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Inside the Beltway: The campaign never stops

"Issues like immigration, climate change, and gun violence will be debated over these next four years, and President Obama is ready to take them on — but he needs us by his side. Our goal is to help him get things done, but also to help change how things get done in Washington in the first place. Over inauguration weekend, you'll have a chance to participate in a discussion about how we'll work together to support our president and address the issues we all care about. Some volunteers and staff will be gathering in Washington, D.C., and will be joined online by thousands more supporters nationwide for the Obama Campaign Legacy Conference, where we'll firm up the structure and leadership of the new organization." And so says an earnest new voter message from Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina. Translation: CNN reports that President Obama's existing campaign will be "reconfigured" into a super PAC to bolster White House policy goals, staffed by Mr. Messina, and campaign insiders Stephanie Cutter and Jennifer O'Malley Dillon.

Bumper patrol

"Jan. 21, 2013: Please wake me when it's over. Well, maybe not. Let me sleep in."

(Homemade bumper sticker spotted 10 blocks from the White House).

Gore richer than Romney

Al Gore has a new kind of green in his life. Yes, he unceremoniously sold his cable network Current TV to the Arabic language channel Al Jazeera for $500 million, and strolled away with a reported $100 million — a tidy sum for a man who had less that $2 million in assets when he ran for president more than a dozen years ago, says Forbes magazine.

"Taking into account taxes to be paid on the deal, possible earlier debt and the fact that Gore's representatives declined to comment, Forbes conservatively estimates the former vice president's net worth to be at least $300 million, making him wealthier than unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney," says Ryan Mac, a Forbes analyst who adds that the Romney net worth is estimated to be around $230 million.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gore — the world's most famous climate-warming alarmist — remains a board member of Apple Inc., a senior adviser on "green issues" for Google Inc. and chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm dedicated to an "investment philosophy that integrates sustainability research with rigorous fundamental equity analysis," according to its mission statement.

"Current TV wasn't completely a scam. It was just a boring television network that hardly anybody wanted to watch. Nevertheless, when Gore and his partners sold it to Al Jazeera they were selling the network and its U.S. bandwidth to a company owned by the state of Qatar, a country that derives 50 percent of its income from the one thing Al Gore supposedly most reviles — fossil fuel," points out Roger L. Simon, founder of Pajamas Media.

"Al Jazeera, especially in its Arabic broadcasts, excuses al Qaeda and consistently supports Sharia law and its consequent extreme misogyny and homophobia. And, of course, opposes the separation of church and state. How very 'progressive'," Mr. Simons observes. "If, in the words of La Rochefoucauld, 'hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue,' then Gore is one of the greatest 'homageurs' or all time."

In lieu of Lew

The chorus of those opposed to the appointment of Jack Lew, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, as Treasury secretary is noisy. They don't like his loopy signature. He's a big tax guy. He's a lightweight. Then comes this from CNBC anchor Lawrence Kudlow.

"He has no financial experience. He has no international experience. He has no currency experience. He ripped off Citibank for a couple of million dollars. He was there for one year. I mean, there's about a million people — give me a phone book, and I'll find somebody more qualified for Treasury secretary than former OMB director Jack Lew," Mr. Kudlow told radio host Laura Ingraham.

"It is completely irresponsible," he declared.

Republican hybrid

Once, a straightforward New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie warned citizens to "get the hell off the beach" while fending off demands from charmed Republicans that he run for president. Now, Mr. Christie is a political hybrid who attracts unexpected demographics, likely due to a certain chumminess he's cultivated with the White House in the Sandy aftermath.

"Chris Christie is now more popular with Democrats nationally than he is with Republicans," says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, who points out that Mr. Christie enjoys an overall 51 percent approval rating. He gets a thumbs up from 52 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans.

"Compared to a month ago, he's up a net 12 points with Democrats and down a net 11 points with Republicans," Mr. Jensen says.

Three fourths of New Jersey voters in a Fairleigh Dickinson University approve of the job Mr. Christie is doing as governor, in the meantime.

"Governor Christie's strong public support extends across virtually all demographic groups, including Democrats (62 percent), non-whites (69 percent), women (70 percent), and those who reside in public employee households (62 percent). These are groups who have historically proven a tough sell for Republican governors," the poll says.

Poll du jour

• 82 percent of Americans say there is "strong conflict" between Republicans and Democrats; 83 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats agree.

• 58 percent overall say there is conflict between "poor people and rich people"; 49 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

• 55 percent say there are strong conflicts between "immigrants and people born in the U.S."; 57 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent say there is strong conflict between "blacks and whites"; 34 percent of whites and 54 percent of blacks agree.

• 29 percent say there is strong conflict between "young people and older people"; 30 percent of those younger than 30 and 29 percent of those older than 65 agree.

Source: Pew Research Center poll of 2,511 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 and released Thursday.

• Tipline always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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