- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2011

ROCK BOTTOM

President Obama’s newest job approval ratings: 32 percent give him a thumbs up, “unfortunately ending the summer with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency,” says Regina Corso of Harris Poll, which tallied the dismal numbers. More than two-thirds give Mr. Obama a negative review; see all the findings in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

“Even more disturbing for the White House are the numbers on likelihood of voting for Mr. Obama. If the election for president were held today, over half of Americans — 55 percent — say they would be unlikely to vote for Barack Obama while 37 percent say they would be likely to vote for him. Almost half — 48 percent say they would be ‘very unlikely’ to vote for President Obama,” Ms. Corso adds.

POST HASTE

“I shot a 39 on the front nine. Matches my approval rating.” “Raining in Martha’s Vineyard. Must be Bush’s fault.” “No Joe. Don’t touch anything while I am gone.”

And there they are — a few mottos from the Republican National Committee’s free online parody postcards themed around President Obama’s vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, now under way. The 18 electronic cards are popular: More than 30,000 were sent in the first few hours of availability.

“A high-class vacation during difficult economic times is a perfect example of an out of touch president. Join us in sending him a postcard, reminding him of your friends and family who struggle because of his failed leadership. Go to www.ObamaGetAway.com to tell this president that he shouldnt get a vacation until you do,” advises RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

BUMPER PATROL

“Democrats are the real flash mobs.”

— Bumper sticker motto written by Pete Ries, a retired law enforcement officer in Virginia, for his own vehicle.

BIDEN HIS TIME

“Mr. Chairman, this is much nicer than my office.”

That’s what Vice President Joseph R. Biden said on meeting China’s National People’s Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo, in the Fujian Room in the Great Hall of the People, according to White House pool reporter Michael Memoli of the Los Angeles Times, who adds, “Only minutes into the vice president’s remarks, Chinese officials began directing journalists toward the exits. Soon the shooing became shoving.”

CANDIDATE TRACKER

Our 2012 Republicans hopefuls are far-flung this weekend, attending tea party meetings, clambakes, “young Republican” gatherings, church socials and private fundraisers:

New Hampshire: Businessman Herman Cain of Georgia, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan;

Florida: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas;

South Carolina: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Texas Gov. Rick Perry;

California, Hawaii: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia;

Utah: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

STEAMING CONSERVATIVES

Yes, they’re steaming in Steamboat Springs, Colo. this weekend with the Steamboat Institute’s annual Freedom Conference; participants pine to remind America of the Founding Fathers’ principles, they say.

Attending: Townhall columnist Tony Blankley, Jonah Goldberg of National Review, Wall Street Journal guru Steve Moore, Human Events editor Jason Mattera, plus Republican Reps. Todd Rokita of Indiana and Joe Walsh of Illinois. Track the organization at www.steamboatinstitute.org

“We are literally returning to the mountaintop with the nation’s most brilliant conservative thinkers to discuss how to rebuild our country,” says organizer Kirsten Fedewa, who directed Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Even our most difficult challenges are surmountable if we stick to our conservative principles,” she says.

HAILING THE ROAD TRIP

“To drive across America is to rediscover its beauty and greatness. Anxious to see what I’ve never seen before and to avoid nightmarish air travel, I recently drove 4,500 miles round trip from Washington, D.C. to Bozeman, Montana,” says American Spectator correspondent Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion.

“The drive, punctuated by an interesting historical, park or museum stop each day, was as uplifting as the terminus,” Mr. Tooley recalls. “Thanks to Sirius radio, I was wearyingly informed on every step of my journey about the escalating debt limit crisis. But spectacular scenery and sites forestalled undue pessimism. Not even the endless toll roads of the upper Midwest could depress spirits on such a drive.”

WEEKEND VIEWING

C-SPAN’s “Book TV” hones in on syndicated columnist and XM Radio host Armstrong Williams and his new book “Reawakening Virtues: Restoring What Makes America Great.” It is insider fare: Mr. Williams, who also writes a column for The Washington Times, greets guests and signs his book at a private gathering in Washington, and talks up the dozen traditional values he hopes the rest of us will remember.

Air time: 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday.

POLL DU JOUR

• 55 percent of Americans say it is “unlikely” they will vote for President Obama in 2012.

• 92 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of conservatives, 21 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of liberals agree.

• 32 percent overall give President Obama a positive rating on the job he is doing.

• 5 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of conservatives, 61 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of liberals agree.

• 5 percent overall give Congress a positive job review.

• 4 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of Democrats and 3 percent of independents agree.

• 16 percent overall say the U.S. is “on the right track.”

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,450 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 8-15.

Tipline always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow the column at twitter.com/harperbulletin

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