- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2012

CAVUTO-MATIC

Behold: Sarah Palin and Herman Cain will visit Fox Business Network anchorman Neil Cavuto Tuesday night to weigh in on a presidential primary drawing a global audience — where the economy trumps all and a third-party interloper may be an uncomfortable reality.

“The defining issues are not social issues in this election. It’s the economy. And this election is having a worldwide impact. We’re the only network monitoring the gold market and the futures market here, there and everywhere, and after Iowa, they were simply all over the map,” Mr. Cavuto tells Inside the Beltway.

Voters who see elections through a local prism might be amazed by the intense interest elsewhere on the planet, where our political process and candidates become part of the “American message overseas,” he continues.

“We might not be fixated on France or Italy, but when I go there, they are fixated on us and everything we do. They talk more about the Obamas and Mitt Romney and his Mormonism than we do,” Mr. Cavuto says, adding that a viable third-party candidate intent on wooing the disaffected could have far more impact than a sensational “instant nominee” of the Donald Trump variety.

“Voters want their candidates to emerge from outside the political petri dish. And when these candidates appear, people tear them down and then wonder why we end up with a homogenous cast of characters from the Grey Poupon set,” Mr. Cavuto observes.

“And about Herman Cain. Make what you will about allegations that caused him to drop out of the race. I can’t prove anything one way or another. But his ‘999’ plan changed the debate. He was specific with his ideas, and he sold them just as well as he sold pizza. He made us look,” Mr. Cavuto adds.

THE DALEY GRIND

“Bill Daley found himself trying to defend the indefensible in President Obama’s failed economic policies. The fact is, even Obama’s point man to the business community knew his policies were too wrought with liberal activism and stifling regulation to create jobs,” says Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, reacting to Mr. Daley’s exit as White House chief of staff on Monday.

“While the president and his staff point fingers, the truth is Obama has no one but himself to blame for his failure to turn the economy around. If nothing else, this White House shake-up makes it even more clear that every decision is being made through the lens of Obama’s re-election,” Mr. Priebus adds.

CAUTION: DEBATE HAZARD

“By having so many debates, the GOP candidates have given the mainstream media extraordinary power to drive the agenda by demanding the candidates respond to liberal talking points,” Brent H. Baker, vice president of research for the Media Research Center, tells Beltway.

Out of 41 questions to the Republican presidential hopefuls during the NBC News-Facebook debate, for example, 25 of them covered left-leaning issues, 13 questions were neutral, and a mere three questions pressed candidates from the right, says a new analysis from the group.

“Brian Williams on MSNBC, David Gregory on NBC and George Stephanopoulos on ABC have been particularly atrocious. Instead of raising issues which would help Republican primary voters differentiate among the candidates, the moderators forward liberal arguments and make the candidates take precious time to defend a commonly shared conservative position,” Mr. Baker continues.

“With four more debates this month, the media will continue to be the dominating force. Instead of examining how to undo Obamacare, voters will be hearing about same-sex marriage, contraception and how taxes must be raised,” he observes, adding, “All signs point to ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN playing the same role this year — treating conservative positions as out of the mainstream and liberal ones as perfectly reasonable.”

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