NEWS AND OPINION:
The catchy phrase “Run, Trump, run” has been part of voter vernacular for quite some time. Indeed, an eager sector of the American public still equate Donald Trump with the White House, and still harken to his messages, whether it’s a simple “You’re fired” or this, tweeted Wednesday afternoon: “We’re worried about waterboarding as our enemy, ISIS, is beheading people and burning people alive. Time for us to wake up.” Meanwhile, Mr. Trump placed fifth in a presidential poll fielded by the Drudge Report which attracted 450,000 votes. The uber-businessman drew just under 24,000 of them, besting Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Sen. Marco Rubio, among others. What does it all mean?
“Mr. Trump’s impressive showing is an affirmation that the American people are looking for a new type of leader. His no nonsense and direct approach is being well received by citizens across the country who are fed up with the failures of their elected officials. Mr. Trump is a visionary who is unafraid to say and do what would be needed to make America great again,” Michael Cohen — executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Mr. Trump — tells Inside the Beltway.
And as the Drudge Report says on occasion: “Developing.”
MR. BIDEN GETS VICE
It is curious but significant that Vice President Joe Biden made an unscheduled stop in Brooklyn on Wednesday to visit with Vice Media — once an alternative upstart news organization founded two decades ago, and aimed at the young and restless. Vice has come into its own in a very big way, however. Consider that Vice was behind Dennis Rodman‘s visit to North Korea in 2013, was the sole news organization to embed a reporter with the Islamic State and has expanded its operations to include books, movies, TV series and a digital audience of 130 million viewers a month. Strategic alliances have yielded much financial backing in the last two years. Among the funds that have arrived: $250 million from A&E Networks, $100 million from Rogers Communications, a Canadian concern, and $70 million from Rupert Murdoch‘s 21st Century Fox corporation. Founder Shane Smith is 45; company headquarters occupy a 60,000-square-foot impeccably renovated warehouse. And three months ago, VICE Media hired Alyssa Mastromonaco as chief operating officer; she was formerly deputy chief of staff for President Obama from 2011 to 2014.
So Mr. Biden came to call. He met hundreds of employees, chatted by Skype with several overseas correspondents and was ultimately interviewed by Mr. Smith himself. Another strategic alliance, perhaps?
Oddly enough, Hillary Clinton plans to take her campaign headquarters to Brooklyn according to The Hill, and several other news sources. So let the dot-connecting begin. Mr. Biden, meanwhile, took his visit to media hipster-ville in stride. “Thank you for what you do, it’s important. You are on the cutting edge of what’s happening,” the vice president told the crowd.
MR. JINDAL, MR. PERRY AND FOUNDING VALUES
Thursday marks a big day for American principles. Literally. With the help of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry, the American Principles Project, a nonprofit that promotes the nation’s traditional founding values, will spend most of the day in the nation’s capital focused on the basics. But there is some appropriate pomp and circumstance here. Mr. Jindal will address the organization’s “State Lunch” at a historic hotel a few blocks from the White House, primarily focused on Common Core educational standards issues. A press conference follows.
In the evening, Mr. Perry steps out for the Red, White and Blue Gala — an event that organizers take literally, suggesting that guests wear red, white and blue cocktail attire, of course. Ali Landry, former Miss USA and Miss Louisiana, is the master of ceremonies. They are not done yet, though. Another reception follows for Mr. Perry at a nearby steak house.
“Many of the issues that we cover at the American Principles Project are set to be major hot button issues in 2016,” notes Frank Cannon, president of the group. “Our gala and State Lunch are great opportunities to bring many influential political activists, leaders, and others together as we work to outline the political landscape for 2016.”
“My dad is the greatest man alive, and if anybody disagrees, we’ll go outside. Unless you’re, like, six-five and two-fifty and much younger than me. Then we’ll negotiate.”
— Jeb Bush, speaking of his father George H.W. Bush, during a speech before the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday. Keep in mind that Mr. Bush the younger is himself 6-foot-four. And for that matter, his dad is six-foot-two.
FOR THE LEXICON
—Jeb Bush‘s new outreach slogan, introduced at the aforementioned gathering in Detroit.
“Let’s embrace reform everywhere, especially in our government. Let’s start with the simple principle of who holds the power. I say give Washington less and give states and local governments more,” Mr. Bush said in his address, later adding, “I know some in the media think conservatives don’t care about the cities. But they are wrong. We believe that every American and in every community has a right to pursue happiness. They have a right to rise. So I say: Let’s go where our ideas can matter most. Where the failures of liberal government are most obvious. Let’s deliver real conservative success. And you know what will happen? We’ll create a whole lot of new conservatives.”
THE LIBERTARIAN HAVE THEIR SAY
Policy experts from the Cato Institute gather at high noon on Friday in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill with much on their learned minds. They will to stage the organization’s annual “Libertarian State of the Union,” parsing out international trade, intelligence surveillance, tax policy, and financial regulation. Also debuting: a collection on policy priorities for the 114TH Congress handbook specifically aimed at health care reform, immigration, trade promotion authority, and reforming surveillance authorities.
Watch it all at 12 p.m. here: Cato.org/live.
POLL DU JOUR
• 63 percent of Republican voters in Iowa say “moral character and personal values” is the most important thing in a presidential candidate.
• 34 percent of Democratic voters in Iowa agree.
• 27 percent of Iowa Republicans say “experience and stands on the issues” is most important; 55 percent of Iowa Democrats agree.
• 9 percent of Iowa Republicans say “electability” is most important; 9 percent of Iowa Democrats agree.
• 51 percent of Iowa Republicans say an “anti-establishment candidate” without Washington ties would make the best president; 34 percent of Iowa Democrats agree.
• 43 percent of Iowa Republicans say a “mainstream candidate with executive experience” would make the best president; 57 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of 402 registered Republican voters and 401 registered Democratic voters, all in Iowa and likely to attend the state’s 2016 caucuses; conducted January 26-29 and released Wednesday.
• Indignant squawks and momentous murmurs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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