Inside the Beltway

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

We’ve got global warming, a global village and a global economy, so we might as well have a global cookie. And just in time for all those chubby federal programs to combat obesity. New on the planet: The Triple Double Oreo cookie, which combines two layers of signature frosting — one chocolate and one original vanilla — with three layers of crunchy chocolate cookie.

“We are looking forward to engaging with Oreo fans as they share their twisting, licking and dunking moments,” explains Jessica Robinson, spokeswoman for manufacturer Kraft Foods, where the twisting of the cookie is called “an iconic ritual” in the U.S., and even China.

“The birthplace of Oreo is America, but it’s one global cookie,” observes marketing director John Ghingo; the cookie in question packs 100 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

TAG TEAM

“This years crop of GOP presidential candidates includes strong conservatives, just like the top Democratic candidates four years ago — Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards — were all staunch liberals,” says Rich Noyes, research director of the Media Research Center.

“But a major, glaring difference between today’s campaign coverage and the early coverage of the 2007 Democratic nomination race is the impulse of journalists to repeatedly brand the 2012 GOP candidates as ‘conservative’ despite offering extremely few ‘liberal’ labels four years ago,” he continues.

Analysts at the conservative watchdog have heavy proof of this selective, influential labeling. After reviewing morning and evening news programs on ABC, NBC and CBS from January 1-July 31, they tallied 62 “conservative” labels for Republican presidential hopefuls.

“A check of the same broadcasts for the same time period in 2007 found a paltry three “liberal” labels for the Democrats running that year, a greater than 20-to-1 disparity,” Mr. Noyes says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 53 percent of Americans overall approve President Obama’s handling of terrorism.

• 36 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats approve.

• 29 percent overall approve his efforts in creating jobs.

• 10 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats approve.

• 26 percent overall approve Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy in general.

• 5 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats approve.

• 24 percent overall approve the president’s handling of the federal budget deficit.

• 5 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats approve.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,008 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11-14.

Folksy sayings, press releases, cartoons to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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