- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Now on bookshelves: “Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President” by Jack Cashill, published by Simon & Shuster. The new book uncovers “major discrepancies in the accepted narrative” of President Obama’s life, particularly his earliest years. Mr. Cashill says the news media is indifferent to such information. He’s also convinced that former University of Illinois professor Bill Ayers — who co-founded the radical Weather Underground in 1969 — helped craft “Dreams From My Father,” the president’s much-acclaimed memoir.

“When I started this inquiry, I was less interested in President Obama’s birth certificate than I was in his SAT scores. As I got in deeper, I could see that we know more about the first few years of George Washington’s life than we do about Barack Obama’s,” Mr. Cashill tells Inside the Beltway. “This was the most comprehensive media failure in American history.”


Oh, yeah. Jersey in the house. Well, not the House, but the American Enterprise Institute, which hosted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday. With a New Jersey lapel pin and that signature Garden State elocution, Mr. Christie charmed his audience. No droning. Wonk-free. He faulted the slow, unproductive grind of the government gods, and hammered on the fact that gusto pays. The governor now enjoys his highest favorability numbers (54 percent) in the heavily Democratic state, after consistently voicing dismay with bureaucratic doldrums.

“I think it is time for some impatience in America,” Mr. Christie advises.


Yes, the New Hampshire presidential primary is a year away, and yes, 2012 hopefuls already travel the back roads of the small but feisty state. So far, Mitt Romney is leading the pack, says the just-released WMUR Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire. Among likely Republican primary voters, Mr. Romney has garnered a 73 percent favorability rating — with even higher numbers among conservatives (76 percent) and tea party supporters (77 percent).

Overall, 81 percent say they are “extremely interested” in Mr. Romney; 40 percent say they’ll vote for him — followed by Rudolph W. Giuliani at a distant 10 percent, Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee (7 percent each) and Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich (6 percent each).

“Romney is doing well in part because his brand of Republicanism fits with most New Hampshire Republicans, who can be characterized as ‘Rockefeller Republicans.’ New Hampshire is one of the least religious states in the country, and social conservatives have difficulty winning here. Fiscal issues are much more potent in the Granite State,” says survey director Andrew Smith.


OK, White House press secretary Jay Carney has one briefing under his belt. How’d he do?

“Carney generally stayed on message and displayed the same ability to avoid a direct answer as his predecessor, Robert Gibbs.” (Tom Cohen, CNN)

“There was one constant: By the end of the hour, like Mr. Gibbs generally, Mr. Carney had provided a lot of quotes, but no news. (Jackie Calmes, the New York Times)

“Better than I ever could have imagined.” (Mr. Carney’s personal assessment)

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