The Buzz

BuzzChatter Wednesday: Kehoe calls Nixon ‘out of touch’


Happy Hump Day.

“The governor flies around in a brand new, taxpayer-funded airplane — so he has no idea how the bridges and roads are. And people understand that the governor is out-of-touch with Missouri and Missourians’ needs.” — state Sen. Mike Kehoe, a Jefferson City Republican, slamming Gov. Jay Nixon after the governor came out against a three-quarters-cent sales tax increase for state highways that voters will consider in August.

You can say a lot of things about Jay Nixon, but “out of touch” is not one of them. Nixon surely has logged more miles — via air and highway — than any governor in Missouri history. You can criticize Nixon for a lack of leadership. But calling him “out of touch” is just silly, and it detracts from anything else Kehoe might say about the need to pass the tax.

“It’s very disappointing that there was not a level of trust sufficient to justify alerting us.” — California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, commenting on the Obama administration’s decision not to inform key lawmakers, including herself, in advance of the deal to release Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban officials detained at Guantanamo Bay.

Feinstein was hardly alone. Also not told prior to the news breaking was House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Earlier notification might have softened the barrage of criticism that President Obama has received from members of both parties for the deal he cut.

“In my anxiety dream, I walk out to give the daily briefing, and I don’t have my briefing book.” — former Clinton White House press secretary Mike McCurry on life in the daily press wars.

The process of “handling” the national media begins before dawn as the White House scrambles to anticipate questions and prepare the day’s message. McCurry, by the way, now regrets his decision to begin televising the briefings. At first, they generated little news, so the briefings weren’t a big deal. Then Monica happened.

“You know, we’ve heard each other talk and criticize each other for years, so he won’t be upset that I’m leaving.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his Republican sidekick, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The two testified side by side Tuesday about campaign reform with Reid leaving the room before McConnell spoke.

Reid’s remark brought laughter in the hearing room. Democrats are considering legislation that would give Congress and the states the ability to regulate political spending by outside groups. McConnell and the Republicans oppose the idea.