The Corner

Politics & Policy

Senator Barrasso to Lead GOP Platform Committee

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming will chair the Platform Committee at this summer’s Republican National Convention, and his co-chairs will be Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin and North Carolina congresswoman Virginia Foxx, according to a source familiar with the appointments.

The committee is tasked with putting on paper the policies that Republicans — beginning with presumptive nominee Donald Trump — stand for. Accordingly, the nominee has traditionally been given latitude to choose the chairmen of the four convention committees (Platform, Rules, Credentials,  Permanent Organization) even though the official appointments come from the Republican National Committee chairman.

Barrasso, whose appointment was first reported by Politico, is chairman of the Senate GOP Policy Committee. He was one of several members of Republican leadership to meet with Trump in Washington earlier this month.

Though the Platform Committee is responsible for drafting a comprehensive document detailing the party’s stances on every policy imaginable, much of the focus in recent years has centered on social issues — namely whether opposition to same-sex marriage would be codified in the party’s platform.

In that context Barrasso is an interesting, and potentially controversial, choice. Known for his expertise on energy and health-care policy, the Wyoming senator is hardly a culture warrior. In fact, he first ran for U.S. Senate in 1996 as an abortion-rights supporter and lost in the GOP primary. By the time Barrasso was appointed to the Senate in 2007, however, he had backpedaled on abortion, and in the years since has earned 100% ratings from groups such as National Right to Life.

Fallin, meanwhile, disappointed some social conservatives last week by vetoing a bill in Oklahoma that would have made it a felony for doctors to perform abortions in the state. One evangelical leader, requesting anonymity to speak candidly about the Platform Committee leadership, says two prominent activists have already begun voicing their objection to the appointments.

The GOP’s Platform Committee has traditionally been led by a trio of elected officials — a governor, a senator, and a House member — with a rotating responsibility for chairing the group. In 2012, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell served as chairman, and his co-chairs were North Dakota senator John Hoeven and Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

Most Popular


Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More