CLAY: We’re joined now by Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal. She’s a columnist there, my favorite newspaper by far. In fact — I’m an old man — I get the print copy every single day.
CLAY: It’s sitting next to me in my Los Vegas studio right now. Kim, appreciate all the work. There’s obviously major breaking news going on there. You talk about the news of the day. Have you seen the Pelosi video? It’s released. Do you have any reaction to that?
STRASSEL: Yeah. So first of all, it’s so great to be here. Thanks for having me on. I have seen it, you know, and my first reaction is I think we’re going to see a lot of people who are going to be very critical about the fact that the police did not maybe intervene faster here. But it’s tough because you’re looking at this in retrospect. We now know what this perpetrator was doing, what his intentions were, but that wasn’t necessarily the case as they walked in. So there’s going to be a lot of debate over this and a lot of debate about the circumstances of that whole event. But it’s one more piece of information.
BUCK: Kim, we also had you on today because you’ve written this piece on the effort to ban gas stoves, which… This is something that, you know, got a lot of attention. And then it flickered, it disappeared rapidly, because they started to say that this wasn’t really a thing and that the right was making it a thing. But you’ve dove into this a bit and looked at the actual campaign to ban gas stoves. It is a real thing. They push it with junk science. They do want to do it. Tell everybody what this campaign’s all about, who’s behind it.
STRASSEL: Yeah, the nonsense out of the White House that there’s no intention to do this or that this is made up? That is baloney. There is a very coordinated and calculated and very well-funded effort to kill off all gas appliances. It’s led by a number of climate activist groups. And that’s really important to remember, because you’re hearing a lot about health claims, how gas deals are supposedly bad for your health. No. These groups understood years ago that trying to get Americans to get rid of gas stoves would be very hard if it was in the name of climate.
So groups — like you have the Climate Imperative Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Rewiring America, New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity — they started pumping out all this hokey science, claiming that somehow those were bad for you. And that has now been adopted wholeheartedly by members of the Biden administration. Just last month, in December, the administration held a high-profile summit called the Electrification Summit. It featured an entire panel on getting gas out of homes. All of the members on that panel sat and just recited these crazy health claims as if they were accepted fact and talked about the need to get rid of all combustion appliances in your house. So, you know, this is central to their entire climate agenda, and it’s not a question of if they’re going to do it. It’s a question of when.
CLAY: Kim, when you look… So, there’s so many things going on right now. I know the Wall Street Journal has been covering the RNC and who’s going to end up being the head of the RNC, and also how that could potentially implicate 2024. How wild and crazy do you think the 2024 election’s going to be? Do you think it’s going to be Biden without too many challengers? Do you think it’s going to be pretty much Trump versus DeSantis? Or how do you see this all shaking out? Obviously, as we sit here early in 2023, it feels like anything can happen. We thought Trump was going to get charged until all the classified documents scandal, so who knows what else might happen? But as we’re sitting here at the end of January, how would you assess this battleground going forward?
STRASSEL: Yeah, it is going to be absolutely crazy. I am one of those who believe that, even if Biden announces, that he’s still going to get a challenger, okay? Everything else about him has been Jimmy Carter and so why not that, too? I just find it very hard to believe that the younger generation of his party is going to sit by and let a guy whose infirmities are so on display clear the field, especially when there are so many of them who are eager to get in themselves. On the Republican side, I know that there is an effort going on in Washington — a lot of discussion — for those who would like to see new blood in the party.
And I don’t think this is necessarily a comment on Trump himself, but there is a desire to have a new person out there. And for those who are interested in that, there’s been a lot of talk about potentially trying to clear the field other than Trump and DeSantis in order to make it harder for Trump to basically outmaneuver what would be a very crowded field. I myself do hope we get a number of people in there, not because I don’t think the DeSantis is a really interesting candidate and great, but because this is a really big moment for the conservative movement, and they need to see a lot of different voices and have that debate and choose very wisely, because it’s going to be very important to get a conservative back into the White House.
BUCK: You know, Kim, you mentioned the new generation and the Republican Party and the dynamics at play for the presidency. But today, as you know, the RNC is voting over RNC chair. You have Ronna McDaniel, who was initially elevated into the post by Donald Trump. Harmeet Dhillon, who is a lawyer — also does a lot of Fox News appearances known to the base, known to the party — who’s running against her as well. I believe Mike Lindell is also. Isn’t he on the ballot? Yes. Mike Lindell. But so what do you see with this dynamic playing out here?
STRASSEL: Yeah. So I, without kind of getting into the personalities, I think this has been a really healthy discussion for the RNC to have, just because a lot of it isn’t necessarily about personality. It’s about the role of the outfit, what it did or didn’t do in the last midterm. As a result of this fight, we’re kind of having an autopsy about the RNC’s position and how it played into some of the failures that Republicans saw. This comes as well, which I find fascinating, at a moment when everyone’s beginning to rethink the idea of these giant party structures anyway. What are they supposed to do, especially in this day and age when so much money that pours into campaigns is coming from these outside PACs.
And they are really exerting a lot of the influence here. So one of the discussions, and I think it’s just so important, has been the role of the RNC, of inviting new people into the party, of outreaching to new audiences. I think that is something that has been getting better at and you have seen that in terms of some of the voting demographic shifts in recent elections. In particular, Hispanics voting in greater numbers for Republicans, African-Americans. I think those discussions are really important to have. So in my mind, I’m kind of hopeful whoever comes out on top of this these days, I think that debate internally is going to make the RNC stronger going forward.
BUCK: Kim Strassel, go check out her columns at the Wall Street Journal. Kim, always appreciate you being with us. Come back soon.
STRASSEL: Thank you. It’s so great to be here.