NADER RAIDS TEA PARTY
The tea party is "most welcome" at Wall Street protests. That is what veteran consumer advocate, gadfly and occasional presidential hopeful Ralph Nader tells Inside the Beltway. He's fresh from addressing a disgruntled throng just a block from the White House. But civil rights, the environment, nuclear war, feminism and other 1960s iconic fare is not No.1 on the agenda.
"No, they protest Wall Street's power over Congress. They think major corporations have abandoned America by outsourcing jobs overseas. They're insecure, anxious, and this is crossing ideologies and political parties. conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, Democrats. They can't get a job. They can't afford an apartment," Mr. Nader insists.
The septuagenarian activist also insists the tea party has become "marginalized" — fightin' words for tea partyers — but he extends the protest welcome mat nonetheless.
"Half of democracy is just showing up. And if you show up for more than a day, the press pays attention to what's bubbling up. It starts affecting those people in the skyscrapers, who fear the rumble of these youngsters," Mr. Nader declares. "The corporate kings are starting to sweat because they can't control the streets. Their armpits are starting to stink."
Yes, well. Meanwhile, "American Dream" progressives calling for a "middle class uprising" have been criticized for co-opting tea party-style mottoes. The press might implode if tea partyers suddenly forged a strategic alliance with liberal foes, based on mutual fiscal fears. But don't count on it just yet. According to a National Review online poll, 81 percent of the respondents say the "Occupy Wall Street" movement should not be taken seriously.
ROMNEY AND HUNTSMAN CLOSE
Well, not as close as they were on July Fourth. That's when presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr. ended up marching in the same local New Hampshire parade, to the merriment of a gleeful press. Their paths cross Monday, again in the Granite State. The rivals barely miss one another in Hooksett: At 3 p.m., Mr. Huntsman holds forth at Southern New Hampshire University near a bend of the Merrimack River. Mr. Romney appears at 3:30 at the rustic Robie's Country Store, located right on the banks of the mighty waterway.
Who wins? Mr. Romney, perhaps.
The historic country emporium — famous for chili, penny candies, swell bologna sandwiches and a collection of vintage political buttons and posters — has also been the stop of choice for campaigning politicians "since the 1950s," the proprietors report.
HEELS ON, GLOVES OFF
Quick quiz: Who's behind "Women Working For Change"? Progressives and hippies? This upcoming political training conference was organized by Project GOPink, a two-year old activist group intent on "empowering Republican women" with "heels on, gloves off." Among those to attend next month: Sen. Kelly Ayotte; Reps. Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Ann Marie Buerkle and Cathy McMorris Rogers; Condoleezza Rice, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch of Wisconsin, Callista Gingrich, and just added, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
"Jan Brewer has been a consistent voice for common sense, conservative values these past years," says Suzanne Haik Terrell, GOPink founder. "Like many conservative women, she has faced intense scrutiny from the media and political adversaries and has borne it with courage and determination."
Mrs. Brewer, incidentally, has written a new book, to be published Nov. 1. The title says all : "Scorpions For Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America's Borders," with a foreword written by Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, see the details of the GOPink conference at www.wwfc2011.com.
The actual 2012 presidential election is 388 days away. No, really. The public already is nursing a case of campaign weariness, apparently. Almost three-fourths of Americans — 72 percent — say "the presidential campaign runs too long," according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. The pollster notes, "As the nation braces itself for another race for the White House, voters say enough is enough."
"Ronald Reagan always referred to himself as a 'citizen politician' because he truly believed in the concept. … Through all his years, he'd gained an insight and honed a philosophy that was based on the most fundamental creed of the Founding Fathers. That power resides with the many and not the few. That elected officials were truly public servants who had a solemn compact with those who put them into power. And that the first obligation of the national government was to secure the peace and freedom for those who allowed them to govern them."
"Reagan understood the quintessential American because he was the quintessential American."
— Reagan historian Craig Shirley, recently addressing a four-day Reagan centenary seminar at Hillsdale College.
POLL DU JOUR
• 64 percent of U.S. voters disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the economy.
• 93 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats agree.
• 49 percent of voters overall say Mitt Romney would do a better job on the economy; 91 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats agree.
• 39 percent overall cite Mr. Obama over Mr. Romney to do a better job; 3 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats agree.
• 45 percent overall say Rick Perry would do a better job on the economy than Mr. Obama; 85 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Democrats agree.
• 42 percent overall favor Mr. Obama over Mr. Perry on the economy; 5 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 2,118 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 27 to Oct. 3.
• Caterwaul, catcalls, the polite pitter-patter of applause to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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