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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

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

Articles by Jennifer Harper

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback told members of the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Louis on Saturday, "We just need to be America again." (American Conservative Union)

Inside the Beltway: Conservatives with grit

What? Something else was going on besides the House Republican war on Obamacare? Well, yes. Conservatives displayed newfound resolve and grit at the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Louis on Saturday, an intense one-day gathering in Missouri that attracted scores of lawmakers, public officials and astute heavyweights. Among their messages to an enthusiastic audience: Published September 29, 2013

CPAC arrives in St. Louis on Saturday for an intense one-day session featuring 59 speakers and some grass-roots zeal. (American Conservative Union)

Inside the Beltway: Republicans ready to rumble at CPAC

"The nation is looking for a change in leadership. Many Americans wake up every day wondering if we are descending rather than ascending as a nation. And most of our citizens want to rally behind hopeful alternatives to our current path," American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas tells Inside the Beltway. Published September 26, 2013

Gretchen Carlson (Fox News) **FILE**

Inside the Beltway: Conservatives value their values

The mainstream press continues to rant about the divisions in the Republican Party and the bodacious behavior among certain conservatives. But those very same conservatives will soon gather in a show of unity and resolve, boasting an all-star lineup. Lest critics forget, the Values Voter Summit is scheduled for mid-October in the nation's capital, and the tenacious heavyweights are ready to rumble, whether journalists pay attention or not. Published September 25, 2013

The Conservative Political Action Conference says a screenshot that appeared to confuse South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (pictured) with Dr. Ben Carson is a Photoshopped fake.

Inside the Beltway: Observations du jour

"The GOP establishment is so mad they have momentarily stopped attacking Sarah Palin," declares National Review contributing editor Jeffrey Lord, commenting on Republican reaction to Sen. Ted Cruz and his determination to derail the Affordable Care Act. Published September 24, 2013

Example: White House press secretary Jay Carney is one of several ex-journalists who now work for the Obama administration. (Associated Press)

News media's revolving door to Obama White House blurs lines of objectivity

News media and politics in the age of Obama have grown uncomfortably close. So many journalists have found employment in the Obama administration that the phenomenon has become a story itself, with a dozen news organizations tracking the cross-pollination between the two and speculating on the implications. Published September 24, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, is facing a moment of truth in his fight to defund Obamacare, according to many media outlets. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Inside the Beltway: Cruz crucible

The press has proclaimed that it's the moment of truth for Sen. Ted Cruz — the day of reckoning, the week that will make or break his career. Or words to that effect. Journalists have pulled out the handy dramatic narrative that places the Texas Republican in a high stakes trial by fire as he seeks to defund the Affordable Care Act, while keeping the federal government open for business. Published September 23, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, unleashed a torrent of criticism against Republicans for their stance on Obamacare and the budget. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Inside the Beltway: GOP adults in the room

"Anti government ideologues," "wolf in wolf's clothing," "legislative arsonists," "totally irresponsible, completely juvenile," "destructive." And so goes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's assorted descriptions of some Republicans or Republican activities, uttered by the California Democrat in a single interview with CNN on Sunday. Published September 22, 2013

What press honeymoon? President George W. Bush was dealing with an unfriendly news media from his first 100 days in office. (George W. Bush Presidential Library)

Inside the Beltway: Obama's lousy press

Presidential historians often say that unfriendly news coverage typically comes with the territory for a second-term president. Indeed, President Obama has been negotiating an unfamiliar, unfriendly media landscape in recent days, one that has sprouted negative reviews of his leadership, and not necessarily from his conservative critics. Published September 19, 2013

Inside the Beltway: In God they don't trust

Will they lean left and favor progressive Democrats? A political phenomenon has emerged with the launch of the Freethought Equality Fund, the first political action committee that supports candidates who are humanists, atheists or agnostics — and advocates for the rights of "nonbelievers" and the separation of church and state. Published September 18, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin's much ballyhooed New York Times op-ed condemning U.S. intervention in Syria and American "exceptionalism" was actually placed in the newspaper by a public relations giant that has been around for 90 years. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: The 'nontheists' get political

