- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Before departing for the Iowa heartland, new and improved GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump left behind one message for his enthusiastic fans and determined critics: “Let’s make American great again.” He also advised that his personal skills as negotiator, self-made entrepreneur, family man and unapologetic rich guy would come in handy on the global stage.

The speech had compelling aspects, whether Mr. Trump was promising to repeal Obamacare, support the Second Amendment or challenge the Islamic State and China. It also showcased a certain untrammeled bravado which could appeal to voters, and at least gave the restless press something to do for a few hours.

GOP and Democratic sources alike hammered on the “Trump” character in the aftermath. Will Trump divide the Republican vote? Will Trump self-fund a third party? Did Trump steal Jeb Bush‘s thunder? Will Trump help Hillary run off with the White House?

“There is no need to do a white paper on Donald Trump. He is not a serious Republican candidate, and many of his positions make him better suited to take on Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. It would also be unfortunate if he takes away a spot at even one Republican debate,” declares David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth.

There are other aspects, though. A Manhattan source, for example, points out that Mr. Trump is the only presidential hopeful with his own fragrance — Empire by Trump — a introduced in March by Parlux Fragrances, which also designed scents for the likes of Jay Z and Michael Jordan. “Politics doesn’t always have to stink,” the insider observes. There’s other intrigue.

“Donald Trump’s chance of winning the 2016 Presidential race is extremely limited,” says Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes, a London-basd online betting concern already offering the odds. “Trump remains a rank outsider in the 2016 election betting at 100/1 along with Rick Santorum — while at the other end of the market, the battle appears to be between 11/10 favorite Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush at 7/2.”

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There may be hope for Mr. Trump yet, however, but only if he can “follow in the footsteps of former 250/1 outsider Bernie Sanders who is now just a 33/1 shot,” Mr. Donohue explains. “Should Trump defy the odds it would be one of the biggest political betting upsets of all time. He may take his challenge pretty seriously. But we don’t.”


Among the hundreds of policy events in the nation’s capital Wednesday, one in particular stands out. Authentic cultural icon, ace entertainer, man of faith and conservative stalwart Pat Boone is in town to have his say about the state of things. He’ll appear at high noon at the Heritage Foundation to share details of his 60-year entertainment career and the ever-evolving nation.

“He has lived an amazing life of integrity. Who else has remained so true to his faith, family values, and love of God while being mobbed by screaming teenage girls; starring in Hollywood movies; befriending royalty, presidents, and rock stars alike; and staring out from the cover of Rolling Stone magazine?” the organizers ask.

“People agree and disagree with him — about rock ‘n roll, politics, religion, the usual stuff — but Pat Boone has lived a truly American story and an iconic one at that,” they note.

This is true. Mr. Boone is the real deal, and has unique insight into politics, which after all, is a form of show biz.

The one-hour event is moderated by James L. Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus Association and John E. Hilboldt, seminar director for Heritage. Yes, the session will be streamed live online at noon EDT. Find it under the “Events” heading at Heritage.org


Available for free Wednesday: “My Story” by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a 126-page autobiography to be released online by his presidential campaign. The e-book reveals that the South Carolina hopeful had a challenging, modest childhood, served his country, flew a C-130, won his public office.

The book adds a helpful dimension to Mr. Graham’s candidate profile, though early media accounts are already focusing on the fact that his parents ran a bar and pool hall and that the lawmaker had two girlfriends. The memoir was co-written with Mark Salter, a former chief of staff for Sen. John McCain.

Find it at 9 a.m. EDT Wednesday at LindseyGraham.com.


It’s personal. And it’s political. A group of die-hard New Yorkers are vexed that a 94-year-old shoe-repair business is being booted from its longtime berth in the Empire State Building. The situation is symbolic of a city sacrificing its innate character and style for development and moolah, according to author and blogger Jeremiah Moss, organizer of Save NYC, a feisty grass-roots coalition.

“This is a call to action that gathers the voices of everyday New Yorkers, celebrities, small businesspeople, tourists — all who care about protecting the cultural fabric of the city — to send a strong message to City Hall: Save New York. To save it, politicians, activists, and citizens must get tough and protect the city’s cultural heritage,” he says.

The enthusiasts will stage a funeral for Louis Shoe Rebuilders on West 33rd Street outside the soaring Manhattan landmark on Thursday, complete with flowers and a eulogy. The beloved little business within cannot afford the $25,000-per-month rent the landlords seek, Mr. Moss explains. He also advises the city to pass a proposed Small Business Jobs Survival Act, meant to preserve neighborhoods and at least give mom-and-pop stores a chance to negotiate rents.

“Small businesses in New York City have no rights. You’ve been here 50 years and provide an important service? Tough luck — your space now belongs to Dunkin’ Donuts. You own a beloved, fourth-generation, century-old business? Get out — your landlord’s putting in a combination Chuck E. Cheese and Juicy Couture. And despite Mayor De Blasio‘s rhetorical fears about gentrification, his progressive pro-development push may well only hasten the trend,” Mr. Moss says.


41 percent of Americans say abortion policies should be made by the federal government; 26 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall say states should set their own policies; 62 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent overall say abortion should be legal only if the mother’s life is in danger; 44 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent overall say abortion should be legal with restrictions about late term procedures or if minors are involved; 32 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent overall say abortions should be legal without restrictions; 8 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

13 percent overall say abortion should be completely illegal and never allowed; 16 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 994 U.S. adults conducted June 10-12.

Petulant observations, sweeping generalizations to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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

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