Tags: Jon Kyl

Because Flakes Are Good For You


From the Jolt:

Has There Ever Been a Bigger Congressional Misnomer Than ‘Flake’?

The retirement of Jon Kyl has set off a stir among Arizona Republicans, with just about every officeholder mentioned as a potential Senate candidate. But among the teeming throngs of potential candidates, one popular pork-fighter is getting an early start: Congressman Jeff Flake.

The Arizona Republic: “Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., will announce Monday that he will run for the U.S. Senate being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl, a source has told The Arizona Republic.

Flake, who was first elected to Congress in 2000, has long expressed interest in running for the Senate. He will make it official at an 8 a.m. news conference at the same Phoenix hotel where Kyl on Thursday announced that he will retire when his current term ends in January 2013.

At Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis likes what he’s hearing: “Flake is a strong fiscal conservative and his addition to a Senate that already include the likes of Tom Coburn and Rand Paul would be interesting. Of course, there’s a primary to get through first: Republicans could include Flake, Franks, former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, former state Attorney General Grant Woods, former Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, former state Treasurer Dean Martin, Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Former U.S. Rep. John Shadegg was considered an early GOP front-runner but announced Friday that he had concluded the timing was wrong for a Senate campaign. Freshman U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., also says he has no plans to run for Kyl’s seat.”

Jen Cubachi is enthralled: “This is a no-brainer. Flake is one of the most popular Republicans in AZ, and he will surely garner the support of the Tea Party and conservatives around the state.”

ADDENDA: I didn’t watch the Grammys, but this observation from John Podhoretz made me feel reassured I didn’t miss anything: “J-Lo’s hair extensions have detached themselves, taken up positions in McArthur Park, and are demanding the disbanding of Parliament.”

Tags: Jeff Flake , Jon Kyl

Buzz Around a Slew of Republicans for Arizona’s Open Senate Seat


One of my Arizona GOP guys writes in with this reaction to the surprise retirement announcement of Sen. Jon Kyl:

This was not totally unexpected. People very close to Kyl have been saying this for months.

I don’t think it will be former McCain opponent J. D. Hayworth.

Forget [Democrat Gabrielle] Giffords unless she really recuperates.

[Janet] Napolitano left the state with a big budget problem and she hasn’t shined at DHS. She might want to, but would be easy to beat.

Just retired congressman John Shadegg is a good possibility for the GOP as well as Rep. Jeff Flake (possible Teaparty favorite).

Terry Goddard, who was just defeated for governor, will probably run.

Dark Horse: Dean Martin. Popular Treasurer, but ran for governor against Brewer in the Primary. However, he is popular with Republican precinct commimtteemen.

John Munger. Former GOP State Chairman, who ran for governor last year. Dark horse.

Another possible Republican who has been seen as a potential candidate for Congress next year — Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. He is a veteran and a big draw at GOP events.

The question is, could state treasurer Dean Martin win the endorsement of California GOP congressman Jerry Lewis?

Tags: Arizona , Jon Kyl

Kyl vs. Kagan


Senator Jon Kyl used his opening statement to unleash a torrent of criticisms against Kagan.  He belittled her experience, making the accurate point that other SCOTUS nominees without judicial experience have had “actual” legal experience, as contrasted with Kagan’s two years doing document review at a big law firm.  He questioned her choice of judicial heroes, Aharon Barak and Thurgood Marshall, and accused her of embracing their activist philosophies.  And he accused her of being precisely the sort of rubber stamp Obama was seeking for his domestic-policy agenda.   I hope the MSM was watching. It seems to me that the White House has successfully convinced them that this nomination has created little traction for Republicans and Kagan opponents — that Kagan has successfully flown under the radar — because the Washingon Post hasn’t had a daily item about some Macaca moment.  But that’s hard to square with the facts.  As recent polls have shown, support for Kagan has dropped since her announcement.  How do they explain that?  Or how do they explain Senator Kyl’s aggressive opening statement — bearing in mind that he has been a proponent of deference to presidential prerogatives?   Whether Kagan’s boosters in the press like it, Kagan’s decision to kick the military off the Harvard Law School campus has received widespread notice.  The fact that she has no judicial experience and mostly political experience has penetrated.  And the argument that she could be Obama’s rubber stamp makes sense to the ordinary person.  Does that mean her nomination will be rejected? Of course not.  But this is not a moment of triumph for White House spinmeisters — their candidate would lose an election.  It is impossible to listen to statements by Senators Hatch and Kyl, for instance, and not conclude that it is only because the deck is stacked 58 (for now) to 41 that Kagan has a prayer.

