- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Que sera Sarah

“PALIN.”

That could prove the best title for the new Fox News/Sarah Palin broadcast venture. Less is more: The network doesn’t need a trumped up title on this project, which will showcase Mrs. Palin as both political analyst and host. A minimal designation, dropped like a bomb into primetime, could vex Fox rivals, delight Mrs. Palin’s fans and enrage her detractors — who will watch anyway.

“PALIN.” Boom. It has that kind of effect, kind of like “‘Reilly,” “Hannity” or “Limbaugh” perhaps.

“This was an absolutely brilliant thing for Fox to do. But the most important thing is for the network to let Sarah be Sarah. She is a natural brand that people recognize and like instantly. They should just let her be herself,” John Tantillo tells Inside the Beltway.

He is the New York marketing expert who coined the name “The O’Reilly Factor” for Fox News.

“It would be very unwise if Sarah Palin went too New York or too Hollywood or too Washington in her new role. She’s got to avoid that. The reason people like her is that they can relate to her. She doesn’t need a lot of flashy stuff,” Mr. Tantillo continued. “The audience detects that she’s getting too fancy and they’re going to think she’s become one of ‘them.’ You know. The ‘media’.”

The new hire could rile some camps.

“Liberals love Palin because they think she’s an ignoramus, and thus so perfect a representative of conservatives. That doesn’t mean they don’t fear her, because deep down, they think the American people are too dumb to really be trusted with running the country,” observes Tim Graham of the Media Research Center.

“It’s odd that liberals would complain about the crossover out of politics, just as ABC named George Stephanopoulos to host its new morning show,” Mr. Graham continues, noting that perennial presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan appeared on CNN in between campaigns in 1992 and 1996.

“Stephanopoulos’ new programming should be called ‘Good Morning, Conflict of Interest,’” he adds.

Oink worthy

There are big spenders. And really big spenders. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) knows the difference, and has announced its final nominees for 2009 Porker of the Year.

Their assorted sins are too huge to list here. Nonetheless, the big earmarking six is composed of Democratic Reps. Russ Carnahan of Missouri, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Maxine Waters of California, and two Republicans: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

And of course, the public is welcome to weigh in on such porcine matters. Online voting is available at www.cagw.org/porkeroftheyear/.

The gaffe grows

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has mounted a public petition that condemns Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for an untoward racial remark he once made about President Obama. Now the Black Republicans Association is calling for the lawmaker’s resignation.

“The fine line of racial calibration afforded Reid is never permitted any Republican under any circumstances. Resign. That’s the universal cry from Democrats to Republicans, regardless of the nature of the charge of racism, and even when the charges are false. Further, Democrats are not shy about embracing or speaking well of their aging leaders who have engaged in horrendous acts of racism,” says attorney Francis Rice, a retired Army officer and chairman of the Florida group.

The way it was

Yikes! Here’s just one page from the 20,000 pages of formally classified documents from the Nixon administration, released by the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library on Monday:

“November 9, 1971, 9:30 a.m. Memorandum for: H.R. Haldeman. From: Dwight L. Chapin. Subject: Frank Sinatra.

“Sinatra called Peter Malatesta with the idea of perhaps hosting a dinner for the Vice President, Governor Reagan and the Bob Hopes sometime during the weekend of the Eisenhower Hospital Dedication. Sinatra’s question was whether or not it would be appropriate for him to invite the President to the dinner.

“This might be the breakthrough that we’re after, in terms of getting the President together with Sinatra. My suggestion, in order to avoid any problem or embarrassment with the Hopes who wanted to have a luncheon after the Medical Center Opening, would be that President and Mrs. Nixon, if interested, go over to the dinner at Sinatra’s home the evening of November 26.

“The other option would be to have the Vice President, the Hopes, the Reagans and perhaps Sinatra to San Clemente to dinner that evening. This may be more of a special treat for Sinatra.”

Tick tock

Run for the hills. The Doomsday Clock is going to move again, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which has tugged the hands of this symbolic timepiece either toward or away from midnight — or “apocalypse” 𔃎 since 1947.

The normally sedate Chicago group, which set the clock at 11:55 p.m. two years ago, are going big time with their moment with an event that includes five speakers, a live audience, a broadcast from New York City and an attendant Web site — but no word on, say, cocktails, party favors or dancing girls.

Is the planet ready to blow? The scientists are coy.

“Factors influencing the latest Doomsday Clock change include international negotiations on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, expansion of civilian nuclear power, the possibilities of nuclear terrorism, and climate change,” the group says.

The big reveal will be Thursday; consult www.turnbacktheclock.org for more information.

Poll du jour

• 53 percent of Americans overall say 2010 will be better year for Republicans than 2009.

• 89 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

• 17 percent of Americans say this year will be worse for Republicans.

• 4 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

• 13 percent of Americans say 2010 will be a better year for Democrats.

• 2 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 60 percent of Americans say this will be a worse year for Democrats.

• 91 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Zogby International poll of 2,789 adults conducted Dec. 28-Jan. 2.

Oinks, squeals, real deals to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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