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Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
THE ROMNEY CORONATION
Polished, agile Mitt Romney is a pollster's darling. Again. A Magellan Strategies/NHJournal.com survey of likely Republican primary voters released Sunday finds that after five televised debates, Mr. Romney tops the presidential hopeful heap with 41 percent of support, followed by Herman Cain at 20 percent. The rest of the field is at a frosty 10 percent or below. But a common battle cry is emerging among Romney doubters.
"Mitt Romney is not the inevitable nominee. In fact, he's not even wanted by the majority of Republicans," declares Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, who contends that multiple polls place Mr. Romney with 20 to 25 percent of the support. He adds, "That means 75 percent of the GOP voters want someone else."
Mr. Cain, Texas. Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann are all steeped in "tea party associations," Mr. Phillips continues, concluding, "Mitt Romney is only inevitable now because he is the only Republican in name only - RINO - who is a major player. The tea party vote is divided among a number of candidates, while the RINO vote is not."
Citizens for the Republic Executive Vice President Bill Pascoe, meanwhile, denounces "efforts by the media and the Republican establishment to try to create the impression that Mitt Romney will be the inevitable Republican nominee for president." He specifically accuses the Washington Post of attempting to frame a Romney "coronation."
Mr. Pascoe continues, "Mitt Romney has been running for five years, and Republican primary voters know him well - yet 75 percent of Republicans still dont support him. This is the kind of 'coronation' that takes place in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick."
Six hundred celebrants in full mess dress uniforms and tuxedos assembled Saturday to honor the OSS Society, which presented its most coveted award to Navy Admiral Eric T. Olson, recently retired commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Glints around the Washington hotel ballroom came from medals not jewelry A sense of history and patriotic occasion was in the air, recalling clandestine exploits of the past, and those of "the newest 'greatest generation' of special forces."
For the uninitiated, "OSS" was the onetime Office of Strategic Services, created during World War II by pointman Army Major Gen. William J. Donovan, and "PhDs who could win a bar fight," members say. The OSS was the predecessor of the CIA; the agency itself was well represented at the event, with keynote remarks by Director David H. Petraeus. The OSS Society has spirit, cheerfully touting a signature man's cologne called "Old Spies," and pushing ambitious plans for a new national museum. Details are here: www. osssociety.org
Guests dined upon he-man fare: roasted beef tenderloin with port wine, perfect mashed potatoes, fresh asparagus. Retired Army Major Gen. Victor J. Hugo served as master of ceremonies; formal toasts were given to President Obama, U.S. allies, the old days, absent and missing comrades and the ladies present. Adm. Olson stepped forward to receive the 50th William J. Donovan Award late in the evening, with salutations arriving from former President George W. Bush, among many others.
The stage was Olson-centric: The image of his official portrait dominated a screen, showing the camouflage-clad admiral and former Navy SEAL wearing a watch set to 8:46 a.m., the exact time the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.
"My knowledge is far eclipsed by those of you who served in the OSS ... an organization with a wise and clever approach to war," the admiral told his audience.
The wheels on the White House "American Jobs Act" bus go 'round and 'round Monday morning, as President Obama embarks on three-day bus trip through North Carolina and Virginia to promote the White House jobs plan, but certainly not his re-election campaign, the organizers insist.
"The message to the American people and to Congress will be clear. Pass the bill this week to protect the job of a North Carolina teacher, or come down here and look her in the eye," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest in a conference call. He offered a cordial nod to the Occupy Wall Street crowd, assuring journalists that "the interests of the 99 percent of Americans are well-represented on the tour."
The GOP has its own map for Monday, though. Just as those big wheels turn, Republic National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, North Carolina GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and Virginia GOP Chairman Pat Mullins hold their own conference call "to talk about President Obama's 'Debt End Bus Tour Part II' ," they say.
FROM THE UH-OH DESK
"Lady Ga-Ga drops the F-Bomb at Bill Clinton Concert."
(Headline from the Hollywood Reporter following "A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation" at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday.)
"This movement should not allow itself to be co-opted by partisan political hackery. If President Obama or Democrats were the answer, then, guess what? We wouldnt be here today."
(Peace activist Cindy Sheehan at an Occupy Wall Street rally in Sacramento; she is now calling Mr. Obama "president of the 1 percent").
POLL DU JOUR
• 86 percent of Americans say it's a "good idea" for police cars to use surveillance cameras.
• 10 percent disapprove.
• 66 percent approve of surveillance cameras in major public spaces like train stations and stadiums.
• 23 percent oppose the idea, 11 percent are undecided,
• 54 percent are "closely" following news reports about increased camera surveillance of the public.
• 44 percent approve of "red light cameras" at traffic intersections.
• 55 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of independents and 38 percent of Republicans agree.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 11-12.
• Chatter, speculation, snappy press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org
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