- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A one-two punch? The news coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton is very telling at the moment as the Democratic presidential forerunner faces inquiries about her private email system while she was secretary of state, amid some unstable favorability numbers. “Even though most voters feel Clinton’s intentions may have been acceptable, a majority (52 percent) say that her emails should be subject to a criminal investigation for the potential release of classified material. Another 41 percent say the emails should not be subject to this type of investigation,” notes a Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday. “Most Republicans (82 percent) and a majority of independents (54 percent) support an investigation, while two-thirds (66 percent) of Democrats are opposed.”

In addition, 38 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton “has something to hide”; that includes 68 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

Yes, well. Media Research Center analyst Scott Whitlock points out that several major newspapers predictably kept the email story off their first pages. Headlines, however, cut to the chase on the candidate’s downturn. A few from the past 24 hours: “A one-two punch of bad news for Hillary” (NBC News); “A double whammy for Hillary Clinton” (MSNBC); “Bernie Sanders in a statistical tie with Hillary” (New York Times); “Hillary Clinton’s Al Capone moment?” (Washington Post); “Bernie Sanders and ‘top secret’ emails catching up to Hillary Clinton” (Vox); and “Hillary Clinton’s slow-motion implosion” (Commentary Magazine).

IOWA STATE FAIR BECOMES POLITICS CENTRAL

It is a candidate’s challenge: The Iowa State Fair opens in Des Moines on Thursday, and with it comes the “Candidate Soapbox,” set smack in the middle of the main concourse. Over the next nine days, 16 presidential candidates will have 20 minutes on a small stage to have their say before God, country, cows, locals and journalists who hope some hapless hopeful will have a fried-food malfunction for the cameras. The soapbox itself is a project of The Des Moines Register. And, of course, C-SPAN will broadcast each and every appearance live as part of the network’s traditional “Road to the White House” coverage leading up to the 2016 vote.

Mike Huckabee, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley are the opening act on Thursday. Jeb Bush will be along Friday; Rick Santorum, Lincoln Chafee and Sen. Bernard Sanders on Saturday. Oddly enough, both Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton are scheduled to attend the fair on Saturday as well — but neither has confirmed if the soapbox is on their agenda. While he’s there, Mr. Trump sits down for a face-to-face interview with NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd to talk about his rivals, the economy, immigration and foreign policy, the network says. The exchange airs on Sunday.


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Meanwhile, Ben Carson and George Pataki arrive on Sunday; Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday. And the rest: Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich; Wednesday, Rick Perry; Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz; and Saturday, Govs. Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal.

AND ABOUT THOSE FRIED THINGS

Of interest to those who think that America’s tastes are confined to kale, coconut water and quinoa: The Iowa State Fair now boasts 75 ways to eat food on a stick, including Golden Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly on a Stick, Toasted Coconut Caramel Cluster, the Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb and Apple Pie on a Stick — all new to the fair this year.

Curious? The Brisket Bomb — currently vying with the Caramel Cluster and something called Corn in a Cup for the fair’s coveted “Food of the Year” title — is described thusly by fair officials: “Eight ounces of fresh brisket trimmings infused with a light jalapeno cheese, blended with seasonings, and then wrapped in bacon. It is then smoked and lightly sauced in a homemade Sweet Chili BBQ Sauce.”

IT’S OK BY TED

He’s rolling. GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz has been aboard his “Cruz to Victory” campaign bus since Tuesday, traveling through Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and, on Thursday, into Oklahoma for three stops in Oklahoma City, Bartlesville and Tulsa. He’s got some Sooner State muscle working for him.

“I am honored to join courageous conservatives across the country in my role as the Oklahoma chairman for Cruz for President,” says GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine. “We need a proven conservative candidate who will stand up to Washington and protect our liberties, freedoms and the Constitution. Ted Cruz is that man. Our entire leadership team stands with Sen. Cruz and is committed to seeing him win the Oklahoma primary.”

AND IN SUMMATION …

“A leader of clarity and resolve, not given to idle words, it was President Reagan who took command of events, rebuilt America’s strength and moved the world toward peace. Strategically and morally, he conceded nothing to America’s enemies. He believed that the Cold War could be won, not just endlessly managed, and in the end he put an age of conflict behind us. They don’t always give out peace prizes for that, but peace is what Ronald Reagan left behind, and that is the legacy of a good and great man.”

Jeb Bush, in his speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Tuesday evening

CARLY’S EMERGENCE

“The post-debate picture has a new contender in the top 10 of Republican presidential contenders, while the leader of the pack has taken a fall,” says a new Rasmussen Reports poll released Wednesday. It finds that Carly Fiorina — “stuck in the bottom tier of debaters last Thursday” — now garners support from 9 percent of likely Republican primary voters, which puts her on par with Sen. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Gov. Scott Walker. And while he still leads the pack, Donald Trump’s level of support dropped from 26 percent before the debate to 17 percent now.

The conclusion? “Fiorina’s now on the A-list,” the survey declares. Mr. Trump remains in the lead, while Mr. Rubio and Mr. Bush follow with 10 percent support each. Ms. Fiorina and Mr. Walker tie for third with 9 percent.

“Rounding out the new top 10 are Ben Carson at 8 percent, Senator Ted Cruz at 7 percent, and Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rand Paul, each with 4 percent support,” Rasmussen states. The survey of 651 likely GOP primary voters was conducted on Sunday and Monday.

POLL DU JOUR

61 percent of Americans have “heard a lot” about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system while secretary of state; 78 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent of Americans say Hillary Clinton’s emails “should be subject to a criminal investigation”; 82 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email system “was a matter of convenience”; 23 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 80 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent of Americans say Hillary Clinton’s emails “should be subject to a criminal investigation”; 82 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton “has something to hide”; 68 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University poll of 1,203 U.S. adults conducted July 30 to Aug. 2 and released Wednesday.

Polite applause, sensible advice to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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