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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

To read Jennifer Harper's Inside the Beltway columns, click here. Contact her at

Articles by Jennifer Harper

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is joined by Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, just after House Republicans voted to make McCarthy the new majority leader, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was defeated in his primary earlier this month,  on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who leads a conservative faction of lawmakers in the Republican Study Committee, was elected to be the new House majority whip, replacing McCarthy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Record breaker: Kevin McCarthy becomes least tenured floor leader in U.S. House history

Well, it's an official record. A painstaking study of more than three-dozen House majority and minority leaders finds that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, with less than four full terms under his belt, "has the least experience of any floor leader in the chamber's history by more than a year - and nearly 10 years less than the average leader," says the University of Minnesota "Smart Politics" report. Published June 20, 2014

Not quite done with politics? Mitt Romney tops 14 other contenders in a new presidential poll and is crowned a "kingmaker" in the press. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Miss Mitt yet?

"Mitt Romney? Well, at least he still looks the part," says one New England-based voter who is not surprised with a few startling numbers out of New Hampshire. Garnering 24 percent of the support among likely GOP voters, Mr. Romney led a list of 14 potential Republican presidential hopefuls by a mammoth margin in the Granite State. Published June 19, 2014

Iraqi Army soldiers parade inside the main army recruiting center during a recruiting drive for men to volunteer for military service in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014, after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. The campaign by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State militants has raised the specter of the sectarian warfare that nearly tore the country apart in 2006 and 2007, with the popular mobilization to fight the insurgents taking an increasingly sectarian slant, particularly after Iraq's top Shiite cleric made a call to arms on Friday. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)y the country's top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

Talking about Iraq? Why you should say 'ISIL' - not "ISIS'

For the news media, tracking terrorism demands accuracy and consistency lest the public get confused. From The Associated Press, which rules on journalistic grammar - or the lack thereof - comes news that "ISIL" rather than "ISIS" is the best term for the al Qaeda splinter group leading Sunni militants in Iraq. Published June 19, 2014

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a keynote address during a luncheon in Edmonton, Alberta on Wednesday June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)

Ready - or NOT - for Hillary: why she's not likely to run in 2016

Yes, she has a mammoth marketing machine, a carefully crafted resume and sparkling approval ratings. But is Hillary Rodham Clinton really going to run for president? One school of thought says she’s simply holding a place in line for a Democratic dream team to come, thereby engaging the public with some good political theater. Published June 19, 2014

** FILE ** Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Associated Press)

Chicago-style: Bill Clinton to fundraise for Rahm Emanuel

There are some in Chicago who still entertain the notion that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will somehow end up in the 2016 presidential race, either in the lead role himself, or as a vice presidential running mate of Hillary Rodham Clinton. This week, however, Mr. Emanuel's thoughts are with Bill Clinton. who journeys to Chicago on Friday to headline a fundraiser for his former senior adviser Published June 18, 2014

Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, says that religious conservatism remains a strong force in American politics. His group is hosting the Road to Majority conference in the nation's capital starting Thursday. (associated press)

Inside the Beltway: Seeking the big prize — a Republican majority

The nation's capital gets a big dose of faith, freedom and determination when the three-day Road to Majority Conference gets underway. Organized by the Faith & Freedom Coalition, it opens with much ado Thursday, drawing some 2,000 conservative activists. Published June 18, 2014

A spring vegetable salad and a grilled steak are ready for eating. Portions of the salad can be placed on the grill. (Associated Press)

Forget the power lunch: D.C. proclaimed top 'foodie' mecca

So no more prime steak, loaded potato and wedge salad with blue cheese dressing - while policy talk rages at some back table? Some say the nation’s capital is pulling back from its culinary traditions. Published June 17, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) fundraiser gala in Gotham Hall, Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in New York. The fundraiser comes a day after the White House announced plans for Obama to sign an executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Inside the Beltway: 'Time for Obama to be president'

It is an odd juxtaposition. News coverage now includes such alarming headlines as "The Battle of Baghdad" and "Will ISIS plan a 9/11-style terror plot against the US?" — even as the press scrambles to follow a restless White House and a president engaged in fundraisers, photo-ops and, to date, 176 golfing expeditions. Published June 17, 2014

Amal Alamuddin, human rights lawyer and fiancee of US actor George Clooney attends the 'End Sexual Violence in Conflict' summit in London, Thursday, June 12, 2014. The Summit welcomes governments from over 100 countries, over 900 experts, NGOs, Faith leaders, and representatives from international organizations across the world. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Inside the Beltway: Behold candidate Clooney

Hollywood on the Potomac: It is the stuff of fabulous dreams in the foreign press. Multiple overseas news organizations have become convinced that actor George Clooney is going to run for office in California, and possibly end up in the White House with a British first lady by his side. Journalists have already penned the script. Published June 16, 2014

welcome: Monica Crowley will oversee online opinion section for The Washington Times.

