Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan

Joining Jim Monaghan this morning on Jersey Magazine is Bret Baier, the chief political anchor for Fox News, talking about his new book on George Washington.

JIM MONAGHAN – He is the host of Special Report on the Fox News Channel and the chief political advisor, or anchor rather, for Fox, Bret Baier. Good morning, and welcome back to WDHA.
BRET BAIER – Hey, good morning. Thanks for having me.

JM – The new book To Rescue the Constitution: George Washington and the Fragile American Experiment. As I’m reading through the book, Bret, over and over again, a couple of things pop out at me. One is there was no precedent for any of this that was going on. George couldn’t look back and say, well, President So and So had done this. I can follow that lead. How did this all come about?
BB – Yeah, that’s right. To Rescue the Constitution is about George Washington and how indispensable he was. And we always look back at history, and he’s lifted up as this godlike figure. He was a real man, and he desperately just wanted to go home. He wanted to be back at Mount Vernon with his wife Martha and her two kids who he adopted. He wanted to farm. But yet every time he was tapped to serve, he did, because for the greater good of the country, he believed. This moment in time is like a soda straw look at something that is largely overlooked, and that is after the Revolutionary War, the British are defeated. The country is actually falling apart. A lot of people don’t know it was a really dangerous, divided time. States are going after each other. They’re fighting. They’re fighting tax collectors. Nothing can get done. It’s kind of chaos under a large umbrella of the Articles of Confederation that loosely stitches the states together, but it’s just not working. In fact, a lot of people at that time said, forget it. Let’s just go back to British rule. And at that moment, the Constitutional Convention is called in May of 1787, and they tap the guy who commanded the Revolutionary forces, George Washington, to head up this convention. And through the dissent and all the back and forth, he hammers out this document, and then they get it ratified, and he obviously becomes the first American president. But without him in that process, we honestly would not have a country today.

JM – Now, this book obviously details events that happened so long ago. It’s kind of hard, I would imagine, to write a book like this when you don’t have any first person accounts. You can’t go to someone and ask them about what happened. How difficult is it to research a book like this?
BB – You can’t ask them, but there are amazing writings that sometimes are overlooked, diaries of different people, writings of the actual convention. And you can look back in these nuggets of history in our archives. By the way, our archive system is the best in the world, and the National Archives is a godsend. And I have this great researcher who finds these nuggets, and we put them together in sort of like a quilt, pieces of quilt, and then you stitch together. The narrative this book has, just like the other four presidential books, has the longest note section because each chapter is definitively tied to a source. So it’s not fiction. It’s all real history, but yet in a readable way that I think is a narrative that people can get into.

JM – You recently moderated one of the Republican presidential debates, and you said afterwards it was kind of like herding cats.
BB – It was.
JM – I wonder if you had been able to do that with some of these personalities going back to this point in time that you reference in the book. What do you think that would have been like?
BB – You know, it would have been interesting, but they would have given deference to George Washington. That’s why it’s so amazing that he is this figure. He’s not the elite scholar that Thomas Jefferson was or the intellectual powerhouse of John Adams. He’s not the backslapper with charisma of Ben Franklin, who’s a genius, and he didn’t have the analytical rigor of James Madison, and he certainly wasn’t the fiery speaker of Alexander Hamilton, but he was this steady, thoughtful, process person who was kind of this gravitas. So I think they actually would defer. It would be a lot easier than the debate I did in which nobody followed the rules. And who knew that Vice President Pence was going to be the problem child in that first debate?

