President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two world leaders have a 24-hour encounter in scenic Palm Beach, Florida, which begins Thursday and could yield significant, possibly historic developments and some fascinating cultural moments. And, of course, the mainstream media is at the ready, pacing back and forth and hoping things go awry in this gorgeous setting. Many journalists already are predicting a negative outcome, or are mired in speculation — obsessing over possible failures, awkward moments, a proverbial clash of the titans and golf. Yes, golf. Needless to say, if the press was reporting on former President Barack Obama rather than Mr. Trump, the coverage would be grand, glowing and noble. Yes, needless to say. Here’s a selection of representative headlines from the last 48 hours:
“Trump and Xi: Two imposing leaders with clashing agendas” (The New York Times); “Can Trump Match Xi Jinping’s Game?” (The New Yorker), “The odd couple summit” (Axios); “Trump, Xi will be odd couple at first summit” (CNBC); “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago ethics mess gets worse ahead of Xi Jinping visit” (MSNBC); “Trump faces test mixing Mar-a-Lago with difficult diplomacy” (Politico); “Xi Jinping’s summit plan to tame Donald Trump” (Financial Times); “China’s Xi Jinping will NOT golf with Trump at Mar-a-Lago” (Daily Mail); “Why Trump’s golf diplomacy won’t work with China’s Xi Jinping” (CNN).
MEANWHILE, IN PALM BEACH
Local authorities in Palm Beach see the first-time meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping as a historic occasion. It is not without challenges, however.
“In anticipation of hosting two of the most powerful individuals in the world, at the same time, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw says there is a multilayered security plan unlike any he has overseen before,” reports Greg Angel for the local CBS affiliate, noting that the safety measures include 10-foot-tall concrete-and-steel barricades decorated with Chinese and U.S. flags on the roadways.
“President Xi will likely face scores of demonstrators and so-called greeters,” Mr. Angel explains.
Sheriff Bradshaw is ready.
“We are not going to tolerate any civil disobedience, throwing of objects or any type of disorderly conduct whatsoever,” the lawman told the local station. “At first sign of that, it will be dealt with. We will have our mobile jails. We’re not going to let things get out of hand.”
FLEETING HOLLYWOOD MOMENT
“All the people that are on deck in 2020, none of them are going to win. None of those people are going to beat Donald Trump. You think things are bad now. I [will] tell you when things are going to be worse: if he wins again.”
— Actor Alec Baldwin, musing on the presidential field three years from now, to Extra TV
FLEETING CLINTON MOMENT
A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 50 percent of likely U.S. voters think Congress should expand its investigation of any possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government; a close 45 percent say Congress has better things to do. Another 52 percent, however, say former President Bill and Hillary Clinton’s private dealings with Russian officials should be included in any investigation, the survey notes.
Life goes on, though. Mrs. Clinton is giving her third speech in a week in New York City on Thursday. She will appear at the “Women in the World” summit at Lincoln Center, an event that includes such speakers as Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, journalists Katie Couric and Arianna Huffington and Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.
CARLY STEPS OUT
Add former presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina to the list of those who are not done yet. She still has an active campaign site and a clear mission, she says, to “continue the fight to elect conservatives, reform Washington, and restore a citizen government to our great nation.”
Ms. Fiorina — who is considering a 2018 run for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia — will be the keynote speaker at the Global Good Fund Summit, now underway in the nation’s capital.
“Resilience and grit have fueled her lifelong commitment to responsible leadership,” a source says, noting that Ms. Fiorina will address her calling at the event, staged in a historic hotel just a few blocks from the White House, and hosted by the organization’s CEO, Carrie Rich.
And on the luncheon menu for the event, which gets underway at nigh noon: heirloom tomatoes with Burrata cheese, micro basil and balsamic drizzle, soy ginger salmon with stir-fried spring pea shoots, plus Italian lemon-zest cake with red berry coulis.
A CHEER FOR THE THINKERS
Believe it or not, there is public recognition for those who stand for American exceptionalism, free markets, limited government, federalism and personal liberty. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation offers such recognition. On Thursday the Milwaukee-based organization hands out its annual awards to the rare and significant folks whose work reflects those bedrock ideas. In an event in the nation’s capital on Thursday hosted by columnist George Will, the foundation honors a quartet of gents who hail from the academic, legal and media arenas.
Receiving a Bradley Prize: Peter Berkowitz, a political scientist at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Christopher DeMuth, a Hudson Institute fellow; Philip Hamburger, a Columbia Law School professor; and Walter E. Williams, an economics professor at George Mason University.
The prize selection committee included Mr. Will, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Krauthammer and Richard W. Graber, chairman of the foundation.
POLL DU JOUR
• 76 percent of U.S. voters are uncomfortable with internet service providers selling their personal data to third parties.
• 73 percent assume that websites they use track their online behavior and what they view.
• 70 percent are uncomfortable with internet providers tracking what websites they visit.
• 67 percent are uncomfortable with the providers’ use of their data for “research purposes.”
• 64 percent trust their health insurance company to keep their personal data private; 39 percent trust Google, 22 percent trust Twitter.
Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,995 registered U.S. voters conducted March 30-April 1.
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