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The event is Saturday in North Charleston, and the primary election is March 19. Three Democrats, incidentally, have also thrown their hats into the very crowded ring.

POPE AND PRESIDENT

During his time in office President Obama has talked very little about Pope Benedict XVI.

“What follows is a complete listing of every instance in which Barack Obama had mentioned the Pope (or the ‘papacy’ or ‘papal’) orally or in writing during his presidency prior to the resignation announcement,” reports Eric Ostermeier, founder of the University of Minnesota’s nonpartisan “Smart Politics” analysis and research team.

Obama has spoken of the pope on a mere six occasions prior to the resignation, of which four were passing mentions while honoring Father Damien De Veuster, honoring jazz musician Dave Brubeck, praising the Muslim chaplain Sanaa Nadim and telling a joke before Parliament in England,” Mr. Ostermeier notes. “The president’s recent predecessors going back to Jimmy Carter have each mentioned the pope on dozens of occasions during their respective years in office.

POLL DU JOUR

• 56 percent of Americans approve of the U.S. conducting drone strikes “to target extremists” in Pakistan and other nations.

• 68 percent of Republican and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

• 53 percent of Americans overall are concerned the strikes could endanger civilians; 37 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

• 32 percent overall are concerned the strikes could lead to retaliation from extremists; 22 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall are concerned that the strikes be conducted legally; 24 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

• 26 percent overall are concerned the strikes could “damage America’s reputation”; 16 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 7-10.

Accolades and escapades to jharper@washingtontimes.com.