- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 6, 2017

The news media continues to snipe at the White House. But there’s some Trump triumph as well. First lady Melania Trump is earning accolades for her grace on the global stage this week. Yes, an admiring press chronicles every fabulous ensemble she wears down to the last fashion detail. But they also are applauding Mrs. Trump’s demeanor and diplomatic skills during her second overseas tour.

“While in Poland this week, she delivered a powerful and assured speech,” wrote Chris Spargo of The Daily Mail, noting that Mrs. Trump simply “shines.” The public agrees. A new Fox News poll released Friday found that 51 percent of Americans give the first lady a favorable review.


Mrs. Trump appears up to the challenge of her official role; she speaks five languages —and was spotted having a cordial conversation in German with Russian President Vladimir Putin when seated by him for the official G20 banquet at week’s end. Judging by the many photos from the moment, the exchange appears relaxed and convivial.

“During visits both abroad and at home at the White House, Trump has spent time with many of the spouses of world leaders, most of whom are women. Despite language barriers and possible tensions between the countries, Trump seems to have helped establish cordial relations with these leading women,” wrote Vanity Fair columnist Erika Harwood.

“The defining characteristic of Melania Trump’s opening months as first lady has been her humility. In that sense, Mrs. Trump is the first lady America needs,” summarized Rachel DiCarlo Currie in a new essay for Acculturated.com, also reprinted in National Review.

“We need a first lady who will, in a subtle, understated way, promote greater social cohesion at a moment when America is bitterly polarized and our elites seem increasingly disconnected from the lives of ordinary people. We need someone who will lead by example rather than by command. Someone whose priorities and concerns are relatable to Americans — especially mothers — of all backgrounds. Someone who will eschew the temptations of Washington and focus on quiet displays of kindness, generosity, and sacrifice.”

CNN’s White House correspondent Kate Bennett recalled Mrs. Trump’s increasing presence on public radar, meanwhile.

“Her trip with President Donald Trump to Poland and Germany is an encore to the nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe in May that showcased more of the first lady than the world had seen to date,” Ms. Bennett wrote. “She received mostly glowing reviews — there was praise for her style notes and cultural sensitivity, her quiet repose at religious sites.”

 

JOHN BOLTON SCRUTINIZES NORTH KOREA

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is watching North Korea with a keen eye, particularly after the isolated nation’s successful launch of a bona fide intercontinental ballistic missile.

“It’s capable of hitting Alaska. It can’t hit the Lower 48 yet, but that’s only a matter of time. The only other thing we need to find out, and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of it, is whether North Korea has miniaturized its nuclear devices — of which it’s already detonated five — to the point they can put it under an ICBM nose cone, “Mr. Bolton told Breitbart News Daily.

“I’ve been talking about this for 20 years, and so have many other people. And yet, for the last three U.S. administrations — eight years of [Bill] Clinton, eight years of [Geoge W.] Bush, eight years of [Barack] Obama — people have tried to negotiate with North Korea, to talk them out of their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. It’s failed consistently for 25 years,” Mr. Bolton continued, also weighing in on President Trump’s challenges.

“That’s why Trump has inherited this mess. The issue is whether he can find a way out of it, or whether he succumbs to what I know the State Department, and much of the Defense Department, and much of the intelligence community are telling him. Just keep doing what we’ve been doing before. Because that will result in a nuclear North Korea. And by the way, you can already see the mainstream media and academia preparing us to live in a world where North Korea has nuclear weapons.”

 

THE PUBLIC SCRUTINIZES NORTH KOREA

“Voters strongly believe world leaders need to confront North Korea with military force if necessary to end the rogue communist nation’s push for nuclear weapons,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which found that 75 percent of likely U.S. voters think the United Nations and the international community should do more — “up to and including military action” — to prevent North Korea’s further development of nuclear weapons.

“That’s up from 57 percent in January of last year. Just 11 percent disagree, while 14 percent are not sure,” the pollster noted.

 

KUCINICH CONDEMNS IMPEACHMENT TALK

“Left-wing impeachment hysteria” is running amok, notes Fox News in a new review of assorted lawmakers and officials who publicly suggest that President Trump should be impeached for one reason or another. Former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich disagrees with such talk, calling it both “venom” and “dangerous.” He also dismissed any notions of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“The American people made a decision in November. And that decision has to be respected. There’s never been any charges brought forward that would in any way warrant a consideration of impeachment,” Mr. Kucinich told Fox News. “Personally, I think this whole thing about Russia is a lot of wasted energy. There are no crimes that have been proven. The country and the Congress need to focus on the economic problems of the American people — on jobs and wages, health care, education, retirement security, and peace. That is what people care about. This is becoming hyperpartisan, and it’s not good for America.”

 

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: “The Pumpkin House,” built in 1925 in New York City, cantilevered on a cliff 265 feet above the Hudson River, just north of the George Washington Bridge. Six bedrooms, three baths, three stories, 3,144-square-feet. Views of rivers and bridges, floor-to-ceiling windows, extravagant marble fireplaces, living and dining rooms, original woodworking and built-ins, chef’s kitchen, office. Two-car garage, “secret garden,” majestic archway, roof terrace. Priced at $4.2 million through Sothebyshomes.com; enter 0139530 in search function.

 

POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of Americans say they can name their state capital.

53 percent say they can name all 50 states.

23 percent say they can name all their representatives in Congress.

14 percent say they can name all past U.S. presidents.

Source: A KRC Pulse Poll of 1,013 U.S. adults conducted May 1-31 and released Wednesday.

Cranky observations and churlish remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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