- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2012

The “professional core” of the U.S. military overwhelmingly favors Mitt Romney over President Obama in the presidential election, says a new Military Times survey of 3,100 active and reserve troops. Two thirds of the “battle-hardened” respondents support Mr. Romney, 26 percent say they will vote to re-elect Mr. Obama. Another 55 percent said Mr. Romney “has their best interests at heart,” compared to 24 percent who feel that way about the president.

“Respondents rated the economy and the candidates’ character as their most important considerations and all but ignored the war in Afghanistan as an issue of concern,” says Andrew Tilghman, who analyzed the results for the publication.

Most respondents, he adds, “were highly critical of Obama’s performance as commander in chief, especially his handling of the defense budget and national security strategy. Sixty-two percent rated his handling of the defense budget as only fair or poor, while 57 percent applied the same rating to his handling of the war in Afghanistan.”

WHAT THEY REALLY THINK

“Like Mitt Romney, Ryan’s severely conservative positions are out of touch with most Americans’ values.”

Richard Nixon's personalized golf balls and tees are part of a private collection of White House objects to be auctioned Friday. The starting bid for the golf balls and tees is $50. (Great Gatsby's Auction Gallery)
Richard Nixon’s personalized golf balls and tees are part of a private ... more >

(Rep. Paul Ryan, as described by President Obama’s re-election campaign).

ONCE UPON A TIME

While an intrigued America awaits the next presidential debate Oct. 16, there is persistent talk that President Obama’s shortcomings in Denver were because of a certain weary boredom with the White House. Now some wonder if the nation has gotten weary with the president.

“Have Americans finally tired of the Obama narrative? Or do they wish to stay in dreamland?” asks Pajamas Media columnist Jean Kaufman. “In the very best post-modern fashion, Obama and his supporters have relied on a narrative about Obama that has been carefully constructed. He’s brilliant, a great writer, a rare thinker, a moderate, a first-class temperament with neatly pressed pants, a uniter, a cool guy who’s unflappable.”

Mitt Romney’s monumental performance during the first debate dislodged that narrative, to the surprise of many observers.

“Obama has woven the spell himself, aided and abetted by his supporters and mentors and admirers, both in the media and elsewhere,” Ms. Kaufman observes. “We in this country have had many kinds of presidents, good and bad, beloved and detested. But have we ever before had a president whose career and persona have been based to such an enormous extent on a carefully constructed narrative that in turn rests on weaving a spell over a charmed public?”

The last debate was more than “a momentary setback” for Mr. Obama, says Zeke Miller, a BuzzFeed columnist. “It has forced him, for the first time since the 2008 Democratic primary, to fight for his political identity.”

DAYS OF YORE

John F. Kennedy Jr.’s monogrammed diaper pin, cigars from the Ronald ReaganWhite House, Harry Truman’s handkerchief, Theodore Roosevelt’s rocking chair. In three days, they’re all up for bids, along with Richard Nixon’s golf balls and tees, inauguration memorabilia, multiple photographs, paper ephemera and little things, like matchbooks and cigarette lighters. All were part of a collection amassed by one Bonner Arrington, a carpenter at the White House for 33 years. Among many things, Mr. Arrington was tasked with building Kennedy’s funeral bier and the garden gazebo for Tricia Nixon’s 1971 wedding.

“Even if it wasn’t a presidential election year, this collection would still attract enormous attention,” says Marie Kowalik, president of Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery. “It’s quite literally a historical timeline of 20th century White House history.”

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