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Inside the Beltway: Huma Abedin for NYC mayor

From the same political landscape that produced the persistent notion that Hillary Rodham Clinton should run for president here comes part two of such thinking. There are calls for Huma Abedin to run for mayor of New York City, even as her husband Anthony D. Weiner clings to the wreckage of his own campaign for that office following the most recent revelations regarding his sorry sexting habits.

Among those who have suggested Ms. Abedin — an adviser to Mrs. Clinton — perhaps print up bumper stickers and head for the nearest podium: The New York Times' political blogger Nate Silver, syndicated columnist Susan Estrich, Daily Beast editor Tina Brown and New York magazine columnist Dan Amira.

"As an added bonus, New York would have a close personal friend in the White House once Hillary Clinton becomes president," said Mr. Amira, an early-bird prognosticator who made his recommendations way back in April.

Yeah, well. Mrs. Clinton is having lunch with President Obama at the White House on Monday, incidentally.

There has also been talk that neither the former secretary of state nor former President Bill Clinton are fond of Mr. Weiner at this juncture. "They care about Huma and what's best for Huma," a source told the New York Daily News, while a local Democratic official also told the newspaper, "Weiner is not close to the Clintons at all. He's like that jerky son-in-law who married in. They do not like him."

In the meantime, regardless of the newfound political admiration of Ms. Abedin, things can't be all that great at home. Her mother quietly arrived in New York over the weekend.

"Saleha Mahmood Abedin has showed up in Manhattan to comfort her reeling politico daughter," notes an account in the Daily Mail, which described the mom as appearing "tense and concerned."

IF THEY WERE REPUBLICANS

Let us consider for a few nanoseconds New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony D. Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. Both are Democrats who have behaved like boors in recent days; both are nimble public figures with an arsenal of distractions. Mr. Weiner still claims he has his wife's support and will stay in the race as his sexting scandal mutates. Mr. Filner will participate in psychological therapy for 14 days after being accused of sexual harassment by seven women.

And both have had sympathetic treatment in the news media.

"It is a fact, that if these two men, Filner in San Diego and Weiner here, were Republicans, this would be part of a lot of somber sociology in the media about the 'Republican War on Women,'" gentlemanly George Will told ABC News. "I will skip that."

SO THAT'S IT

"For Barack Obama, the whole purpose of his public life is to foist the leftist ideology of his father on a mesmerized American public. He uses the middle class to achieve this goal like a cheap date, dazzling her with big talk of economic growth, which he has no intention of ever delivering," says Peter Ferrara, an economic analyst for the Heartland Institute and a contributor to Forbes.com.

"The truth is Obama disdains economic growth and the middle class, because both are the progenitors of financial and political independence. What he treasures is the neediness of government dependency, which is the progenitor of a political machine, trading government handouts for votes," Mr. Ferrara observes.

There is an "economic boom" lurking when President Obama leaves office, he adds.

"This is the simple, tried and true formula for restoring the American Dream, creating good jobs at rising wages for the middle class, working people and the poor, and restoring the ladders of economic opportunity out of poverty that you say you want," Mr. Ferrara concludes.

"But that will have to wait, Mr. President, for the liberation of America, and the election of a president who knows something about economics and how capitalism works."

BUMPER PATROL

"I love Obamacare!"

— Bumper sticker spotted by an Inside the Beltway reader at Fort Myer's Henderson Hall Commissary, an Army facility. The aforementioned reader notes that the sticker appeared on a Prius.

CULINARY DIPLOMACY

It's delicious hybrid diplomacy, that's for sure: 20 chefs who cook for world leaders are bound for the United Nations, the White House, the State Department and the National Press Club to parse out their role in both the big diplomatic doings or daily domestic concerns of the planet's powerful.

Hosted by White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford, the chefs will be in New York and the nation's capital this week; all are members of the Paris-based Club des Chefs des Chefs. That's "chefs of the chiefs" if we translate — an elite group founded in 1977 and described by its membership as "the world's most exclusive gastronomic society."

They long to "discover American culture through its best products and representative chefs." Former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both hosted the group in years past.

Among the toque-wearing luminaries: Jian Zhong and Liu Qiang, chefs of the "Great Hall of the People" in Beijing; Machindra Kasture, chef of the president of India; Shalom Kadosh, chef in charge for the president of Israel; and Mark Flanagan, chef to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

AND IN BRIEF

"The daily briefing has become a worthless chore for reporters, an embarrassing nuisance to administration staff, and a source of added friction between the two camps. It's time to do the humane, obvious thing and get rid of it altogether."

— Reid Cherlin, assistant White House press secretary from 2008 to 2011, writing about the daily press briefing, in The New Republic.

POLL DU JOUR

70 percent of Americans say federal collection of phone and Internet data is used for "other purposes" besides anti-terrorism efforts; 78 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of independents agree.

63 percent overall say the content of those communications is also being collected; 64 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents agree.

56 percent overall say federal courts fail to provide adequate limits on data collection; 59 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents agree.

50 percent overall approve of the federal data collection program; 44 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents agree.

47 percent overall say the news media should report on secret methods government uses to fight terrorism; 43 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents agree.

27 percent overall believe the government "listened to or read" their calls and emails; 27 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,480 U.S. adults conducted July 17 to 21.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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