- The Washington Times - Monday, December 27, 2010

WARMING TRENDS

Interesting. Fox News hosts Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Mike Huckabee among the nation’s most admired men? Uh, yeah. Plus two Bushes, a Cheney and a Gibson, as in Mel Gibson. Gallup Polls asked over 1,000 Americans to name the men - “living today in any part of the world” - that they most admired. Here is what they came up with:

President Obama was in first place followed by former PresidentGeorge W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Pope Benedict XVI and Rev. Billy Graham (tied in sixth place), former President Jimmy Carter, Mr. Beck and the Dalai Lama.

But who came next on the long list? Interesting, and Republican/conservative heavy. Radio host Rush Limbaugh ranked 11th, followed by Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo, Mr. Huckabee,Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints president Thomas Monson, Brad Pitt, Newt Gingrich, former President George H.W. Bush, Colin Powell, Mitt Romney, Mr. O’Reilly, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican; Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Bono, Tony Blair, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mr. Gibson.

Incidentally, Gallup also found that Republicans named Mr. Bush first on their most admired list, followed by Mr. Obama, Mr. Beck, the Pope and Mr. Graham. Democrats named Mr. Obama in first place, followed by Mr. Clinton, Mr. Mandela, Mr. Carter and the Dalai Lama.

BUMPER PATROL

“Old white guys for Obama.”

Bumper sticker spotted Christmas Day on Wisconsin Avenue NW in Washington. Spotter reports that yes, a “kind of an old, white guy” was driving the vehicle and that the sticker appeared brand new.

THE BIG CHILL

President Obama should invent some effective insulation for that warm glow of victory following his legislative victories on Capitol Hill, with all their bipartisan thrills and gentle press. The nation still fears the economy, however, and still blames the White House for their woes.

“At the end of his second year in office, just three in 10 Americans give Mr. Obama positive ratings on the job he is doing on the economy while seven in 10 - 70 percent - give him negative ratings,” says a Harris Poll of 2,331 adults surveyed in mid-December. “When asked to compare their financial situation to last year, 42 percent feel less secure now, while 36 percent feel just as secure and 19 percent say they now feel more secure.”

F AND P

There was so much hubbub over Sarah Palin’s almost-word “refudiate” that it was named word of the year by the New American Oxford Dictionary. Yes, we remember.

Mrs. Palin, though, explained on her TLC reality show on Sunday that she simply mistyped a “p” rather than an “f” when she originally tweeted the word on July 19. And them thar are fightin’ words among press critics, who immediately questioned whether the mistake was “possible” on a standard keyboard, or if she had previously uttered the word during a Fox News Channel appearance. The New York Post ran a public poll on whether to believe her claims.

“The English language is a moving, breathing, evolving art,” Mrs. Palin observed, during the aforementioned moment on “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” which is, incidentally, coming to DVD - two discs, 387 minutes - in April.

STEEL ON STEELE

Jan 3: the date looms large for hopefuls who have their eye on the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. On Monday, they debate at the National Press Club; the dynamics grow more complex by the day. Incumbent chairman Michael S. Steele has lost the support of California committee heavyweight Shawn Steel, who now backs Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus. Both were once key allies of Mr. Steele.

“I’m proud to be gathering endorsements from all perspectives within the committee, because it demonstrates my desire and ability to end the drama within the RNC,” Mr. Priebus told fellow committee members in an e-mail.

The National Journal Hotline’s “RNC Whip Count” is at least tallying the race, revealing that Mr. Priebus now has 22 public commitments from voting members, a quarter of the way toward the 85 votes he would need to win. Mr. Steele has 12 public commitments. Other hopefuls - former Michigan party chairman Saul Anuzis and former RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner - each have 10 votes, while former Bush administration official Maria Cino counts five and former RNC political director Gentry Collins has three votes. 106 voters remain undecided.

AND IN SUMMARY

“There were high points to Two-Thousand-Ten,

Forming memories recalled with a grin:

Yes, I had me some fun,

But Im glad that its done -

And I wouldnt go through it again.”

Limerick by friend-of-Beltway and Politickles.com editor F.R. Duplantier.

POLL DU JOUR

- 49 percent of Americans plan to cut back on household spending in 2011.

- 42 percent fell “less secure” about their financial situation.

- 52 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

- 41 percent will pay down their debt; 40 percent will save more; 22 percent will save more for retirement.

- 19 percent feel “more secure” about their financial situation compared with last year.

- 11 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,331 adults conducted Dec. 6 to 13.

- Glad tidings, grumbles, mumbles to jharper@washingtontimes.com.