JM – Bret Baier our guest this morning here at 105.5 WDHA. I’m thinking about, and I’m paraphrasing the quote here, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. And I think we see it again and again and again these days. You’ve already referenced the fact that a lot of Americans back in the 1780s thought that democracy was doomed, the country would never get off the ground. And you also mentioned your other presidential books. And in each of them, there has been a point of crisis. Whether it was Eisenhower transferring power over to Kennedy, or Reagan and the end of the Cold War. FDR. Ulysses S. Grant. All of these points in time where if you read social media now and you kind of said this, we feel like the country is falling apart, but at various points in our democracy, we’ve been, at least it would seem, on the brink of that already.
BB – So that is the crucial part of all of this, and that’s the thread that goes through it. And you’re right to point it out is that we have been in very very bad places. We have been in dark, dark times where the country literally almost crumbled from our start. We almost didn’t get to the starting line. It collapsed a couple of times before they stitched it together. Civil War is an ugly, ugly period. And then after the Civil War, we almost fall back into the Civil War in 1876. And Grant kind of makes this deal and holds us together. Think about all of the protests through 60’s and the Vietnam war where there’s real rioting on the streets. That’s not like just the regular rioting. I mean, they’re really, really tearing the country apart. So as we sit here and you look at social media and you go, god, we cannot be more divided, the answer is yes we can. And so we as a country, there is hope that dissent is built into who we are. It’s baked in the cake. But union is there too. And meshing the two together is what Washington did and what hopefully we can do.

JM – You mentioned more recent times and I’ve long thought that the period between November of 1963 when John Kennedy was assassinated and August of 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned, was among the most tumultuous that we’ve ever experienced in this country. And I’ve long thought if we could get through those eleven years, we can get through anything. And I think the major point in your book is that we almost didn’t get to this point how tumultuous it was right from the very start.
BB – Yeah. And more and more people are forgetting that and we are not infusing that into our history for our kids and they’re just not getting it. So who we are from the beginning is really, really important. And so that’s what this book does. It puts you in the room, it puts you in the moment and just like the other books, hopefully people enjoy it and can digest a little bit about who we are so that we can see where we’re going.

JM – The book is To Rescue the Constitution: George Washington and the Fragile American Experiment, written by Bret Baier. Bret, thank you so much for your time this morning here on WDHA. Always a pleasure to have you with us.
BB – Thanks so much for having me.

  • Help NJ Veterans Via Operation K9 Beethoven

    Brian Reyngoudt is the vice president and co-founder of Operation K9 Beethoven. Founded in 2020, Operation K9 Beethoven is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization that utilizes psychiatric service dogs to promote health, hope, and healing among veterans.

    They do this in a very unique fashion, by rescuing dogs from euthanasia and providing veterans and first responders who suffer from PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues with rescued, basic, and advanced obedience-trained psychiatric service dogs at no charge.

    This includes a kennel, bed, blanket, leash, collar, bowls, dog food, treats, and toys.

    They also spread joy by visiting healthcare settings such as veterans’ homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, and more with their specially trained and certified personal pet therapy dogs.

    The organization is committed to helping those who serve with a motto of “One Paw At A Time.”

    Brian Reyngoudt – Operation K9 Beethoven


    Operation K9 Beethoven is 100% volunteer. All of the money that is raised via donations and the sale of merchandise is put right back into the program.

    There are no out-of-pocket expenses for veterans.

    For more details, you can call Operation K9 Beethoven at 201-986-1111 or go to

  • Carolyn Hoffman On Operation Toy Train 2023

    Operation Toy Train, will once again be running a toy collection train to benefit the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Foundation. Since starting the train in 2009, their group of dedicated volunteers has now expanded the collection to be a 36-stop, 4-state endeavor for 2023.

    Carolyn Hoffman is the President of Operation Toy Train and she joined Jim Monaghan on Jersey Magazine to talk about the organization and the plans for this year.


    For the fifteenth holiday season in a row, local nonprofit Operation Toy Train will roll out its special train to collect toy donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation and benefit underprivileged children. This year’s train schedule includes brand new stops in western Connecticut, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey, adding to the longstanding operations in northern New
    Jersey and southern New York. From November to December, the train aims to collect over 30,000 toys from 36 locations across four states.

