Inside the Beltway: The nation’s archivist has a say

Here is some perspective from someone who is very familiar with America’s most significant federal records and founding documents at the National Archives. That would be David Ferriero, who is retiring as Archivist of the United States after 12 years on the job.

“It’s time for someone new,” Mr. Ferriero told C-SPAN host Susan Swain in an interview with the public affairs network.

Ms. Swain came prepared. She had previously reviewed his original confirmation hearing from 2009 — then pondered what the future would be like when a successor steps forward for consideration before a discerning congressional audience.

“Are you anticipating that the hearings will be smooth?” Ms. Swain asked.

“I can’t imagine a smooth process for any confirmation hearing,” Mr. Ferriero replied. “It will certainly be more contentious than I experienced.”

“You’ve also said publicly a few times — especially in the last months — that you hoped your successor will not be, as all the previous archivists have been, a white male. Why is that important?” Ms. Swain asked.

“I think it points to a lack of attention to diversity in appointments,” Mr. Ferriero replied, referring to the pool of potential candidates for the unique job.

“Since 1934, you can’t tell me that there wasn’t a qualified minority or woman to fill this position. It’s just always been a white male. I felt strongly — and I’ve gotten a lot of blowback because I said this — that they should be looking at a more diverse pool of applicants,” Mr. Ferriero advised.

He was confirmed as the 10th Archivist on Nov. 6, 2009, and previously had been director of the New York Public Library system and held leading positions at the libraries of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. Mr. Ferriero, by the way, also served as a Navy hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War.

He retired Saturday, making Debra Steidel Wall the acting Archivist of the United States on Sunday. Meanwhile, you can visit the astonishing and intriguing collection online at Archives.org.

O’REILLY’S ADVICE

Will he or won’t he run in 2024? That is the persistent question for former President Donald Trump. Author and veteran broadcaster Bill O’Reilly thinks Mr. Trump is in the campaign mood.

“At this point, Donald Trump wants to run in 2024,” he told NewsMax host Greg Kelly.

“He wants to run and can’t announce it until January 2023 because of campaign finance rules. He has raised an enormous amount of money. I don’t think anyone has raised the amount of money Donald Trump has raised,” Mr. O’Reilly said.

He also cautioned Mr. Trump not to be so heavily involved in endorsing GOP candidates.

“If I were him, I would kind of stay away from these state races unless you really know the candidate well. Because every one of your endorsements that lose, the left-wing press is going to ram that loss down your throat,” Mr. O’Reilly said.

SUPREME COURT LEAK, PART 2

The sudden appearance of a leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would repeal the Roe v. Wade abortion case launched fiery media coverage and much speculation over what might happen next.

“Women are going to go to vote in numbers we have never seen before,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, told CBS.

“If they want to protect their fundamental rights to reproductive choice or their fundamental rights to anything, they had better go vote in the fall,” she advised.

Nate Ashworth, founder and editor-in-chief of Election Central, countered that this doesn’t tell the whole story.

”All or some of that could be partially or entirely true. If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, many Democrats will become much more motivated to vote. On the other hand, that sword cuts in both directions,” he said.

“If Republicans, an overwhelming number of which are pro-life, sense that the court ruling could be threatened by Congressional action, it will also create a driving motivational force to vote in November and ensure Democrats do not have a chance to expand or retain their majorities,” Mr. Ashworth noted.

THE EXODUS CONTINUES

The Golden State may not be so golden any more. For the second year in a row, the population of California has decreased, according to figures released by the state Monday.

“Critics point to the steady stream of people leaving California as an indictment on the state’s policies, which are set by Democrats in the governor’s office and the state legislature,” noted an Associated Press analysis of the trend.

Kevin Kiley, a state assemblyman now running for the U.S. Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, quipped in a tweet that “California’s population declined by 117,552 people last year. It’s not because we no longer have good weather.”

Mr. Kiley notes that his state’s population is now right on par with what it was in 2016.

Napa, San Mateo, Marin and San Francisco counties saw the greatest decrease in their populations, by the way.

FOXIFIED

During the week of April 25 – May 1, Fox News was the most watched network in the entire cable realm, according to Nielsen Media Research, earning a average primetime audience of 2.3 million viewers. The network bested such non-news competition as TNT, ESPN, HGTV and the History Channel.

Meanwhile, cable news rivals MSNBC drew 1.8 million while CNN attracted 755,000. In the big picture, Fox News aired 91 of the top 100 cable news telecasts.

In a ratings bout of note, normal Saturday night fare on Fox News even topped CNN’s special coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner. Fox drew 1,431,000 viewers while CNN attracted 1,401,000.

POLL DU JOUR

• 53% of U.S. adults say they “definitely will vote” in the 2022 congressional elections; 64% of Republicans, 51% of independents and 59% of Democrats agree.

• 13% overall say they will “probably vote”; 12% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.

• 15% overall say they “might vote”; 11% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.

• 6% say they “probably will not vote”; 6% of Republicans, 5% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

• 13% overall say they “definitely will not vote”; 7% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: A YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted April 26-27.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

Leave a Comment