- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“Obama has a dream, a dream from his father — that the sins of colonialism be set right, and America be downsized. America has a dream, from our founding fathers — that together we must perfect liberty, and that America must grow so that liberty grows. Which dream will we carry into 2016?” And so asks a new film that is about to vex both Hollywood and the White House, not to mention Democrats, progressives and everyone who still has a stake in “hope and change.”

Here comes “2016: Obama’s America,” a well-funded, feature-length documentary from Gerald Molen, veteran producer of such blockbusters as “Schindler’s List” and “Jurassic Park,” based on Dinesh D’Souza’s best-selling 2011 book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” The film, which will be screened in Houston and Los Angeles in the next two weeks, opens nationwide July 27. It has almost come out of nowhere to articulate the state of a nation that wonders about the realities of President Obama’s eloquent promises in a previous political age.

It is unsettling stuff, and this is a film to be reckoned with, perhaps. Mr. D’Souza, a policy analyst in the Reagan White House and a high-profile conservative thinker, has plumbed the past, ultimately talking with George Obama, half-brother to the president and a resident of Kenya, who also appears in the film.

He also ponders implications about Mr. Obama’s past, ultimately concluding in the film that “hope and change became radically misunderstood.” There will be more to come on all this; for now, see a trailer and other fare here: www.2016themovie.com.

THE O WORD

Tired of the O Word yet? “Outsourcing” is the attack theme of the week, as President Obama and Mitt Romney accuse the other of allowing American jobs to stray overseas, to the detriment of the nation’s economy and morale. But Mr. Romney at least gets a snappy phrase out of it, referring to the president as “outsourcer-in-chief” during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo. on Tuesday.

The moment delighted the global press; the phrase earned close to 6,000 mentions in the aftermath, according to a Google News count.

Oddly enough, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod asked if voters wanted “an outsourcer-in-chief in the Oval Office” all the way back on June 22. Ah, well, that’s contemporary political theater for you. It’s Mr. Romney’s turn to get heavy traction with the phrase this week, whether the press remembers its history or not.

OUTING OUTSOURCING

The ever-vigilant Republican National Committee is eager to get to the facts about outsourcing. A new website now traces “the truth about how Obama shipped the recovery overseas,” which includes a look at U.S. stimulus funds and grants that went to Switzerland, China, Denmark, Finland, India and many other nations. Dollar amounts and the assorted projects — from wind farms to electric cars and appliance rebate programs — are included. See the research here: www.obamanomicsoutsourced.com.

RETRO ROMNEY

Mitt Romney may have lots of political funding, but he’s also got some political currency. The man has a history across the public landscape that his campaign has just begun to tap. Introduced Tuesday, it’s an old school collection of buttons, totes and T-shirts for the Romney fan, including the “Mitt and George” button, featuring an affectionate old color photo of the candidate and his father, George Romney.

“I’ve always been proud of my late grandfather’s legacy as a governor and a presidential candidate. And I’m prouder still to see my dad follow in his footsteps,” says son Tagg Romney, who says the designs are based on his grandfather’s 1968 presidential campaign.

See the six-item collection here: www.mittromney.com, in the “store” section.

MEOW

Protests involve placards, banners, occasional costumes and now cat food. Rhode Island retirees irked by their state’s new Retirement Security Act showed up at the law offices of McKenna, Long & Aldridge on K Street in the nation’s capital on Tuesday for a political fundraiser for Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, a Democrat. Yes, the former public employees toted cat food, presumably to demonstrate that their cuisine might devolve to feline fare in their old age.

“Gina Raimondo has forgotten her middle-class roots because she scapegoated public employees for the past failures of Rhode Island politicians. Retirees like me, many of whom do not receive Social Security, will be forced into poverty because of Raimondo’s pension cuts. She is raising political money on our backs,” says Michael Connolly, a retiree from Woonsocket.

Oh, but it gets complicated, indeed. The protest was organized by the National Public Pension Coalition, which has offices on L Street, just around the corner from the event. Meanwhile, public-sector unions in Rhode Island filed lawsuits last month in the state Supreme Court to challenge the new law, with a hearing scheduled for July 16.

POLL DU JOUR

• 85 percent of Americans say they are “enthusiastic” about supporting their candidate of choice in the presidential race.

• 77 percent say they will “definitely” vote for their chosen candidate.

• 46 percent of Americans say they would vote for President Obama if the election were today; 46 percent would vote for Mitt Romney.

• 46 percent trust Mr. Obama to best handle health care policy; 45 percent trust Mr. Romney.

• 45 percent trust Mr. Obama to best handle immigration; 45 percent trust Mr. Romney.

• 44 percent trust Mr. Obama to best handle the economy; 49 percent trust Mr. Romney

• 42 percent trust Mr. Obama to best handle the federal budget deficit; 52 percent trust Mr. Romney.

Source: An ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted July 5 to 8.

Ballyhoo, clever asides, grumbles to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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