- The Washington Times - Monday, February 16, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s no rush to change Mount Rushmore. Leave the iconic national site “as is,” say most Americans. They are content with the monumental likenesses of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt - carved on a stone mountain top in South Dakota. But 21 percent of Democrats - one in five- would like to see the face of President Obama join those presidents in the future. Meanwhile, 16 percent of Republicans say Ronald Reagan should be the next portrait to be added. So says a new poll from Rasmussen Reports released Monday.

Findings differ among all Americans: 51 percent say Mount Rushmore should be left alone. Still, 13 percent overall think Franklin D. Roosevelt should be added to the site, while 12 percent overall favor adding Mr. Obama to Mount Rushmore. Ten percent think the newcomer to the mountain should be John F. Kennedy, while nine percent would opt for Mr. Reagan.

And there’s the inevitable partisan divide in the poll of 800 U.S. adults: 52 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of those not affiliated with either major party prefer to keep Mount Rushmore as it is. Just 42 percent of Democrats agree, the poll found.

And of note: Mount Rushmore took 14 years to craft, and was completed in 1941 - the work of 400 workers and artisans, and a lot of dynamite. The blasts removed 450 tons of rock - and there were no fatalities, according to the National Park Service, which manages the site. And the total cost of it all: $989,992.32

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