- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2010

PARTISAN PRESLEY

OK. Elvis Presley would have been 75 today. Inquiring minds want to know: Would he have voted Republican or Democrat? The notion already has been addressed by the U.S. Election Atlas, a Massachusetts-based group that tracks national voting patterns.

No typical southern Democrat was he. Presley once visited President Nixon at the White House in 1970, bearing the gift of a Colt .45 pistol and a handwritten letter advising the president, “Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out.” The letter is now part of the National Archives. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library, incidentally, sells several “When Elvis Met Nixon” items, including playing cards, lip balm, mints and a kitchen magnet.

But Elvis himself? After much discussion, some academic observers have concluded “The King” was “a moderate conservative” who appreciated firearms and helped the poor because he grew up poor. His political leanings continue to fascinate. A few comments from an online discussion of same, found at http://uselectionatlas.org:

“He’d vote for Mike Huckabee.”

“He’d be a Republican. I would say he would endorse Fred Thompson.”

“I’m sure he would have contributed a lot to Rush Limbaugh and vice versa.”

“Nobody really knows that much about Presley’s politics. I know he was very patriotic and had disdain for the hippie counterculture, but besides that not much is known. If I had to guess he would probably be a libertarian conservative Republican in the vein of guys like Robert Duvall or maybe even Clint Eastwood although I believe Eastwood would lean more toward libertarianism itself, despite being registered as a Republican. If I had to guess I think Presley would’ve endorsed Mitt Romney or John McCain.”

“Neither Republican nor Democrat: Royalist. (The King Party)”

HOW’D THEY DO?

We need a thesaurus to describe the new and improved White House approach to terrorism: grave, blunt, melodramatic, aggressive, solemn, intense, a little dazed. Very Joe Friday, with some protective posturing and minimal mea culpa mixed in.

President Obama, National Security Adviser John Brennan and Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano rallied together Thursday to review what went wrong during the near-catastrophic Christmas Day terrorist bombing attempt - thus launching a spate of reviews of their performances.

“Didn’t offer much in the way of shock,” says CBS News political reporter Daniel Farber.

“Not necessarily reassuring,” notes CNN analyst David Gergen.

“While I am pleased that the president has acknowledged the breakdown in our system, I continue to urge him to recognize the genuine terrorist threat that our country continues to face. Too often President Obama and Democrats disregard the fact that terrorists are at war with us, which is dangerous thinking in this post-9/11 era,” says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele.

“Some decisions - though politically popular with his left- wing base - have not helped keep America safe,” Mr. Steele continues. “It is clear that the threat of terrorism is still a major concern for our country, and it is time for Republicans and Democrats alike to come together and do everything we can to detect and stop future attacks before they happen.”

THE GREAT BEYOND

As promised, here are exclusive predictions for the Democratic Party from hypnotist, “mentalist” and mind reader Blair Robertson, who doled out his impressions for Republicans in this column Thursday.

“It’s only natural to expect the Republicans to knock the Democrats and vice versa. But I foresee much internal strife from within the Democratic Party,” Mr. Robertson tells Inside the Beltway. “I predict that the Democrats will start dividing this year at an unbelievable rate that will shock both the left and the right.”

Challenges loom.

“Watch for yet another Democrat to throw in the towel very shortly. Watch for legal challenges for the president in four months. I predict a rapid decline in both the confidence and popularity of President Obama as he struggles to hold the party together,” Mr. Robertson continues.

“Curiously, during this challenging time, I foresee an increase in popularity of Vice President Biden, however that will only last for four months. Overall, a remarkably dark and challenging year for the president of the United States and the Democrats.”

A KEENE BLADE

A spate of high profile conservatives have called for the resignation of the aforementioned JanetNapolitano, critical of her leadership, or lack thereof. But demands are not yet over. Seven Republican senators led by Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina asked the White House to further investigate the background of Erroll Southers, the Obama administration’s pick to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Now American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene is demanding Mr. Southers withdraw his nomination for the post altogether. Mr. Keene says he’s outraged by reports that “Mr. Southers while an FBI agent used his power to gain access to confidential government criminal records in an attempt to gather private, personal information on his then-estranged wife’s new boyfriend.”

Uh-oh.

“Mr. Southers has demonstrated in the past that he has little regard for the sanctity of information on individuals collected and held by the government,” Mr. Keene continues. “To appoint a man head of an agency like TSA which has access to incredible amounts of personal information on individual citizens is simply unacceptable. His appointment would send exactly the wrong signal to those entrusted to handle such information, and would inevitably create a culture that tolerates abuse of the rights of those the agency is sworn to protect.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 40 percent of Americans overall say they are conservative.

• 36 percent say they are moderate, 21 percent say they are liberal.

• 71 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats say they are conservative.

• 38 percent of Democrats, 18 percent of independents and 4 percent of Republicans say they are liberal.

Source: An ongoing Gallup Poll of 21,905 adults conducted throughout 2009.

Big words, careful phrases, hoopla to jharper@washington times.com

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