- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GIPPERAMA

“Ronald Reagan monument unveiled outside London’s U.S. embassy. New statue promptly takes 15-point lead in GOP presidential poll.”

(Parody headline at Fark.com, regarding the 10-foot bronze statue of the former president revealed to the public on the Fourth of July.)

BACHMANIA

From our Politics-as-Sports Desk: A new Zogby poll of 1,024 likely Republican primary voters reveals Rep. Michele Bachmann leads a 10-candidate field of 2012 presidential hopefuls, garnering 34 percent of the votes if the election “were held today.” Herman Cain is in second place with 15 percent, Mitt Romney follows with 14 percent. The poll was conducted June 28 to 30.

But wait. All’s not rosy for Mrs. Bachmann when handicappers get rolling in a statistically driven world.

“She trails both Rick Perry and Chris Christie when both governors and Sarah Palin are included in a hypothetical preference poll of Republican primary voters,” says Zogby analyst Corry Schiermeyer.

Mr. Christie, Mr. Romney, Mrs. Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty are each in a statistical tie with President Obama when they are matched up against him. All other GOP contenders trail the president, the analyst says. See all the moving parts of this complex poll at www.zogby.com.

PERRY ON THE MEND

The New York Times would like nothing better than to foment ill will between former President George W. Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The paper is busy connecting the discord dots between the pair, implying that they disagree on policy issues, and that Mr. Perry could incur the wrath of devoted, powerful Bushies should he run for president. Yeah, yeah. Blah blah blah.

But forget all that. Inside the Beltway would like to send Mr. Perry well wishes. He had back surgery this week — nerve decompression and a “minor fusion” — and is now recovering at home.

“According to our ‘first nurse’ — first lady Anita Perry — the governor’s recovery is going very well,” says his spokesman Mark Miner.

#ASK OBAMA

The White House’s Twitter Town Hall extravaganza drew 61,000 questions for President Obama from curious Americans. The Republican National Committee, however, says that only seven would have been sufficient. In proper social media-speak, and 140 characters or less, those questions are:

“Where are the jobs?”

“Why should you not be held responsible for your promise that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% w/stimulus?”

“You promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of your 1st term but actually increased it. is this a failure of leadership?”

“Since your own advisor said you own this economy, when will you stop blaming the previous administration and take ownership?”

“Was your Commerce nominee right to call NLRB’s attempt to destroy Boeing Jobs in SC not the ‘right judgment?’ “

“CBO director recently said CBO couldn’t score your April budget speech; why hasnt your speech been turned into a budget?”

“Why do you insist on claiming you started an “unprecedented” review of job-killing regulations when it’s not true?”

Buzzfeed, an online trend tracker, reveals that the No. 1 most re-Tweeted White House question — forwarded from one Twitter account to another almost 5,000 times — was this: “Would you consider legalizing marijuana to increase revenue and save tax dollars by freeing up crowded prisons, court room.”

RETHINKING CONDOLENCE

President Obama has won support from the American Legion for his decision to begin sending letters of condolence to the families of U.S. service members who commit suicide while deployed in a combat zone.

“Whether it’s a non-combat death or a suicide, then is not the time to examine the cause of death,” says Jimmie Foster, national commander of the veteran’s organization. “There is little or no chance that these men and women would have died under similar circumstances, had they not put themselves in service to their country.”

FAREWELL MR. SPITZER

Alas, poor Eliot. We knew him well. Or maybe not.

CNN has canceled “In the Arena,” Eliot Spitzer’s nightly talk show, to be replaced in the 8 p.m. slot by “Anderson Cooper 360.” Former New York lawmaker Anthony Weiner did not turn up on the revamped schedule as talent, as some wags predicted he would. Now’s MSNBC’s big chance to hire him.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cooper is preceded by “John King USA” at 6 p.m., a new show anchored by former CNBC star Erin Burnett at 7 p.m. — and followed by “Piers Morgan Tonight.” The new schedule commences Aug. 8, with assurances from CNN top brass that the emphasis is on journalism. Some aren’t convinced, though.

“When will CNN learn to stop hiring left-wing and supposedly right-wing failures? There is a massive audience that could be had if only CNN would stop pandering to liberals,” observes Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell.

POLL DU JOUR

• 68 percent of Americans say the U.S. space program has contributed to national pride and patriotism.

• 64 percent say the program has developed scientific advances “all Americans” can use.

• 58 percent say U.S. leadership in space exploration is “essential.”

• 67 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

• 55 percent of Americans overall said the space shuttle program has been a good investment.

• 63 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,502 adults conducted June 15 to 19 and released Wednesday.

Statistics, prognostications, polite applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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