Roger Simon: The Challenge for GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Is Breaking Through to the Public
Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon to discuss Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign.
Leahy: In studio all-star panelist Roger Simon. Roger, the way I look at it, we have 20 months left to save our constitutional republic.
Simon: I’m reading David Harowitz’s book last night before I fell asleep, The Final Battle. It’s very good. And he said essentially the same. And I believe it. I’m gonna be doing this thing The Making of the President 2024 versus Theodore White, and make a fool of myself.
Leahy: But you’re not gonna make a fool of yourself. This is gonna be a very good book. And, we talked about how great Theodore White’s 1960 book, published in 1961. The Making of the President 1960. It was written in a first-person journalistic style that changed the way everybody reported on presidential campaigns. It was a fabulous book.
Simon: There you go. I’m nervous. However, that’s the way I write. Just instinctively. Coming from being a detective writer to a journalist. If you can call it that. So I’ll be covering it for The Epoch Times.
Of course, they will be sending me around the country. So on occasion, I’ll probably be calling into this show rather than sitting here. I’ve done it a little bit before in 2016, for PJ Media. I was in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Iowa.
Leahy: All the usual places. I like Iowa, by the way.
Simon: Oh, I do too.
Leahy: By the way, I don’t know if you know this, but we launched The Iowa Star last month.
Simon: I do know.
Leahy: And by the way, I don’t know if you know this, also the path to the 2024 GOP presidential nomination does go through The Iowa Star.
Leahy: (Laughs) We’re gonna say it until it becomes true. I’ll give you a little publicity in the book.
Simon: Alright. On the road there I think. It’ll have an influence. What’s interesting about all these states when you go out and do these things is you realize how big they are.
Leahy: Yes. Geographically big. It’s a big country.
Simon: Yes, it’s a big country and you can’t really cover it all really.
Simon: This will be in the book and in my coverage, of course, you, we end up with all the other journalists at some bar that they all selected mysteriously. And then gossiping with each other and you’re looking at your watch, oh, it’s midnight, and that’s it.
And then there’s the other big phony baloney thing that happens is you should go talk to a ‘phony voter.’ So you’re talking to one guy or gal somewhere. It’s some truck stop that’s supposed to represent the state, which is, of course, ludicrous.
Leahy: It’s just one guy or gal at a truck stop.
Simon: One guy you happen to stumble on talking.
Leahy: It’s fun, though to do it in first-person observation.
Simon: Oh, it’s a lot of fun.
Leahy: It’s a lot of fun.
Simon: It’s exhausting, but it’s fun. It is physically exhausting.
Leahy: But what’s interesting about this, Roger, is that I think that, after the Theodore White book in 1960, he followed up with 1964 or 1968 and 1980, and as I’ve said previously, each book got more boring.
But nonetheless, there’s been a lot of others now who will do a what happened in this presidential race. Jack Germond and Jules Whitcover did one in 1976. think in 76. Another guy did on 88, What it Takes. I forget the fellow’s name. He’s passed away. They all tend to be of a certain worldview they tend to be more from inside the Beltway, Washington journalist.
Simon: It’s a New York Times view.
Leahy: You’re not gonna have that at all. You’re gonna have the Roger Simon view which is why I wanna read the book.
Simon: First of all I’d lose my job. No, I wouldn’t. I have no interest in that. But apropos, I think this is gonna be an interesting election to write about because there are various people coming in. One of whom you’ve been talking a lot about.
Leahy: Vivek Ramaswamy, 37-year-old worth half a billion dollars. Harvard undergrad, Yale Law. Great guy.
Simon: Yes, and absolutely brilliant. Now, here’s the problem. He’s got a huge problem, which is breaking through to the public. That doesn’t really know about him and he hasn’t yet registered in the polls that I have seen.
Leahy: You’ve got, if you look at American history, you’ve got names that people recognize, Tippa Canoe and Tyler Two Two. You know that I Like Ike. Yep.
Simon: Those people were well known to the public way before their campaign.
Leahy: FDR. Yeah. Now that’s a good point. FDR, JFK, LBJ. All of the other people have been in the public arena for 20 years.
Simon: And so has Trump been.
Leahy: Even longer for Trump. But Vivek Ramaswamy is 37 years old.
Simon: But he’s done interesting things.
Leahy: Oh, he’s done very interesting things.
Simon: He’s trying to attract attention smartly. Yesterday on Twitter, he complained that they were gonna hide the rules for getting on the debates, which is usually what percentage you’re getting in wet poles or whatever. Simultaneously, I think it’s very interesting. We don’t know this time who is going to be asking the questions at the debate.
Leahy: That’s another interesting angle on it.
Simon: Because the last time around we had the horrible story of Chris Wallace who will go into journalistic infamy for having guided the discussion, shall we say, away from the center of and away from the Hunter Biden laptop. That was probably the worst moment in debate history that I can ever think of.
Leahy: It was, yes. Worse than Candy Crowley in 2012 when she misstated something.
Simon: Now, who’s gonna do it?
Leahy: Are you available?
Simon: I am, but I don’t think I’ll be it, but I’ll tell you that when The Epoch Times here did that primary debate in the TN-5, we used experts rather than journalists.
Leahy: That was a great debate, by the way. I think it was groundbreaking in terms of the way it framed the debate.
Simon: It was groundbreaking, but it has not been picked up the way we were hoping it would as a new style of debate.
Leahy: That’s because The Epoch Times is gonna have to do it. Now the first debate on the Republican side, it’s gonna be in August in Milwaukee. And I think Vivek Ramaswamy is putting out a warning shot that says hey look, I need to be on that stage.
Simon: Yes. That’s what he’s doing.
Leahy: That’s what he’s doing.
Simon: And smartly. That’s his job. He’s smart and he’s running for office. He should also get into that thing, and I’m talking about who gonna be asking the questions of this thing. Is it gonna be MSM people?
Leahy: I’ll give you some names.
Simon: Jake Tapper?
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.