The Wheels Down Politics Show — Deirdre Walsh – CNN Congressional Producer

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Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 2.26.43 PMJerry Kratochvil interviews CNN Congressional Producer, Deirdre Walsh.

Jerry talks with Deirdre Walsh about her experience over the past month covering the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner and the rise of new Speaker Paul Ryan.

Walsh talks about the shock everyone had with the Boehner’s announcement, followed by the shock of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy declining to run for Speaker. She discusses the different Republican Caucuses in the House and how they came to coalesce around Paul Ryan — and what changes House members may look forward to under the new Speaker.

Dee CNN 05They conclude by talking about Walsh’s visit to Omaha back in 2007 for Chuck Hagel’s non-announcement announcement for President, as well as how Walsh and Kratochvil got to know each other.

Twitter: @DeirdreWalshCNN
On the Web: CNN – Deirdre Walsh, Sr. Congressional Producer


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  1. TexasAnnie says:

    Well that was a treat, Street Sweeper! Not only does that reporter have a really cool name ( I named one of my daughters the Gaelic DEIRDRE, not the Americanized Deedra), but I enjoyed her description of Paul Ryan’s rise to leadership. For y’all who won’t listen: There are three Republican caucuses in the House. Did you know that? There’s the Study Committee, the Freedom Caucus, and the ______________. Go on. Listen!

    10:48pm last evening: YES! Boehner was not a failure. But the entire Republican Party WAS/IS!

  2. Lil Mac says:

    When Ms. Walsh said Boehner quit due to “Donald Trump Summer” you ignored that and pushed the matter toward the House GOP caucuses as cause. Normally that would be the case. However, instead of a behind doors Speaker selection we had a public spectacle seen by GOP voters who are infused with Trump iconoclasm. Besides, Boehner as Speaker has been a pain in Conservative necks for half a decade. Only suddenly he quit. You can blame that on the Pope more than the caucuses.

    Walsh was right. While the freedom caucus obviously has applied pressure on Boehner, it was Trump’s presence that squeezed Boehner out like an orange pip. The Pope’s visit was just the last pinch.

    BTW, good interview. Clear, informative, first hand accounts by Ms Walsh.

  3. Lil Mac says:

    What we personally prefer ala Speaker selection seems irrelevant because House Speaker selection isn’t a public election. Voters have no say in the opacity of the process any more than they do in demanding to know why a party nominee picks a running mate or a president picks a cabinet.

    That said, these are odd political times and Boehner quit midterm amid Trump, and profuse weeping, and sweeping pontiff excitement. Clinically, I have wondered if Boehner’s bricks are all in one pile. But I have also wondered that about other elected officials of both parties. Before you can work with nuclear weapons, you need to be certified sane by a board certified psychiatrist. No such exam or certification is needed to run for or hold elective power.

    My opinion is, I think those we elect shouldn’t be insane. And if we cannot get past that ground level hurdle, what’s the point of demanding we observe the nuts in the nuthouse in how they select the head nuthouse keeper? Ces’t non?

  4. TexasAnnie says:

    Well I did not know until you wrote several days ago that the Speaker does not even have to be an elected member of the House! Which seems too odd to be true, since the Speaker is in line for the Presidency… And Deirdre Walsh’s description of the Paul Ryan selection process was informative for me, too. Did you note Street Sweeper inquiring whether any consideration had been given to the Democrats? I envisioned a smoke-filled room with ONLY Republican members and a few upper staffers “to write stuff down.” Don’t all 435 members get to vote?

  5. bynd says:

    Today, the only thing for many Nebraskans that is more depressing than being a husker fan, would be one of the eternally suffering Nebraska Dems. At least the Fans will someday have something to cheer about again:)

    And the sun will come up tomorrow!

  6. Ed Stevens says:

    Amidst all the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, may I just remind us all that, at bottom, it is still a GAME … and one played by nearly grown men in tight pants and silly hats. Winning is nice but, to repeat a tweet I read recently, my regard for the Huskers goes waaaaaaaay beyond wins and losses.

  7. TA, you’re surpassing yourself in cluelessness here. There was a House Vote, with a roll call. Look it up.

    And go back to being the historian of the gardening society in East Jeebus, Texas.

  8. TexasAnnie says:

    WOW! RWP!!!
    You really take an interest in what I do!!!
    But it’s not East Jeebus. It’s Blanco.
    And my true name is D’Anne, as you know…

  9. TexasAnnie says:

    Lil Mac: I’m not ashamed to admit not knowing what I do not know.
    Evidently you do know about the mechanics of the House of Representatives.
    And I am interested in knowing whatever it is you are willing to share.

  10. TexasAnnie says:

    This is what I DO KNOW about the House of Representatives:
    Since passage of special education legislation in 1975, wherein the feds promised 40% excess cost, the states have NEVER received the promised revenue. I think we might be up to 20% now…

  11. Seems to me says:

    SS seems to think he’s a big deal. Let me reassure him he is not. His blog is read by a small number of political people. My evidence is the amount of people who comment. BTW, Texas Annie has no life.

  12. TexasAnnie says:

    I have a great life, now that I’m back in Texas where I belong! And Street Sweeper this is a great blog in so far as you display people and ideas familiar to me. If I owe you an apology for misunderstanding, I do so in advance, BUT…when you asked Deirdre about any effort to recruit Dem’s in support of Ryan and she responded most negatively, I thought it meant that the majority party simply picks the leader without opposition party participation! Bizarre, I know. But then so is the idea that the Speaker need not be an elected Congressperson!!! So I wanted to discuss these ideas. But alas, only name-calling and insults are flowing here…

    • TA,
      I asked Ms. Walsh if Ryan’s group ever considered trying to get a majority by also attracting Dem support (against the Freedom Caucus and/or others). Her “negative” response was that this never a consideration by Ryan, and would have been an unusual move by the majority party leader (I’d have to look to see if this was ever done by a Speaker in US history). Coalition run governments are not uncommon around the world — but are usually forced into it by parliaments with multiple parties. I’m not sure that this is “bizarre”.
      Thanks for listening to the show!

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