- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2008

The home stretch

Yes, yes, we sympathize. Political news has reached fever pitch. It is shrill, endless and inescapable as the hours close in on the longest presidential campaign in the known universe. It has been going on for, what? Forty years? Maybe 50.

Election workers will don their helmets in less than 48 hours; the crush at polling places will be worse than the International House of Pancakes at Sunday brunch. And voters, who will cling to their little “I voted” stickers like they were combat medals in the aftermath, can at least tell their progeny, “I was there. I was part of history.”

Or something like that.

Meanwhile, for everyone who needs a break from wonky analysis, here’s a list of campaign cocktails concocted by mixologists around the country to honor the electoral process, gleaned from a variety of news sources:

Maverick-tini, Love on the Ba-racks, Barack-a-raka, Nova-McCain, Pit Bull, Biden Seek, Barack Rocks, McCain Straight Up, Right Wing Johnny, Obama Pama, Obama-rama, McCain Julep, Arizona Sunset, Chicago Cocktail, Jager Bama, McCain Margarita, Obama Slammer, Republi-tini, Demo-tini, Blue Bama, O’Bama, 10 Cane McCain and for the still undecided, United Purple States of America or Independent Flight.

(Oh waiter, wa-a-a-iter. We have an order at this table.)

The cheerful stuff

Maybe all the pundits will lapse into post-presidential depression by Wednesday, unless there’s a recount or people are still waiting to get into the poll booths.

Never fear, the month of November has the promise of a little uplifting patriotism for folks on both sides of the aisle. Who can argue with the 233rd birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps on Nov. 10 and Veterans Day on Nov. 11?

Here’s one-stop shopping for anyone still in need of red-white-and-blue color combinations. Flag and Banner offers flags, banners and their hardware, of course - along with patriotic Christmas ornaments, lawn and auto fare, jewelry, silverware, linens, folk art, toys and wearables of every description, including patriotic bikinis.

They stock a huge inventory of military items along with unusual political fare, like the “Official Bill Clinton Tree Hugger,” which actually wraps around a tree.

For information, consult www.flagand banner.com or call 800/445-0653.

A distant signal

Election coverage is wall to wall, fancy-schmancy and more entertainment than news. The Voice of America, however, has a most interesting sliver of it: The federal agency will provide live reports from Kenya, home of Sen. Barack Obama’s late father, and Vietnam, where Sen. John McCain was imprisoned for more than five years.

The coverage will be available in English - and 44 other languages, reaching an estimated worldwide audience of 134 million. Investigate it all at VOA’s new Web site, www. USAVotes2008.com.

By the numbers

81 percent of Americans agree that the federal government needs better moral leadership.

57 percent say politicians would take a bribe if they could get away with it.

19 percent said politicians in general are honest.

2 percent of Republicans say politicians are honest compared with 17 percent of Democrats.

32 percent of Americans are “extremely” or “very” confident that the election on Tuesday will be fair.

30 percent are “fairly” confident, 21 “somewhat” confident.

11 percent are not at all confident and 6 percent are “not sure.”

Source: A Harris poll of 2,119 adults conducted Oct. 16 to 20, 2008.

Quotes of note

“I have to put my ego aside, do what’s best for America and take my chances with the old warhorse and even Sarah Palin over a rabid Marxist.” - talk radio host Michael Savage , on his decision to endorse Sen. John McCain for president.

“I believe that 85 to 90 percent of the youth vote will turn out on Election Day, a record 35 percent increase in just four years. That is the sound of the world changing.” - pollster Eric Greenberg.

“What George Bush should do next: run for Congress.” - headline in the Christian Science Monitor.

Days of yore

From the You Never Know Department and the Bureau of Media Infamy: On this day exactly 60 years ago, President Harry S. Truman defeated New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey in the White House derby by 2 million popular votes. Pollsters and newspapers were astonished, and the Chicago Tribune - to Mr. Truman’s merriment - published an early edition with that now-familiar banner headline reading, “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.”

Christine Todd Whitman was elected the first female governor of New Jersey on this day in 1993.

Get out your party hats, meanwhile. Today is also the birthday of Daniel Boone, born in 1734; America’s 11th president, James Knox Polk (1795); and our 29th president, Warren G. Harding (1865), who incidentally was elected to office on his 55th birthday - Nov. 2, 1920.

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@ washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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