- The Washington Times - Monday, August 2, 2010

HE’S STILL GOT IT

A little heartening news as summer doldrums take hold. Gipper appeal has found a new generation: Youthful heartthrob Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers fame and Grammy-nominated singer Jordin Sparks reveal they are unabashed fans of former President Ronald Reagan. The pair have been named co-chairmen of a youth leadership committee for the official Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, a gargantuan fete set to begin on Feb. 6, 2011, on what would have been Mr. Reagan’s 100th birthday.

Ronald Reagan is a personal hero of mine. I admire the way he stood up for causes he believed were right, no matter what,” Mr. Jonas says.

Ronald Reagan’s optimism and graciousness is a model for me in my career,” Miss Sparks observes.

The committee also includes Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010 — plus 37athletes, entertainers and student leaders, all younger than 25 — collectively boasting 17 Olympic medals, assorted NCAA awards and academic honors. Indy driver Marco Andretti, Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrence Austin, Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff and White Sox second baseman Ross Wilson are also on the roster. See the details here: www.reagancentennial.com/

HEARKENING BACK

“The very public investigations of Reps. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, and MaxineWaters, California Democrat, are the most recent disasters for the Democrats. The images of these leaders fighting to maintain power despite clear ethical failures have effectively nullified tens of millions of dollars of Democratic campaign advertising,” says John Samples, director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute.

“For the majority party in Congress, the Rangel and Waters trials top a bad economy and an unpopular and divisive president. The analogy to the 1994 elections could not be more evident or more troubling for Democrats,” Mr. Samples continues. “In 1994, voters disgusted with misbehaving, corrupt congressmen finally acted, beginning with voting out Jim Wright as speaker. Given their conduct, Reps. Waters and Rangel are effectively making the case for another 1994 election scenario.”

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Newsmax made a bid to buy Newsweek from the Washington Post, but the Post deemed it too conservative and therefore unacceptable. The husband of a Democratic member of Congress? Just right,” observes National Review’s John J. Miller on the sale of the weekly magazine to philanthropist Sidney Harman, husband of Rep. Jane Harman of California.

“The journalism you create matters to the country and to the world,” managing editor Jon Meacham told the staff.

He has resigned and in the immediate future will complete a biography of Thomas Jefferson and, soon, a biography of former President George H.W. Bush.

STRUT THEIR STUFF

Male candidates: So stock up on the red ties, already. This may constitute a whole new voting bloc.

“It’s a symbol of courage and sacrifice, of sin and sexuality, of power and passion — and now new research demonstrates that the color red makes men more alluring to women,” notes the American Psychological Association, citing a University of Rochester study that gauged public reactions to men wearing red.

“And it’s true about red power ties,” the study adds, noting that “red might make men more likely to strut their stuff. A man who wears red may feel dominant, which influences his self-confidence and behavior and in turn may impress women.”

‘THE VIEW’ DIGS IN

Some viewers grumbled that President Obama’s cozy appearance on ABC’s “The View” last week was scripted. Boy Scouts wondered why Mr. Obama opted to visit the daytime talk show rather than make a traditional presidential appearance at their annual jamboree. And in rare agreement, both Sarah Palin and Rosie O’Donnell criticized the president’s appearance on the “fluffy” show, as Miss O’Donnell put it.

Jubilant network executives, however, say Mr. Obama drew 6.6 million viewers, making it the most watched episode in the program’s history. And, while the gaggle of girly hosts continue to interrupt each other and indulge in petty argument, the show is emerging, the players insist, as must-do TV on the campaign trail.

“The ratings indicate that our show continues to break new ground. ‘The View’ has proven to be an important stop for political candidates and is appointment television for our loyal audience who value our opposing views,” says host Barbara Walters.

POLL DU JOUR

62 percent of U.S. voters trust their own judgment more than President Obama’s when it comes to economic issues.

48 percent blame Obama administration policies for the nation’s current economic problems.

47 percent blame the policies of the George W. Bush administration.

47 percent rate Mr. Obama’s handling of economic issues as “poor.”

37 percent approve of the way he has handled the economy.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted July 30-31.

Good news, so-so news, doldrums to jharper@washingtontimes.com