- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 18, 2015


The parlor game goes on: What mystery candidate will save the Democratic Party as 2016 looms? Forget Al Gore, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, advises Mediaite analyst Joe Concha, who calls front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton “the worst major candidate to come along in a very long time. Like Dukakis-bad.” He suggests former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg could be the answer at a time when Americans appear charmed by “outsider” candidates. It’s interesting that Mr. Bloomberg — currently worth $39 billion, according to Forbes — maintains a very active, politically charged website.

“So why is Mike Bloomberg such an attractive choice? Because like Donald Trump, he has an outstanding record as a businessman, without the bankruptcies. And unlike Trump, he’s actually held public office, easily winning three elections in blue New York City as a Republican and eventually as an independent,” Mr. Concha observes.

“Bloomberg’s platform would be simple: I can run America like I run Bloomberg or like I ran New York City for three terms, and without the perpetual scandal cloud that will serve, as at the very least, a huge distraction for a Hillary presidency,” the analyst says, advising Mr. Bloomberg to tell voters: “I’m a problem-solver and job-creator with a record to prove it, know how to work with people I disagree with, understand what delegation means in a complex environment — New York — and I keep my nose clean.”


Former Fox News contributor Sarah Palin has arrived at One America News, the California-based conservative cable news network which began broadcasting two years ago. The former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate will guest host “On Point,” the network’s prime-time political talk show beginning next week.

“I didn’t get into public service to do the safe and easy things. A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why the ship is built. I’m excited for this opportunity to give voice to so many Americans we hear from every day, and the concerns about our future, and how best to fix the problems,” Mrs. Palin says, noting that “sitting behind the desk instead of in the hot seat” is a welcome change.

SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton: Authenticity gap emerges as major challenge in New Hampshire

“Regardless of one’s political view, the discussions will be meaningful, while also being entertaining,” said Robert Herring, Sr., the network’s CEO.


“What the hell have we come to as the Democratic Party that we are trying to cut off debates and turn our primary into a coronation rather than an exchange of ideas?”

— Democratic hopeful Martin O’Malley, complaining Tuesday about the Democratic National Committee’s decision to stage only six official debates, to Concord News Radio.


“Why do so many Americans respond positively to Donald Trump‘s immigration plan? Most Americans believe everyone should have to play by the same rules — not a different set depending upon which border one illegally crosses. And not a different set for those who respect our immigration laws and one for those who don’t,” policy analyst and author Roger Fleming advises Inside the Beltway

“Why do Americans react viscerally to rampant illegal immigration and Trump’s strong stand against it? It’s different than most other federal government failures. Few expect our federal bureaucracy to ever clean up the corruption and mismanagement of our bloated welfare system or the never-ending fraud in our Medicare system. But the continued diminution of our most basic right as an American, the right to be an American, seems an insult too fundamental to our most patriotic values to be ignored,” Mr. Fleming continues.

“Failure to secure our border — and the games played by Democrats and Republicans with legislation falsely claiming to secure our country — is beyond federal ineptness. It is a failure of our leaders’ most fundamental duties. Donald Trump recognizes that, and he’s willing to make that security and patriotic pride a keystone of his campaign. Americans like leaders whose priorities are not complicated,” he concludes.


Determined to see things for himself, Republican hopeful Ben Carson is currently in Florence, Arizona where he will receive a briefing on illegal immigration from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Then Mr. Carson goes airborne in a helicopter for an hour, to view smuggling routes and other border landmarks — followed by a second border tour in Bisbee with Cochise County Sheriff Mark Daniels.


He continues to provide a classy foil to the current circus of the 2016 campaign trail. That would be General George Washington — well, the official historic interpreter of the Founding Father from Colonial Williamsburg — who is off to key states to promote civility and civic engagement. Fancy that. Done up in immaculate uniform and accompanied by a fifer and drummer, actor Ron Carnegie wowed Iowa locals and chummed around with the likes of Gov. Terry Branstad and GOP hopeful Mike Huckabee. Now he shifts his attention to New Hampshire, arriving Wednesday to meet with Gov. Maggie Hassan and to hold forth at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, among many things.


Two Democratic senators have now rejected the Obama administration’s nuclear accord with Iran. Both Sen. Bob Menendez and Sen. Charles Schumer methodically presented their case against the deal, justifying their opinions point by point, and at length. But there was also a telling emotional intensity in their reasoning.

“I have looked into my own soul and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it. It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto,” Mr. Menendez said Tuesday.

And from Mr. Schumer, on Aug. 6: “I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be. For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.”


68 percent of Republican say they are now “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting for president in 2016.

5 8 percent say their party has a “better chance” of winning 2016 if Donald Trump is not the candidate; 54 percent of conservative Republicans, 71 percent of moderate Republicans and 51 percent of tea partyers agree.

38 percent say the party has a better chance with Mr. Trump; 42 percent of conservative Republicans, 27 percent of moderate Republicans and 40 percent of tea partyers agree.

24 percent favor Mr. Trump for president; 25 percent of conservative Republicans, 22 percent of moderate Republicans and 27 percent of tea partyers agree.

13 percent favor Jeb Bush for president; 14 percent of conservative Republicans, 11 percent of moderate Republicans and 7 percent of tea partyers agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,010 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 13-16. The sample included 466 Republicans.

Crabby declarations, polite applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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