Inside the Beltway: Instantly politicizing tragedy

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“And it comes at a time when global warming alarmism is retreating among academics, the general public, and the political class,” Mr. Bast adds.

THE FIVE-DECADE FACTOR

“If you could skip time and live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you like to live at?” asks a Harris Poll released Monday.

Based on the responses of 2,400, the pollster reveals: “Obviously circumstances matter but, overall, the perfect age appears to be 50.”

There’s a partisan divide, though.

“Republicans and Democrats actually agree on something: for those in either party, the perfect age is 53. But for Independents the perfect age is 46,” Harris reports.

“Differences by political philosophy appear to follow a scale — either the more conservative you are the more your perfect age goes up, or the more liberal you are the more your perfect age goes down. For conservatives it is 53, for moderates it is 51 and for liberals, the perfect age is 46.”

MR. CHRISTIE’S CACHET

Buzz and intense fundraising have kept New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the presidential hopeful radar; he enjoys stable favorability numbers and a campaign war chest that now tops $9 million, with fundraising apparatus now set up in 50 states.

“He’s the hottest property in American politics and the most compelling personality the state has produced since Tony Soprano. Polls say he is now the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination,” says Tom Moran, a columnist for The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger.

But Mr. Christie is overrated, he observes, noting that New Jersey’s economy is a mess, property taxes are up, poverty and crime levels are rising while the state’s credit rating is dropping.

“Christie is a better politician than he is a governor. [H]is fame is based on his personality, not his performance,” Mr. Moran says, noting that a Rutgers University poll released Friday finds that voters disapprove of Mr. Christie’s performance on jobs, the economy and education. Yet 60 percent still love the guy.

“At town hall meetings, Christie is relaxed, funny and persuasive. He usually looks to pick a fight at the end, like an entertainer singing the crowd favorite as an encore. It’s compelling stuff,” Mr. Moran observes. “But it’s thin gruel, in the end. Because the substance doesn’t remotely measure up to the spin.”

POLL DU JOUR

65 percent of Democrats favor Hillary Rodham Clinton as their party’s 2016 nominee of president; 10 percent favor Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

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About the Author
Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.

She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...

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