Arriving this week: the Freethought Equality Fund PAC, the creation of the Center for Humanist Activism. Organizers say the new political action committee will support candidates ready to advocate for the "equal rights of nonbelievers." Published September 15, 2013

Washington Times senior opinion editor Emily Miller is feted Thursday night in Washington for the success of her book "Emily Gets her Gun  But Obama Wants to Take Yours," which hit top 10 lists at (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

'Emily Gets Her Gun' author is celebrated at book party

She took aim, and fired. Washington Times senior opinion editor Emily Miller's very personal take on Second Amendment rights and politics is right on target, and has resonated with the public. Published September 12, 2013

Elisabeth Hasselbeck debuts Monday on the Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" with co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade and a visit with Korie, Willie and "Miss Kay" Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" in Louisiana next week. (Fox News Channel)

Inside the Beltway: Fox News amps it up

Though they have dominated national cable news ratings for the past 140 months, Fox News is upping its game. Consider chief news anchorman Shepard Smith, who appears to be morphing into the proverbial newsman-of-the-future. He has just been named managing editor of a newfangled breaking-news division, headquartered on a reinvented set that has even warranted its own title: the Fox News Deck. Published September 12, 2013

"The ruling elite in the House, and their shell-game with our money, aren't fooling us," says Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, perhaps displaying a snippet of the ongoing "internal dissent" in the GOP. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Airing the GOP's laundry

These were once internal family squabbles, dismissed as growing pains for a Republican Party in search of itself. Now they are public family squabbles under the careful scrutiny of major pollsters who ponder the ongoing "internal dissent" in the GOP, and its potential side effects. Published September 11, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner "is using a procedural trick called 'deem and pass' to pass a continuing resolution defunding Obamacare in the House," says Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: 4,383 days after 9/11

"Twelve years ago this month, nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children lost their lives in attacks meant to terrorize our nation. … On Sept. 11, 2001, amid shattered glass, twisted steel, and clouds of dust, the spirit of America shone through. We remember the sacrifice of strangers and first responders who rushed into darkness to carry others from danger. We remember the unbreakable bonds of unity we felt in the long days that followed." — from President Obama's proclamation issued Tuesday, recognizing the anniversary of 9/11. Published September 10, 2013

Fox Business Network's Washington correspondent Rich Edson predicts that an extended Capitol Hill argument over Syria could complicate the next round of serious budget discussions between Republicans and Democrats. (Fox Business Network)

Inside the Beltway: Will Obama go Oval on Syria?

The enormous lead up to President Obama's prime-time speech to the nation Tuesday night has reached a crescendo, leaving the historically minded to wonder whether Mr. Obama will use the ultimate White House backdrop to make his case for a military strike against Syria. That would be the Oval Office, of course, the bulliest of the bully pulpits and a place of much gravitas. Published September 9, 2013

Conservative analyst S.E. Cupp joins Newt Gingrich, Van Jones and Stephanie Cutter as the quartet of hosts for CNN's reinvented "Crossfire," which debuts Monday night.

Inside the Beltway: The Obama media blitz

It is industrial strength media and a methodical broadcast blitz. President Obama will grant separate sit-down interviews on the Syria matter to NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, CNN and PBS on Monday afternoon at the White House, all to air on the respective networks Monday night. Ideally, the interviews will function like trailers of an upcoming blockbuster — namely, Mr. Obama's live, prime-time speech to the American public on Syria about 24 hours later. Published September 8, 2013

American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas is among those wondering whether social conservatives and libertarians can actually get along. (American Conservative Union)

Inside the Beltway: The Libertarian awakening

"We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world," states the Libertarian Party in its bedrock platform statement. Published September 5, 2013

Actor James Woods (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Inside the Beltway: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange meets Ron Paul

Yes, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange still has asylum inside the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has resided for more than a year. That hasn't stopped him from staging news conferences, issuing statements and making broadcast appearances — so many that Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa reportedly has sent Mr. Assange a letter requesting that he stop using the embassy as a backdrop while making fun of politicians in Australia, the whistleblowing activist's home turf. Published September 4, 2013