’ve lost my father and, as an only child, have grappled with caring for my mom. All of this while trying to analyze polls, assist a great law firm, continue a long-planned move to Florida and continue “Newsvesting.” Clearly, something has to give. Sadly, the “give” is this 15-year-old syndicated column. Not because I don’t love it. But because it deserves the research and time I will no longer be able to give it. While I never reached the readership levels of famed columnists, I did strive to tell it like it is from outside the D.C. Beltway. I will leave in that same tradition, thankful to readers and publications that loyally followed or published me. In the early 1980s, working for a great Republican, then – U.S. Sen. Mack Mattingly, I attended meetings led by Newt Gingrich in his then-tiny House legislative office. Elected officials, young aides and experts would gather informally to listen and give input to Gingrich as the rising star created policies of what quickly became “The Conservative Opportunity Society.” Those efforts became the foundation for his later years as speaker of the House — a time of welfare reform, tax cuts, and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. I might note that one John Kasich played a serious role in those efforts as well. Ironically, some of us who were part of, or witness to, that last real conservative movement are now castigated for taking another political phenomenon seriously. One fast food chain exclaims “We didn’t invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich.” That’s how I feel about my 2014...
The powers-that-were

The powers-that-were

By Hastings Wyman – Donald Trump recently met with a group of Washington, DC Republicans in what was touted, by Trump and the media, as the beginning of a rapprochement between Trump and “the GOP establishment.” The group of about two dozen, invited by Trump supporter US Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL), included a number of Southerners, among them US Sen. Tom Cotton (AR), US Reps. Scott DesJarlais (TN) and Renee Ellmers (NC), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (GA), former House Appropriations Committee chairman Bob Livingston (LA), and Heritage Foundation president and former US Sen. Jim DeMint (SC). Others present included US Reps. Chris Collins (NY), Duncan Hunter (CA) and Tom Marino (PA). Most of those in attendance had endorsed Trump. Cotton had not and remains uncommitted. Gingrich told reporters that he had known Trump for years and often gave him advice, though he has not formally endorsed the New York billionaire. Livingston, now a Washington lobbyist, said after the meeting that he had voted for someone else in the primary, but was now endorsing Trump. Livingston said that the stop-Trump plans “are insulting to me and insulting to the process, and that’s why I’m getting involved,” reported the Times-Picayune. The meeting, we have it on good authority, was cordial, and Trump went around the room asking for advice from everybody, putting him in the unusual position, at least publicly, of seeking advice from “politicians,” a category he has derided and sought to separate himself from. Nevertheless, everyone gave him their in-put, “some positive, some negative,” says SPR’s source, who was not present but was privy to what went on....