– Gary Marx is executive director of the Judicial Crisis Network.

Tags: Elena Kagan , Jon Kyl , Senate , Supreme Court

Because Competing for Just American Votes Is Too Darn Hard


From the Monday edition of the Morning Jolt:

This Anecdote From Kyl Won’t Make You Smile

The only source we have for this anecdote of the president and how he approaches key decisions is Senator Jon Kyl, a.k.a. the Arizona senator who doesn’t make you yell “What is he doing?” at least once every two months. Still, there’s not much reason for Kyl to lie about this, and I doubt anybody who hears it will jump up and exclaim, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like the Barack Obama we know!”

ColdWarrior tells the tale on RedState: “On June 18, 2010, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl told the audience at a North Tempe Tea Party town hall meeting that during a private, one-on-one meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, the President told him, regarding securing the southern border with Mexico, ‘The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support “comprehensive immigration reform.”’ [Audible gasps were heard throughout the audience.] Sen. Kyl continued, ‘In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with “comprehensive immigration reform.’”’ Sen. Kyl also said he reminded President Obama that the President and the Congress has an obligation, a duty, to secure the border.”

Allahpundit, writing at Hot Air: “Does any term of art exist to describe a revelation that’s shocking in one sense and yet not at all surprising in another? (“Kinsleyan gaffe” is in the ballpark, but that’s not quite what this is.) Of course The One won’t do anything about the border until he gets some political cover from Congress on amnesty; his party wants to build a heavy Democratic majority among Latinos long-term and he’s not going to mess that up. What’s stunning is simply the fact that he’d be so candid, to a member of the opposition no less, in admitting his dereliction of duty. Sure, he could fulfill his constitutional responsibility and try to enforce federal law — but what good will that do him politically? If Congress wants to see some action at the border, they need to make it worth his while. And you thought the BP deal was a ‘shakedown.’”

Clifton B., writing at Another Black Conservative, “Obama actually is speaking the truth here. If the administration and Congress were simply to do their jobs by securing the border and enforcing existing immigration laws, there would be no need for comprehensive reform. Comprehensive Immigration Reform is basically a Rube Goldberg machine that allows both parties to get what they really want . . . amnesty. What truly is frightening is that this exchange is pretty much the Washington way. Our rights and wishes are traded away in backroom deals so that elected officials can secure their wants and needs. Given the shameful behavior Republicans displayed just days ago with the whole Joe Barton incident, I am not the least bit confident that a Republican controlled Congress will save us from amnesty.”

I actually think Obama has this completely wrong, in a way. Amnesty is almost impossible to sell to the general public for many good reasons; among them, any law that shrugs its shoulders at illegal aliens failing to pay any income taxes from their first day on the job in this country will trigger a taxpayer revolt. But if the electorate really felt reassured that the United States government controlled its borders and kept the bad folks out and let the legal applicants in, then the majority that currently supports Arizona’s law might shift a bit from the “track ‘em all down and ship ‘em all back” position. Once Americans feel that the law really is throwing back the drug dealers and gang members and cracking down on the human smugglers and those who exploit them, then they might feel a bit more sympathy for Manuel the busboy and be willing to work out some deal where he stays in the country, provided he pays sufficient penalty to for breaking existing laws. But that would require patience, a determination to demonstrate tangible results, and a commitment to tough-minded discipline, three qualities in short supply in this White House. Instead, our immigration policy seems to consist of, ‘how many Democratic voters can we import and how quickly?’

I guess we can expand the list of “jobs Americans won’t do” to include voting for Democrats, huh?

Tags: Barack Obama , Immigration , Jon Kyl

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