- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2010

BECK AND CALL

Electric, patriotic, historic, maybe a little psychic, too: There’s a certain spiritual charge in the air around Washington this weekend as thousands arrive for Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on Saturday - intended, the Fox News host says, as a celebration of military honor, faith and American values, rather than political ballyhoo. Attendees, in fact, have been instructed to leave partisan signs at home. The politics have been left to FreedomWorks, the grass-roots group founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, which is poised to deliver a call to arms to those who crave lower taxes and less government.

“Oh, yes, we’re very political. Our convention at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday night, plus other future gatherings are all about the elections and the candidates who share our values. When we say ‘take America back,’ we mean starting on Nov. 2, and continuing on Nov. 3 - and all the way through to 2012 and beyond. This is bigger than one election,” campaign director Brendan Steinhauser tells Inside the Beltway.

“So we say, bring those signs, bring those banners. We’ve got a place for them,” he adds. “And we’re expecting a fair amount of people for events this weekend. At the very low estimate, it would be 100,000. But half a million people could also show up.”

BUMPER PATROL

“Warning: Constitutional watchdog on duty.”

- Bumper sticker called in by a Beltway reader in Keene, N.H.

CONTACT SPORTS

Midterm elections ain’t what they used to be. 2010 is no mere “off-year” event, nor is it quiet, inconsequential or dull. Canny candidates are on message and ready to rumble, particularly conservative Marco Rubio, who already has signed on for seven aggressive, debates in his quest for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida. Match one is scheduled for NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sept. 5.

“I am the only candidate for Senate who has outlined specific ideas and proposals as a clear alternative to the wrong direction that Washington politicians are taking our country,” Mr. Rubio says with a gladiator’s relish. “I enthusiastically accept these opportunities to debate my opponents and present Floridians with the clear choice they have between a faithful loyalist of Washington’s agenda, a say-and-do anything opportunist who only cares about winning, and the clear, idea-based alternative I am offering.”

No word yet from his opponents Gov. Charlie Crist and Rep. Kendrick B. Meek, independent and Democrat, respectively.

IF YOU KEEP TRACK

Yes, Levi Johnston filed his papers to run for the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, this week. But Bristol Palin - mother of his toddler son and daughter of Sarah Palin - has waltzed way ahead of him on the publicity meter. Miss Palin is expected to make her debut on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on the season premiere Sept. 20. Would the Beltway Terpsichore Desk be surprised if Mr. Johnston also appears as a contestant? In a word, no.

THE BUSY BORDER

“Statistics show that human smuggling continues to be a crisis on the nation’s southern border. And the problem is only going to get worse as a result of the Obama administration’s hostility to the strong enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, especially in Arizona,” says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who has reason to fret.

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