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Inside the Beltway: Top secret
Question of the Day
This is sure to confuse the National Organization for Women, not to mention Democratic strategists who want to tout President Obama’s support for women’s rights. What follows may not be part of the thinking, perhaps. GoTopless, a Las Vegas organization “dedicated to attaining women’s rights to go bare-chested,” is petitioning the Obama administration to recognize their “rights” as International GoTopless Day looms. It’s Aug. 26, a date the group chose to coincide with Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the attainment of women’s voting rights Aug. 26, 1920.
“Enforce women’s equal right to go topless in public wherever men have this privilege. As long as men can go top-free in public, constitutionally, women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something to hide their chests,” their petition reads under the White House website’s “We the People” page. The section is dedicated to public petitions, though the sponsoring groups must garner 25,000 signatures before an official White House reply is issued. So far, 127 people have signed the topless petition.
“Any state or local law making it illegal for a woman to go topless is unconstitutional, but most people don’t know that,” insists Nadine Gary, president of the group. “A woman’s right to go topless falls under the 14th Amendment’s gender equality provision, and nobody knows that better than President Obama. He taught constitutional law.”
Camp David stands idle most weekends, and the Oval Office is, well, pretty quiet these days. Rather than holding down the fort at the White House, President Obama is likely jetting off in Air Force One with entourage and press corps, bound for the heartland or some urbane landscape that yields the big bucks. Now here’s a new set of calculations to consider, this from Mother Jones political writer Andy Kroll.
“By the end of Sunday, the president had reached 203 fundraisers since officially launching his re-election bid in April 2011,” Mr. Kroll points out. “That’s more fundraisers than any presidential candidate in history. Put another way, that’s an average of one fundraiser roughly every 60 hours for Obama.”
A ROMNEY MOMENT
“His campaign strategy is to smash America apart and then cobble together 51 percent of the pieces. If an American president wins that way, we all lose. But he won’t win that way. America is one nation under God. American history has been a story of the many becoming one — uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.”
(Mitt Romney describing President Obama’s campaign strategy, before an audience in Iowa on Wednesday.)
BIDEN HIS TIME
Oh, those gosh darn Biden-isms. Why, there he goes again. Dear old Joe. Long before mixing up the centuries, referencing Etch A Sketch and offering his now infamous “chains” remark as he did on the campaign trail in the past 48 hours, Vice President Joseph R. Biden has a long history of rogue moments and garrulous gaffes. He’s been caught not once but twice uttering the proverbial f-bomb at a public event. And let’s not forget that Mr. Biden also referred to President Obama’s “big stick” in April. Yeah, well, it’s no big [expletive] deal, apparently.
“Why is it that Joe Biden is the only national campaign surrogate who’s never expected to put together an appropriate sentence? Every time he spouts off some wildly offensive stereotype, or makes a glaringly false assertion, journalists treat him like a chatty, precocious four-year-old who has no control over what comes out of his mouth,” observes political blogger Alana Goodman in Commentary magazine.
“Most voters think President Obama has gotten better treatment from the media than Mitt Romney has, and they expect that biased coverage to continue,” reports pollster Scott Rasmussen, brandishing new number revealing that 59 percent of voters believe President Obama has received the “best treatment” from the media in the election so far. Just 18 percent think Republican challenger Mitt Romney has been treated better, though 23 percent are unsure.
And more: Asked if most reporters try to help Mr. Obama, offer unbiased coverage or try to help Mitt Romney, 51 respondents said the news media will try to help the president, 22 percent said the press will offer unbiased reporting and 9 percent said reporters will lend a hand to Mr. Romney. The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted Aug. 8 to 9.
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