Crowley named online opinion editor at The Washington Times

Monica Crowley, a longtime contributor to Fox News Channel and host of a nationally syndicated talk show, has been named Online Opinion Editor of the news organization, reporting to The Times' Opinion Editor David Keene, beginning June 23. Published June 16, 2014

FILE - In this May 27, 2014, file photo President Barack Obama speaks about the future of US troops in Afghanistan at the White House in Washington. Obama stood in the Rose Garden and outlined a timetable for the gradual withdrawal of the last U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He confidently declared, "This is how wars end in the 21st century." But less than three weeks later, there is a sudden burst of uncertainty surrounding the way Obama has moved to bring the two conflicts he inherited to a close. In Iraq, a fast-moving Islamic insurgency is pressing toward Baghdad, raising the possibility of fresh American military action more than two years after the last U.S. troops withdrew. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Inside the Beltway: And the fundraising goes on

Wait, President Obama is off to attend two Democratic National Committee fundraisers on Tuesday, even as the Iraq situation intensifies? Why, yes, he is. Both galas are in New York, and they follow Mr. Obama's previous weekend fundraiser near Los Angeles. Published June 15, 2014

Gary E. Johnson, the 2012 Libertarian candidate for president, will offer his own quirky alternative to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. (Associated Press)

Libertarians get ready to rumble at their national convention

While gleeful journalists stoke stories about polarization between the Democratic and Republican parties, the Libertarians seem oblivious to partisan angst, touting their write-in candidates on primary ballots around the nation, and quietly noting that their voter registration has increased by 11 percent in the past year. They're also ready to rumble. The three-day Libertarian Convention begins June 26 in Columbus, Ohio. I Published June 13, 2014

Sen. John McCain has suggested David Petraeus be put in charge of a new national security team to deal with Islamic militants in Iraq. (associated press)

Inside the Beltway: Fire up Air Force One

The Bergdahl matter, unrest in Iraq, assorted alarming uprisings, Hillary Clinton's book tour — oh, it's a complicated weekend, indeed. But political life goes on, and the siren call of Democratic fundraisers is now going off at the White House. Published June 12, 2014

This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody. The officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's (boh BURG'-dahl) release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

Americans wonder: should we negotiate with terrorists for safe release of U.S. prisoners?

In the wake of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's rescue, Americans wonder: Is it worth negotiating with terrorists for the safe release of U.S. prisoners, or is it more important to discourage terrorists from taking prisoners by refusing to deal with them? The nation overall is divided on the answer, a new Gallup poll finds, but there's a huge partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats. Published June 12, 2014

This Wednesday, May 28, 2014, photo shows seventh District US Congressional Republican candidate, David Brat, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Brat is challenging House majority leader Eric Cantor in the 7th district GOP congressional primary. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Inside the Beltway: The post-Cantor Brat pack

Aside from lurid tales of intrigue and titillation, there is nothing the news media likes better than a story of an unknown who rocks the world, particularly the Republican world. Published June 11, 2014

** FILE ** This March 15, 2013, file photo shows former Massachusetts Gov., and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Chris Christie, Rand Paul among GOP luminaries to meet with Mitt Romney

Even as the tea party flexes its muscle in midterm primaries, the press continues to murmur that "Romney Republicanism" is alive and well, and that Mitt Romney himself has turned into a kingmaker. He's not done with politics yet, and will underscore his increasingly pivotal role at a powerhouse gathering of Republican and conservative heavyweights most definitely closed to curious journalists. Come Thursday, Mr. Romney hosts a three-day policy summit and "leadership retreat" on his home turf in Utah. Published June 11, 2014

**FILE** The Washington Times' building on New York Avenue in Washington, D.C. (The Washington Times)

Washington Times journalists win 10 Dateline Awards

The Washington Times won 10 Dateline Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a competition recognizing Washington-area journalists and news organizations for print, broadcast and online work done in 2013. Published June 11, 2014

National Seersucker Day has been reinstated in the halls of Congress. Happy in their seersucker suits: 28 lawmakers assembled in the US. Capitol to celebrate the moment. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Bill Cassidy)

National Seersucker Day: 28 lawmakers don their stripes and snap the photo

Thanks to a Louisiana Republican, the old bipartisan tradition of National Seersucker Day has been formally reinstated as of Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Rep Bill Cassidy made the proclamation in May for a return to the practice of wearing seersucker suits in the hallowed halls of Congress — a tradition established in 1996 by then-Sen. Trent Lott. Published June 11, 2014