- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

RAINING ON ROMNEY

Gravitas, strategic adjectives, a good haircut: Mitt Romney will strike a polished presidential posture Thursday when he announces his run for the White House from a picturesque farm in New Hampshire. But Democrats are waiting to pounce, intent on convincing voters that the new candidate is both political flip-flopper and opportunist.

Just in time for Mr. Romney’s big reveal, the New Hampshire Democratic Party has crafted some damning and likely persistent talking points. Most challenging: The distilled list is short enough to be emblazoned on a “The Two Sides of Mitt” T-shirt:

On the front: “Mitt Romney: pro-health care reform, pro-individual mandate, pro-recovery act, pro-immigration reform, pro-cap and trade, pro-gay rights.” And naturally, on the back: “Mitt Romney: anti-health care reform, anti-individual mandate, anti-recovery act, anti-immigration reform, anti-cap and trade, anti-gay rights.”

MEANER WEINER HEADLINES

“Weinergate without certitude” (San Francisco Chronicle); “Weiner isn’t sure whether that’s his pelvis” (Vanity Fair); “Weiner’s Tweet-hearts revealed” (Fox News); “Weiner digs even deeper hole” (Forbes); “Twitter jitters sweep Capitol Hill” (Politico); “Anthony Weiner’s playboy past” (MSNBC).

RAINING ON CHRISTIE

Oh, the irony. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been blasted by environmentalists and climate change skeptics. At the same time. Green-minded Democrats are vexed that Mr. Christie dared to fly to his son’s baseball game aboard a “taxpayer-funded” police helicopter. But wait. Climate skeptics are annoyed that the governor recently said he agreed with “90 percent of the world’s scientists” who say global warming is a real threat.

“Al Gore couldn’t have said it better, and I see that as a real problem for Gov. Christie if he has hopes of making the leap from governing New Jersey to governing the U.S.,” says Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com.

“The notion that a Republican governor with national aspirations doesn’t understand basic global warming science is obviously bad enough. But then to compound the problem by defaulting to the views of Mr. Gore, President Obama and Hollywood celebrities … is truly breathtaking,” adds Mr. Milloy, who has just shipped 30 books to Mr. Christie, all written by climate skeptics.

Among the titles: “The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You to Know About Because They Helped Cause Them (Iain Murray); “An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming” (Nigel Lawson); “The Bad Science and Bad Policy of Obama’s Global Warming Agenda (Roy W. Spencer).

COLD GOP=WEAK DEMS

“Voters are significantly more likely to say Republicans are cold-hearted and Democrats are weak when the two parties are compared,” says Corry Schiermeyer, an analyst for IBOPE Zogby polls, which has a new survey suggesting that if the Grand Old Party has tried to cobble a hard-liner image, its efforts are a success.

The new poll found 48 percent of U.S. voters say Democrats are “weak,” compared with 28 percent of the Republicans. Three-out-of-10 say the Dems are cold-hearted, compared with 50 percent who say the same of GOPers. Another 43 percent say the Dems are “fiscally irresponsible”; 37 percent say the same of Republicans who were also found to be less willing to compromise. Alas, though. Equal numbers think both parties are “out of touch.”

THE KOCH FACTOR

The fact that one-time Obama enthusiast Ed Koch has publicly expressed his reservations about President Obama’s evolving policy toward Israel has not gone unnoticed.

“One might think that the vote of one octogenarian and often cranky former New York City mayor may not be a big deal, but Koch has a long and eventful history of involvement with presidential campaigns. He almost perfectly captures the views of a certain type of older - often but not always Jewish - Democrat who is nonetheless skeptical of his party on national security issues,” says Tevi Troy, a Hudson Institute fellow and former senior White House aide in the George W. Bush administration.

“While Koch usually backs his party’s candidate, he also seems to have an uncanny ability to back a Republican - tacitly or explicitly - when the Democrats are going to lose,” Mr. Troy observes.

HOLA AMERICA

“From 1996-2009, the U.S. allowed 1.9 million aliens to remain free before trial and 770,000 of them - 40 percent of the total - vanished. From 2002-06, in the shadow of 9/11, 50 percent of all aliens free pending trial disappeared. Court numbers show 360,199 aliens out of 713,974 dodged court.”

So says “Built to Fail: Deception and Disorder in America’s Immigration Courts,” by Mark H. Metcalf, a former immigration judge and former special counsel at the Justice Department domestic security section. Produced in conjunction with the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies, the research was issued following a recent Senate Judiciary Committee on immigration courts and the appeals system for illegal immigrants challenging deportation.

See the report, a transcript and video at the center’s website http://cis.org.

POLL DU JOUR

66 percent of Americans are worried that the U.S. government “will run out of money”; 30 percent are not worried.

64 percent feel that Americans in general want the government “to have less power and money” than it does today.

77 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of unaffiliated voters and 51 percent of Democrats agree.

62 percent overall say that politicians want the government to have “more power and money.”

18 percent say politicians want the government to have “less power and money.”

10 percent say politicians “would be happy” with the level of power and money staying the same.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted May 30 and 31.

Murmurs and asides, bodacious announcements to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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