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Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
“Paulites” are determined to get their man’s message out. Fiercely devoted to Rep. Ron Paul, the youthful, noisy tribe continue to place the Republican presidential hopeful’s message before the public. They still stencil “Ron Paul Revolution” on sidewalks, they blog, they wear Paul-inspired “swag,” they rally. Veterans for Ron Paul, in fact, will gather at the Washington Monument and march to the White House on Monday at high noon. Mr. Paul is, after all, the sole candidate who is a vet; his campaign revealed last week that he’s received more campaign donations from active-duty military than all of his rivals, including President Obama.
Paulites also favor music because, to them, Mr. Paul is a rogue rock star, even at age 76. Los Angeles-based band Goldenstate released the song and companion video “Bombs (The Ron Paul Song)” this week in U2-inspired, anthem style. Lyrics proclaim, “It’s not impossible that we can end this war, just let your heart explode.” Well, OK. But the larger message is that the band is donating all proceeds from the tune to Mr. Paul’s campaign, not just the typical “portion.” And thus is the devotion of the Paulites.
The group is coming to the nation’s capital for apres-rally fare, performing with other acts at the “Ron Paul Choice for the Troops After-Party and Concert” at the Rock N Roll Hotel, a hipster enclave about a mile from the White House. As today’s exercise in political culture, see their lengthy video — a melange of historic film clips and images of Mr. Paul — here: http://iamgoldenstate.com/video-golden-states-bombs-the-ron-paul-song.
THE HORSE RACE
For the second day in a row, Rick Santorum has trumped Mitt Romney in the presidential hopefuls derby, his gains once again attributed to overwhelming support from tea party and white evangelical Republican voters.
A CBS/New York Times survey released Tuesday finds that Mr. Santorum nabbed 30 percent of the support — his favorability up 14 percentage points in less than a month, the survey says. Mr. Romney drew 27 percent, almost identical to his rating in January. But there’s always a variable: Six out of 10 respondents also said they could change their minds once they get in the voting booth.
On Monday, a Pew Research Center poll also had nice news for Mr. Santorum, with very similar numbers. He led Mr. Romney, 30 percent to 28 percent, with another 57 percent agreeing that the Republican Party could still “unite” and back Mr. Romney.
CHEWING ON CHU
Well, somebody had to win. Citizens Against Government Waste reveals that Energy Secretary Steven Chu has won the title of “2011 Porker of the Year” based on an online poll of the nonprofit watchdog’s 1 million members. Mr. Chu won 43 percent of the vote. In second place, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, followed by Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican.
Among many other things, the group faults Mr. Chu’s “weak oversight” of his agency’s loan-guarantee program after solar panel manufacturer Solyndra — recipient of a $535 million loan guarantee — filed for bankruptcy in September.
“Secretary Chu dismissed numerous warning signs that the loan-guarantee program was a ticking time bomb. The dramatic program expansion in 2009 and continued funneling of taxpayer dollars toward poor investments reeks of poor management and crony capitalism, since Solyndra’s major investors were among President Obama’s largest campaign donors,” observes Tom Schatz, president of the organization.
“George Washington at 280. We still don’t get him,” notes Edward Lengel, editor-in-chief of the Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia, anticipating the founding father’s 280th birthday Feb. 22. Mr. Lengel, also author of “Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder in Myth and Memory,” is wary of historical hearsay.
“On one level, Washington has remained a bold and enduring but ultimately colorless national symbol — a statue, or a portrait on the dollar bill. On another level, the personal Washington has remained just out of our reach,” he says. “Washington legends often tell more about those who made them up than about Washington himself. But they make up a compelling part of the American tapestry.”
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