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Inside the Beltway
A certain billionaire is getting ambitious support in the heartland from a rockabilly hero, far from the glittering avenues of Manhattan. And for once, Donald Trump is not orchestrating it all. Indeed, the real estate mogul is busy preening his presidential plumage for a White House run; in the next 10 days, he'll journey twice to New Hampshire to meet with business leaders and political strategists in the Granite State. "Should Trump Run," a vigorous public outreach chaired by his close adviser Michael Cohen, continues to push the Trump brand in myriad ways.
Then there are his grassroots devotees. Trump fans exist in flyover country, on the far coasts, in the hamlets - out there on their own, and unofficial. But they're organized, relentless and tapping into some vintage talent.
Nick McLaughlin, chairman of the Missouri-based Draft Trump 2012 has announced that country western singer and "rockabilly legend" Jerry Naylor has signed on to serve as Oregon state co-coordinator for the effort. The performer - who took Buddy Holly's place in "The Crickets" after the legendary singer died in a 1959 plane crash - later campaigned for Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980. As president, Reagan later appointed Mr. Naylor to twin terms as a federal commissioner of the National Commission for Employment Policy.
And just in time for the first official GOP presidential debate on May 5 in South Carolina, Mr. McLaughlin also says that Libertarian attorney Scott Royce, a former political director for Jack Kemp's 1988 presidential run, will coordinate the South Carolina effort to draft Mr. Trump.
"He is one of us. He is not a career politician, thus will not be paralyzed by the influence of special interests when resolving the big issues that challenge the country at present," Mr. Royce says.
TRUMP'S LIBERAL REPUBLICANS
Moderate and liberal-leaning Republicans, meanwhile, love Donald Trump more than conservative Republicans. So says a new Gallup poll revealing that 21 percent of the GOP mods/libs prefer Mr. Trump over the entire listed field of 13 potential presidential contenders. It is the highest favorability number in the entire survey and suggests considerable voter enthusiasm; Mitt Romney grabbed 14 percent of this crowd and Mike Huckabee 13 percent. But wait. Mr. Huckabee triumphed with conservatives, winning 18 percent compared to 13 percent each for Mssrs. Romney and Trump.
HOCUS POTUS Lies and Obfuscation! (Bumper sticker - handmade - spotted in Washington, on Easter Sunday.)
Behold Andrew Breitbart: Lights, action, f-bombs. A recent event dedicated to Breitbart beholding was wall-to-wall with eager young journalists, dour press veterans, bloggers, operatives, hangers-on, publicity wranglers and svelte women, particularly America Morning News radio host and friend-of-Beltway Amy Holmes, and pollster Kellyanne Conway. Big Hollywood.com founder Mr. Breitbart had come to the nation's capital to release his new book, and to loom over the buzzing, fidgeting crowd with a certain commanding majesty, buoyant with showbiz and tossing a few f-bombs, but tempered by the fact that the author was shod in old sneakers.
Wherever he goes these days, Mr. Breitbart intends to hammer home the idea that citizen journalism, street smarts, inner mettle and political conviction will better the planet, and possibly unseat the elitist mainstream media in the process. His book is called, after all, "Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World."
But Inside the Beltway had to know: How do the rest of us "save the world." The question was posed to Mr. Breitbart in a private moment as the young and restless twiddled with their smartphones, eyed one another and wallowed in the free drinks and eats supplied by the Daily Caller and Americans for Tax Reform, the organizational hosts of the event.
"I want to think about this," Mr. Breitbart replied, and he paused for a moment, as the press of autograph hounds began to grow around him, his book in their grip.
"How do you save the world, you want to know? Wade into the fire. Don't be afraid to engage in the culture war that we're now waging. And show no fear. I repeat, show no fear. That's how you save the world," Mr. Breitbart said.
It's apparently still 1968 in San Francisco, with a twist. "Peace Mom" activist Cindy Sheehan writes to say that Code Pink, Peace of the Action and 35 other assorted activist group are organizing an eight-day "Strike California" march from San Francisco to Sacramento beginning May 1, with a familiar refrain. They're mad about war, irritated by rich people, pining for peace and morose that destitute people still roam the streets of the Golden State.
And one more thing. Now that he's broached increasing taxes to pay for his state's budget deficit, Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown may not have as many fans as in days of yore.
"We are planning on constructing a tent city on the grounds of the state Capitol to highlight that even Democrats need to be protested when they protect corporate interests and the war machine at the expense of others," Ms. Sheehan says. "This class war being waged on us by Democrat and Republican alike."
POLL DU JOUR
• 55 percent of likely voters say U.S. involvement in the political unrest in Libya is "unlikely" to end this year.
• 66 percent of Republicans agree.
• 36 percent say involvement in Libya will likely end by Dec. 31.
• 41 percent overall say U.S commitment to the political uprising in Libya is "about right."
• 52 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans agree.
• 32 percent overall say the U.S. is "doing too much."
• 14 percent are not sure, 13 percent say the U.S. is "not doing enough."
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted April 19-20.
• Hocus pocus, grassroots commentary, press releases to email@example.com
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About the Author
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