    In addition to using its own specialized railroad equipment, Operation Toy Train partners with several local railroads and non-profit organizations that generously donate their railcars, personnel, and time to operate the train. This year, the collection train will operate over 200 miles across seven railroads and four states between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16, including three stationary events. The full schedule is available at

    Members of the public are encouraged to visit the train at any of its stops to donate new toys in their original packaging (no gift wrapping, please!). Attendees at each stop can also participate in on-site activities sponsored by the towns and local businesses, meet Santa Claus, view a variety of historic railroad equipment, and meet members of the Marine Corps and the Operation Toy Train program. For those that can’t make it to one of the train’s stops, local businesses and organizational partners near each stop have received large Toys for Tots collection boxes where they can collect toy donations in advance and deliver them to the train.

    After the toys are delivered to the Marines, they are redistributed as holiday gifts to underprivileged and less-fortunate children in the communities where the campaigns are conducted.

  • Rock N Ruff


    Hi Rock N’ Ruffers!

    It’s TC and I feel so fortunate doing the Rock N’ Ruff program at WDHA because I have the opportunity to meet so many incredible dogs and cats from the many shelter organizations we work with and also have made many personal friends along the way like my friend Sunny Nowell from Friends Of The Randolph Regional Animal Shelter who always hits me up with GREAT animals in need of loving homes. Last week’s shepherd pup Liam got adopted quickly by a great family with a doggie sister and this week his buddy “Miss Pretty” is hoping she is just as lucky!

    Miss Pretty is some sort of bulldog mix, (and her name fits her perfectly because she’s really pretty!) is about a year old and very friendly, loving, well behaved, excited to meet new friends, does well on leash, loves going for walks, and hanging out by your side  and is dog AND cat friendly! In fact, she would really benefit from a doggy sibling to play with in the household as she has made many friends at the shelter during her stay there.

    For information on adoption or fostering to adopt (as the shelter has a wonderful foster to adopt program so don’t be shy about asking about it) you can check out their website  Randolph Regional Animal Shelter , give them a call at 973-543-9333 or stop by their location at 97 Ironia Road in Mendham NJ.

    Adoption fees
    Dogs and cats – $50 – all spayed, neutered, vaccinated
    Looking for 2?  Adopt one get one free!
    Kittens are $150 each and $250 for two (includes spay/neuter).
    * Approved application required for all adoptions.
    Randolph does amazing work in the community and will help you through the adoption process and answer all your questions!
    As always thank you for supporting WDHA’s Rock N’ Ruff and our mission to help homeless animals in New Jersey and we always remind you to “Opt To Adopt”!
    Terrie Carr
  • Coach Sheets' Ride In

    Jeremy Sheetinger is the head baseball coach at Georgia Gwinnett College where he led the Grizz Gang to the 2021 NAIA National Championship.

    These quick hits may, on the surface, be geared toward his fellow baseball coaches, but his motivational message can easily be applied to the classroom, workplace, and your personal relationships.

    This week, Coach Sheets talks about “cleaning the slate” before any presentation. Leave our preconceived beliefs at the door & come into a situation as if we know nothing.

  • Local Look

    Looking for something fun to do in the area? Chris Swendeman has you covered with this week’s Local Look.

    There are always so many fun events happening in our local communities.  Check out what’s in store for this week in New Jersey.

    • Come enjoy a day of music at the 2023 Record Fair in Maplewood today from 10 AM to 4 PM. There will be over 40 tables filled with all of your favorite forms of music and musical equipment and so much more. The event takes place at the Woodland at 60 Woodland Road, and it’s free.
    • You could also drop by Highland Park today for the Night Owl Markets event from noon to 4 PM. The event takes place on Main Street in downtown Highland Park and will have outdoor markets featuring local artists, artisans and crafters.
    • And next Saturday, November 18, join Team DHA to help kick off the season of giving at the ShopRite of Greater Morristown for the Community Food bank of New Jersey’s annual Turkey and Food Drive. Visit Find out how you can help him for more details.

    And that’s your Local Look for this week on The Jersey Magazine.  If you’d like your event to be featured on The Local Look, you can email us at [email protected].  See you next week on 105.5 WDHA.

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