Inside the Beltway

PALIN OPTIMISM

“Our economic news is disheartening and the task before us can seem daunting, but we must not lose our sense of optimism. People look around today and may see only the negative. They see a culture and a nation in decline, but that’s not who we are. America must regain its optimistic pioneering spirit again,” says Sarah Palin in a new Facebook entry.

“Our founders declared that ‘we were born the heirs of freedom.’ We are the sons and daughters of that Greatest Generation who stormed the beaches of Normandy, raised the flag at Iwo Jima, and made America the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of mankind. By God, we will not squander what has been given us! Our destiny is still in our own hands if we pick ourselves up and act responsibly and quickly. We must all get involved.”

PERRY POSITIVES

“Texas Gov. Rick Perry will start in a strong position relative to other candidates if he decides to enter the presidential race soon. Perry’s positive intensity score is the highest of any Republican tested, and significantly higher than that of presumptive GOP front-runner Mitt Romney,” says Frank Newport, director of the Gallup Poll.

The “intensity” score gauges the candidate’s image; Mr. Perry garners a 25 on the scale, which ranges from 1 to 30. He’s followed by Herman Cain at 22, Rudy Giuliani (20), Sarah Palin (18), Rep. Michele Bachmann (18) and Mr. Romney (14).

Perry at this point outshines Romney in terms of generating enthusiasm among those who recognize him. If Perry maintains this position as his recognition increases, he has the potential to take over the front-runner position from Romney,” Mr. Newport notes. “At the same time, the increased scrutiny that comes from being an official presidential candidate could make it difficult for Perry to maintain his currently positive image.”

BACHMANN SCORECARD

First it was migraine media. The mainstream press was eager to deliver in-depth coverage of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s occasional headaches, suggesting they were a serious impediment to her presidential bid. Now comes part deux, a Newsweek cover with an unflattering portrait, emblazoned with the title, “Queen of Rage.” But the attempt to vilify the Minnesota Republican has fallen flat.

Conservatives naturally lunged on the cheap shot like a big dog. But the disgust went beyond Mrs. Bachmann’s home turf. Among other critics, and their comments: The National Organization for Women (“sexist”), The Washington Post’s Reliable Source (“clearly a bid for outrage”), Women’s Media Center (“media sexism”), CNN news host Carol Costello (“Are Republican women unfairly criticized?”) and Mediaite analyst Tommy Christopher (“b-[expletive]”).

“Michele Bachmanns intensity is galvanizing voters in Iowa right now and Newsweeks cover captures that,” tweeted Newsweek editor Tina Brown, in defense of her magazine.

OFFICIAL 9/11

ground zero: Acceptable term for the World Trade Center site.

9/11: Acceptable in all references to describe the attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. Not 9-11 or 911.

twin towers: Lowercase this popular term for referring to the two tallest buildings in the World Trade Center complex. Also lowercase north tower and south tower.

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