- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wednesday marks an auspicious anniversary for Sarah Palin. The nation met her exactly four years ago: The date was Aug. 29, 2008 when then-White House hopeful Sen. John McCain introduced the inimitable governor of Alaska and her family at a campaign event in Ohio, telling the crowd of 15,000, “She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am.” In a sleek black suit and signature up do, she was indeed a force to be reckoned with.

“Principles matter more than the party line,” Mrs. Palin told her enthusiastic audience.

Americans became transfixed by Mr. McCain’s audacious pick for a running mate. The mainstream press was outraged from the start. Illinois senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama phoned Mrs. Palin from his campaign bus to wish her luck.

And four years later, she is still “not from Washington” — notably absent from the Republican National Convention, campaigning instead for select Republican candidates in Arizona. Mrs. Palin is not done yet, and has now taken convention officials to task for bandying about a new rule that would lessen the role of states in choosing delegates.

“We have to remember that this election is not just about replacing the party in power. It’s about who and what we replace it with. Grass-roots conservatives know this. Without the energy and wisdom of the grass roots, the GOP would not have had the historic 2010 electoral victories. That’s why the controversial rule change being debated at the Republican National Convention right now is so very disappointing. It’s a direct attack on grass-roots activists by the GOP establishment, and it must be rejected,” Mrs. Palin said in a plain-spoken Facebook post on Monday.

And Part 2: Though rules officials agreed to compromise, there is still another proposed rule that would allow them to retool the rules in the future.

“What we must do from this point forward is make as much noise as possible, to tell the Republican National Convention that we are armed with proverbial microscopes and spotlights, and should they try to change the rules when we’re not paying attention, we are going to be all over them,” says Shane Wright, a FreedomWorks blogger who warns grass-roots folk to pay as much attention to the Republican establishment as they do Democrats.

“Our movement is threatened from both,” Mr. Wright adds.


Indeed, Rep. Paul Ryan would make a very different vice president. “Bowhunting is my passion,” Mr. Ryan tells an upcoming Deer & Deer Hunting magazine. “Studying the strategy, preparing food plots, the strategy of where a dominant buck is living or will be moving and then being in position to get a shot, that’s really exciting.”

Mr. Ryan, of Wisconsin, also talks about his childhood, being a father and balancing his hunting and life in the nation’s capital, says the publication’s editor Alan Clemons. The October issue will be on newsstands Sept. 4; it’s online here: www.deeranddeerhunting.com.


“Obama’s not good at anything else, but he’s very good at propaganda. He’s learned from masters of propaganda. This media has been overtaken by this administration in no less a way that Hugo Chavez has taken over the media in Venezuela. It’s as strong as that.”

- (Actor Jon Voight, during an appearance before Virginia delegates at the Republican National Convention.)


Should broadcast coverage of the Republican National Convention prove frustrating for one reason or another, keep in mind that organizers are continuously live streaming the events online, in keeping with their “convention without walls” theme. Find that coverage here: www.youtube.com/gopconvention.


It’s not a theater audience taking a keen interest in “Zero Dark Thirty,” a film by director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, the Oscar-winning team behind “The Hurt Locker.” Based around the killing of Osama bin Laden, the project has drawn the attention of Judicial Watch, which has obtained CIA and Defense Department records revealing that the Obama administration granted the filmmakers “unusual access” to agency information in 2011.

The watchdog filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in January following press reports suggesting the administration had leaked classified information, specifically citing New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who claimed the White House was relying on the film “to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual.”

Federal officials appear to favor Miss Bigelow and Mr. Boal’s work as a “winning horse,” according to documents, offering them information about floor plans of the bin Laden compound and referring to some of their research as a “deep dive.” The film was originally to be released in October before the presidential election, but now appears to be rescheduled for December.

Judicial Watch also seeks the release of post-mortem images of bin Laden and what the watchdog group calls “the alleged burial at sea,” among other things.

“These new documents provide more backing to the serious charge that the Obama administration played fast and loose with national security information to help Hollywood filmmakers,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says. “These documents show there is no doubt that the Obama White House was intensely interested in this film that was set to portray President Obama as ‘gutsy.’”


• 58 percent of registered voters say President Obama does not have a clear plan for creating jobs, 35 percent say he does have a plan.

• 45 percent say Mitt Romney does not have a plan to create jobs, 43 percent say he does have a plan.

• 46 percent would vote for Mr. Obama if the election were today, 45 percent would vote for Mr. Romney.

• 41 percent have a favorable impression of Mr. Obama, 44 percent do not, 14 percent are undecided.

• 31 percent approve of Mr. Romney, 36 percent do not, 32 percent are undecided.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,051 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 22-26.

Cheers, guffaws, glum silences to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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