We have learned in recent weeks that there is such a thing as an Archivist of the United States at the head of the National Archives and Records Administration and that the position is not unimportant. President Biden has nominated one Colleen Shogan to fill the position and she appeared for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee yesterday. C-SPAN has posted video of the hearing here. ABC News reports on the hearing here with some useful background.
Senator Josh Hawley examined Shogan concerning her 2007 Perspectives on Politics article “Anti-intellectualism in the Modern Presidency: Republican Populism.” (Perspectives on Politics is the American Political Science Association’s flagship journal.) In C-SPAN’s summary, “Shogan says the article was about Republican presidents’ use of rhetoric and their success connecting with the American people. She also says that she is non-partisan and has a demonstrated record during her 15 years of service at the Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress, and the White House Historical Association.”
Senator Hawley questioned Shogan closely about the article (video clip below). His examination of her is exemplary. It is amazing how disingenuous Shogan is and how Hawley is able to expose her evasions so quickly. “I have your article. Don’t dissemble in front of me,” he told her. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Quotable quote (Senator Hawley): “It’s not your view? Why did you write it?”