- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

INSTA-POLL

The big fancy Martha’s Vineyard vacation is due to start Thursday. Yeah, they got a poll for that, and probably the first of many. An online reader survey from the Palm Beach Post finds that 55 percent of the respondents say President Obama should cancel his vacation, in deference to serious U.S. economic problems; 45 percent disagree.

PERRIFIED

The Lone Star touch in the Granite State: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is making his way around New Hampshire on his own terms, facing down audiences often packed with journalists primed for a gaffe.

Even innocuous campaign breakfasts can prove combative. Mr. Perry has angry grannies on the docket: The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans plans to show up at an early morning “Popovers on the Square” event in Portsmouth on Thursday “to protest his out-of-touch policies and plans to end Medicare and Social Security,” they say.

Yeah, well. Combative breakfast are part of the territory. Mr. Perry faced 200 people — 50 were members of the press — at a traditional “politics and eggs” gathering in the wee kirk of Bedford, reported to be the biggest crowd assembled for the event since then-candidate George W. Bush stopped by in 1999, says New Hampshire Journal correspondent Fergus Cullen. The undaunted Mr. Perry faced a bank of 15 video cameras.

“I love any state that doesn’t have a personal income tax. ‘Live free or die.’ You got to love that,” the governor observed, referring to the New Hampshire state motto. “Reminds me of the Alamo.”

COMIC RELIEF

Now in production from Bluewater Comics, a trio of comic books devoted to Republican presidential hopefuls Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Mitt Romney, plus an issue devoted entirely the tea party movement. Unlike, say, Newsweek, company president Darren G. Davis is guaranteeing a “middle-of-the-road approach” and splashy covers from comic book artist Joe Philips

“Our goal with these comics is not to pick a side, but to spark the interest of our readers,” says an earnest Mr. Davis. “And when you consider the historical significance of what the tea party has brought to the table, you find it is not just a nod to the American Revolution, but it has forced a conversation in modern politics.”

NEWT GOES HOLLYWOOD

Well, the Left Coast is not so liberal, for a few hours, anyway. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich arrives in Hollywood on Thursday night with business on his mind.

With wife Callista Gingrich, he’ll screen the documentary “Nine Days that Changed the World” before local Catholic business leaders. The political power couple actually appear in the film, which chronicles the story of Pope John Paul II’s historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June of 1979. It was produced by Citizens United Productions.

Mr. Gingrich is taking the show to the real Tinseltown here, incidentally. The screening takes place at the chichi W Hotel, located at 6250 Hollywood Blvd.

COOKIE MONSTER

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