- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

There’s something about Ben Carson that gives many Americans great pause. Perhaps it is his plainspoken logic and calm demeanor that resonates with those who wish the former pediatric neurosurgeon and best-selling author would run for president. They are willing to put their money where their thoughts are. In less than a year, the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee has raised $7.2 million; Dr. Carson is not involved with this new political action committee, which now boasts 95,000 individual donors and 17,000 volunteers.

“The tremendous outpouring of donations and words of support clearly shows that people are clamoring for a principled, unifying leader like Dr. Carson in the White House,” observes John Philip Sousa IV, great-grandson of the iconic military bandleader, and national chairman of the organization.

“People want a principled leader in the highest office in the land. They want a president who can heal the bitter divides that are tearing our nation apart,” says campaign director Vernon Robinson.

The campaign paraphernalia has been around for more than a year. There are bumper stickers that say “Paging Dr. Carson, we need you. STAT”; and “Carsonomics: It’s not brain surgery.” But what of Dr. Carson himself?

“The way I look at it, I want to see how the country wants to move. We’ll find out a lot in November. If most people are satisfied with ever-increasing government, I would just back off. But if people indicate they would like more about personal responsibility, willingness to work hard, and sacrifice, I would stay involved at whatever level is necessary,” he told Parade this week.

The potential candidate likely got much mileage from the short interview. Parade — yes, the cheerful magazine tucked into 700 Sunday newspapers — is the most widely read publication in America, with a readership of 54 million.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Ready4Warren.com”

Uh-oh. Looks like the political action committee Ready for Hillary has some company. Launched Tuesday, Ready4Warren.com is new campaign website to support a potential presidential run by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The volunteer grass-roots organizers declare: ” We aren’t wealthy or well-connected. We don’t have any lobbyists. What we are is a movement of individuals working together who believe that folks like us should have a greater say in the direction of our country.”

A MEDAL FOR CLANDESTINE METTLE

Here comes some legislative firepower to gain national recognition for members of the Office of Strategic Services — the OSS, predecessor of the CIA, and the realm of determined, inventive heroes of seven decades ago. A bipartisan group that includes both chairmen and members of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, plus the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has been at work.

Among the Republicans: Reps. Ed Royce and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California and Mike Rogers of Michigan; among the Democrats:Reps. Eliot Engel of New York, Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland and Adam Smith of Washington. Yes, there is legislation.

The Office of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act would indeed award the gilded honor to OSS veterans for their “exceptional and indispensable service against Nazi Germany and the Axis nations during World War II,” the lawmakers advised their peers in a July 7 letter.

They also cited the OSS role in the heritage of American intelligence and special operations communities, forging a steel template for the Navy SEALs, U.S. Army Special Forces, Air Force Special Operations Command, and the Marines Special Operations Command to follow.

The OSS ranks were people with such luminaries as iconic chef Julia Child, Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche and four Directors of Central Intelligence: William Casey, William Colby, Allen Dulles, and Richard Helms.

Ready to voice support? OSS Society president Charles Pinck advises one and all to contact their respective lawmakers and request they join the mission and co-sponsor the bill. More on the effort and the history here: OSSSociety.org

POLLSTER’S EYE VIEW: GUN OWNERS

“As a group, Americans who have a gun at home see themselves differently than do other adults. According to the survey, adults in gun-owning households are more likely to think of themselves as an ‘outdoor person’ (68 percent vs. 51 percent) or ‘a typical American’ (72 percent vs. 62 percent), and to say ‘honor and duty are my core values’ (59 percent vs. 48 percent)” writes Rich Morin, senior editor at the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

“About six-in-ten gun household members (64 percent) say they ‘often feel proud to be American.’ In contrast, about half (51 percent) of other adults say this. Not surprisingly, members of gun-owning households are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as a ‘hunter, fisher or sportsman’ (37 percent vs. 16 percent).”

AND SPEAKING OF POLITICAL THEATER

It is not, perhaps, what Oscar Meyer has in mind. But “blonde bombshell” Courtney Stodden will venture to Capitol Hill at high noon on Wednesday to dole out vegetarian hot dogs to lawmakers and anyone else in the vicinity, all on behalf of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. It’s her way to celebrate National Hot Dog Month.

Ms. Stodden, 19 and a reality TV personality, notes that her wardrobe will only include “strategically placed lettuce leaves.” The photo op at the Rayburn Building should be, well, interesting.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, meanwhile, is readying for National Hot Dog Day next week — an event heralded by ball parks and eateries around the nation. Hot dogs have become gourmet haute dogs — paired with artisanal beers and boasting such embellishments as lobster meat, truffles and pickled watermelon slaw. On a brioche bun, of course.

POLL DU JOUR

88 percent of Americans say it’s “very important” for a president to be “honest”; 93 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of independents and 84 percent of Democrats agree.

80 percent of Americans overall say it’s very important for a president to be “intelligent”; 76 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 84 percent of Democrats agree.

69 percent overall say it’s very important for a president to be “experienced”; 80 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall say it’s very important for a president to be “inspiring”; 58 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say it’s very important for a president to be “bold”; 48 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

12 percent overall say it’s very important for a president to be “funny”; 10 percent of Republicans, 9 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 993 U.S. adults conducted July 10-13.

Cat calls and doggerel to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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