John Feehery

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  • Daily Caller's Feehery decries President Obama's Nixonian use of first names

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    In a Daily Caller column, John Feehery complains about Barack Obama addressing members of Congress by their first names:

    He called the Speaker "Nancy," the Senate Majority Leader "Harry," the Senate Republican Leader "Mitch," and his vanquished opponent "John."

    When "Mitch" complained that the president and the Democrats had hogged most of the time, Mr. Obama said, with studied insouciance, "That's right Mitch, I am the president," implying that because he is the president that he can do whatever he wants to do.

    That statement should set off alarm bells among the president's advisers. Actually, presidents can't do whatever they want to do. Richard Nixon proved that point.

    Yeah, calling Mitch McConnell "Mitch" is just like Watergate. One day you're calling someone named "Mitch" "Mitch," and the next you're talking about fire-bombing Brookings. Happens every time.

    Strangely, though, Feehery didn't mention President Obama's predecessor, who referred to members of congress not only by their first names, but bestowed nicknames on them:

    President Bill Clinton never used to refer to Representative George Miller, a rather bulky Democrat from California, as Big George.

    But there is a new tenant in the Oval Office these days, and President Bush has brought with him his own signature style. That means nicknames, even for a liberal Democrat like Mr. Miller. It means levity. It means bipartisan backslapping and Texas-style folksiness.


    the dozens of lawmakers who have paraded up the White House driveway this week for small-group meetings with Mr. Bush are beginning to get a taste of his legendary charm.

    ''Hey, Big George,'' Mr. Bush said to Mr. Miller when the congressman joined other lawmakers in Austin before the inauguration to discuss educational policy. Mr. Miller returned to the White House this week and learned that the nickname had stuck.

    Mr. Bush now refers to Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, as Freddy Boy. Other such monikers are sure to follow.


    Of course, it is nothing new for new presidents to stroke Congressional egos. Lyndon B. Johnson and Gerald R. Ford, two Congressional graduates who made it to the White House, engaged in their own unique versions of it. And Mr. Bush's father, a former member of Congress himself, used to call lawmakers by their first names and insist that they call him George.

  • 'Ram it through': Media adopt GOP characterization of majority vote

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    In the past week, media figures have routinely referred to a potential effort to pass a health care reform bill with a majority vote as an effort to "ram," "jam," or "cram" a bill through Congress, a characterization pushed by Republican politicians. The reconciliation process, which enables the Senate to pass legislation with 51 votes, has been used repeatedly by Republicans, including to pass major changes to health care laws.

  • Only in Washington...

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    ... could a newspaper think it's reasonable to give a Republican strategist column-space to write that in order to be "centrist," the Democratic president should let the Republicans govern.

    Check out this Politico column by self-described "partisan Republican" John Feehery:

    How can he revive his presidency, promote his agenda and save his reputation? Act like the Republicans have already taken control of Congress.


    Why should Obama wait for the inevitable election disaster that will come as a result of his sharp moves to the left? Why can't he start governing from the center now, by acting as if the Republicans already control Congress?

    Here are some things he can insist on as he negotiates with Congress that will help him govern like a centrist:

    Insist that Republicans provide half the votes for every piece of big legislation....the president can promise to veto every bill that doesn't have at least half of the Republicans voting for it.


    Veto all tax increases. Republicans don't do tax increases, and that keeps them out of trouble. The president should just assume that if the Republicans were in charge, they wouldn't give you a tax increase to sign. Follow their lead.

    Hilarious. A Republican strategist wants the Democratic President to let the Republicans -- who control nothing, who the public holds in contempt, whose ideas have been roundly rejected in consecutive elections -- call the shots. And Politico thinks that makes for a column worth printing.

    Oh, by the way: How does this even make sense?:

    Reid, whose own political fortunes are very dicey in his home state of Nevada because of his own perceived lurch to the left, has thrown his lot in with the liberals and similarly turned his back on the center.

    Reid is in trouble because he is seen as having lurched to the left, so he's ... Lurching to the left? This isn't analysis, it's spin. And not even good spin. Self-discrediting spin.

  • Feehery on Hillary Clinton's DNC roll call vote: "It kind of reminds me of Vladimir Putin invading Georgia"


    On The Situation Room, Republican strategist John Feehery said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's having a roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention: "It kind of reminds me of Vladimir Putin invading Georgia." Feehery added: "Hillary Clinton is all over this convention. She's owning it. Barack Obama is out in the Safeco Field [sic] somewhere doing his speech."