Inside the Beltway: Mitt + The Donald = Vegas

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A veritable royal flush of Republicans will be in Las Vegas on Tuesday when presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney journeys to Nevada for a pair of private events, one at a local furniture manufacturer, the second at Donald Trump’s opulent International Hotel and Tower for a fundraiser where tickets will fetch $2,500 to $10,000. Gleeful journalists pined for news that Mr. Romney would distance himself from Mr. Trump after the real estate kingpin recently reignited the “birther” issue surrounding President Obama’s origins.

Also of note: Former Republican candidate Newt Gingrich will make an inaugural appearance with his onetime rival. Whether billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson will attend is unknown. He once openly admired Mr. Gingrich’s “boldness” and contributed mightily to his campaign; Mr. Adelson also has mentioned he’s willing to donate up to $100 million to Republican causes. So we’ll see.

Meanwhile, there’s a raffle afoot to win a swanky supper with both Mr. Romney and Mr. Trump in New York, complete with transportation in “the Trump vehicle,” accommodations at Mr. Trump’s lofty hotel and a tour of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” A mere $3 buys a chance, though “no contribution or payment of any kind is necessary to win this promotion,” the Romney campaign advises.

DONALD + DONALD = CABINET

“We need to convince Donald Trump to go to Washington. We fully respect Mr. Trump’s decision to endorse Mitt Romney but firmly believe that we need Trump in DC. Imagine Donald Trump as Secretary of State ‘negotiating’ with China or OPEC.”

— Statement from TrumpHQ, the new designation for Mr. Trump’s former fan website ShouldTrumprun.com

DONALD + GEORGE = KERFUFFLE

It is the clash of the elder titans. That would be the skirmish between staid conservative columnist George F. Will, 71, and conservative/birther/mogul/reality-TV-star Donald Trump, 65. Yes, there were teeth displayed, some flying fur and much press amusement, to the tune of about 300 mentions in the aftermath.

The recap: During his usual Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week” Mr. Will called Mr. Trump a “bloviating ignoramus” for renewing public interest in whether President Obama was born in the U.S. Mr. Will was incensed. How could Mitt Romney associate with such a person?

Not to be outdone, Mr. Trump sent out an aggressive tweet about eight hours later: “George Will may be the dumbest (and most overrated) political commentator of all time. If the Republicans listen to him, they will lose.”

THE DEFRANCO FACTOR

A rogue Democrat? Could be. Marisa DeFranco’s candidacy is beginning to rattle the race between Sen. Scott P. Brown and Harvard University professor Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.

“The American dream is at stake. … I am running to put the government back into the hands of the people, not the wealthiest 10 percent who currently own and operate the system,” proclaims Ms. DeFranco, a Boston immigration lawyer who has collected enough voter signatures to affect the upcoming state Democratic convention.

She has raised only about $42,000 and has no staff. Nevertheless, journalists in her state describe her as a viable distraction and the leader of a possible “mutiny.”

The convention itself “will be a gathering of moonbats wearing Birkenstocks and socks, union payroll patriots and limousine liberals. Although ‘Fauxcahontas’ Warren is their anointed candidate to take on Mr. Brown, state Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh is predicting that Ms. DeFranco, who has a mere 1,200 Facebook friends, is going to get 15 percent of the delegates, allowing her to be on the September ballot,” notes Holly Robichaud, a Boston Herald columnist.

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