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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#OCCUPYCPAC

The College Republican National Committee is poised to outdo the Occupy Wall Street crowd during the 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February. "We encourage each of you to join us in a campaign to #OccupyCPAC and show this country there is a new generation of committed and energized conservatives ready to take action," says Alex Schriver, chairman of the group, in an early outreach letter to an audience that includes "hipstervatives."

Confirmed speakers, incidentally, include Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, NRA President David Keene, American Conservative Union President Al Cardenas and Ann Coulter.

TRUMP WILL BE TRUMP

Debate? What debate? Billionaire politico Donald Trump has moved light-years beyond the abrupt cancellation of his own Republican candidate forum and right back into the driver's seat. Mr. Trump knows what moves the public, attracts media and frustrates rivals. He knows how to tweak the mechanism of fame and scuffle: Mr. Trump struck back immediately, for example, at Rosie O'Donnell, who referred to him Wednesday as a "comb-over president," among other things.

Once his contract with NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" runs out in May, Mr. Trump may endorse a Republican hopeful he deems worthy, or he says he just may relaunch his own presidential campaign - adding that he's receiving "thousands" of emails urging him to do just that. Among them: Fans say the would-be candidate is being "attacked by old-school propaganda" and also declare, "Run, for God's sake, run." Meanwhile, his book, "Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again," remains among the top 20 political books at Amazon.

"Anyone who wants to be president should read it," Mr. Trump advises.

RICK IS ROLLING

Like his six rivals, Rick Perry will be in scenic Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday night for the Fox News-hosted Republican debate - that's No. 15 in the series. But the presidential hopeful also has declared himself the "conservative fighter," boarded a shiny black campaign bus and embarked on a trans-Iowa bus tour that will stop in 40 cities in the next two weeks. We're talking Storm Lake, Ottumwa, Indianola, Clinton, Newton - the Texan will know much about the Hawkeye State at journey's end. And maybe more.

"It's the road to the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3," his campaign insists.

TIME OUT

The "1 percent"; the "99 percent"; the Anonymous computer hackers; President Obama; Mitt Romney; Herman Cain; Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan; Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; and SEAL Team 6 were among the 35 people - or entities - nominated to be Time magazine's 84th Person of the Year.

The winner? "The Protester," the magazine says - as in protesters around the planet, from the Middle East to Europe, Greece, Russia and Asia and, of course, the Occupy Wall Street crowd right here at home.

"The wisest Occupiers understand that these are very early days. But as long as government in Washington - like government in Europe - remains paralyzed, I don't see the Occupiers and Indignados giving up or losing traction or protest ceasing to be the defining political mode," reasons Time writer Kurt Andersen. "After all, the tea party protests subsided only after tea partyers achieved real power in 2010 by becoming the tail wagging the Republican Party dog."

"It's a tired stunt, which may have looked fresh in 1927, by another publication in decline. In recent years the person of the year hasn't even been a person, but an attempt to pin a sociological label on the year. Remember when it was 'You'? Remember which year that was? Neither do I," counters John McIntyre, an editor - and language analyst - at the Baltimore Sun.

GAFFE PARADE

As long as we're dwelling on convenient cultural ratings, behold the "10 Worst Media Disasters of 2011," according to media trainer Brad Phillips. In first place is former Rep. Anthony D. Weiner's "Twitter scandal," followed by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's interview with NBC about child rape charges against him, the "Herman Cain affair," "Charlie Sheen's downward spiral" and, in fifth place, President Obama's joking remarks about "joblessness."

In sixth place: "Rick Perry's 'Oops' moment," Rupert Murdoch's response to the News Corp.'s phone hacking scandal, National Public Radio's chief fundraiser Ron Schiller calling the tea party "racist," Sarah Palin's "blood libel" comment and, finally, Hank Williams Jr.'s on-camera comparison of Mr. Obama to Hitler.

Mr. Phillips offers video evidence of all his nominations here: www.mrmediatraining.com.

POLL DU JOUR

c 54 percent of Americans think Mitt Romney is "a very intelligent person."

c 69 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of conservatives, 60 percent of independents, 47 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of liberals agree.

c 49 percent overall say Mr. Romney's business experience is "an asset."

c 67 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of conservatives, 57 percent of independents, 36 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of liberals agree.

c 45 percent overall are not sure if Mr. Romney is too liberal or too conservative.

c 34 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of conservatives, 43 percent of independents, 45 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of liberals agree.

c 33 percent overall would vote for Mr. Romney if he won the nomination.

c 65 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of conservatives, 40 percent of independents, 8 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of liberals agree.

c 8 percent overall say Mr. Romney is "too liberal."

c 15 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of conservatives, 8 percent of independents, 3 percent of Democrats and 0 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,499 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 7 to 14 and released Wednesday.

c Proclamations, gaffes, bus itineraries to jharper@washingtontimes .com

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