- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2016

FORMER GOP HOPEFULS STILL NAB VOTES

Talk about loyalty. Certain people still resonate with the public when they step out of the spotlight. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Sen. Rand Paul may have dropped out of the 2016 Republican race, but their fans continue to vote for them. Eleven former Republican presidential hopefuls garnered 2 percent of the total vote in 24 primaries and caucuses through March 8th, according to Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor who conducted a meticulous analysis of the voting data. These candidates are still percolating, apparently.

Mr. Bush led the pack with a grand total of 88,000 votes, followed by Mr. Carson with 37,942, Mr. Paul with 32,098 and Mike Huckabee with 27,141. Gov. Chris Christie (16,0113), Carly Fiorina (11,484), Rick Santorum (8,023) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (4,481) were next in line, followed by Jim Gilmore, George Pataki and Bobby Jindal, who all got under 2,000 votes.

Some states were particularly prone to support “those who have abandoned their White House dreams,” says Mr. Ostermeier. According to the statistics, Vermont led the way, with 3.7 percent of the votes in the Green State going to ex-candidates. Michigan, Idaho, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, Texas and Tennessee follow. The study, incidentally, was conducted before Sen. Marco Rubio dropped out of the race.

DITHERING GOP CONGRESS HAS ‘LOST TOUCH’

“No wonder Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are winning the Republican primaries: GOP voters are more fed up than ever with their elected representatives in Washington. Seventy-six percent of likely Republican voters say Republicans in Congress have “lost touch” with GOP voters throughout the nation — up from 65 percent in January of last year and the worst rating in eight years,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters released Tuesday. In contrast, a mere 30 percent of Democrats feel their lawmakers have lost touch with the party base.

But the clock is ticking, and an ominous finding lurks, one which should ideally inspire the GOP family to solve disagreements and get on to the business of winning the general election, now about 31 weeks away. The poll also found that 20 percent of Republicans think their elected representatives in Congress are doing a good job representing the party’s values, compared to 64 percent of Democrats who say their lawmakers are living up to its basic tenets — a figure up from 46 percent in just over a year.

JUST IN CASE: SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

Security footage released following the deadly terrorist attacks on Brussels revealed that two of the suspected attackers were wearing single black gloves on their left hands. A significant detail? Maybe. From Bill Stanton, a safety expert and retired New York City police officer comes advice. While law enforcement can do much to protect the public, he recommends citizens hone their own “situational awareness” and strategic thinking.

“Here are some good first steps: Assess your threat level, know the airport you are traveling in. Is it in a hot political climate for terrorism/ violence? When traveling, wear clothes that if you have to move, you are able to do so quickly. Don’t wear tight clothing or high heels. If you have to take emergency action, you wouldn’t be able to move. Become your own security personnel. Scan the other travelers, watch their behavior. Match everyone to their bag. Make it a little game. This isn’t being paranoid. This is being prepared” Mr. Stanton writes in LawNewz.com.

“Most importantly, be smart, and stay off your smart phone when you are out in public. With this smart technology, people are in their own little world, they think that nothing is going to happen. If you are an able-bodied person, let the flight attendants know. I usually tell them, ‘I’m a retired cop, I’m right here if you need me.’ Don’t hesitate to make suggestions or ask questions,” Mr. Stanton concludes.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Unconscious Bias Training”

— A mandatory two-day seminar in the U.S. Marine Corps. “Marines across the Corps will be challenged on their unconscious prejudices and presuppositions as women get the opportunity to become grunts for the first time. The Marine Corps is rolling out mandatory training for all Marines before the first future female rifleman hits boot camp, aiming to set conditions for a smooth transition and head off cultural resistance,” explains Hope Hodge Seck, a contributor to Military.com

AMERICANS SIDE WITH TRUMP ON VETS

Under his public policy proposal for military veterans, Donald Trump advises:

“Under a Trump administration, all veterans eligible for VA health care can bring their veteran’s ID card to any doctor or care facility that accepts Medicare to get the care they need immediately.” A new Gallup poll finds this is a very popular idea: 91 percent of Americans agree with this streamlined approach that allows vets to be seen by any health care provider that accepts Medicare, not just Veterans Administration medical facilities.

“In addition, Trump proposes to increase funding for a variety of VA projects, including ‘accelerating and expanding investments in state-of-the-art technology and spending more for job training, placement services, educational support and business loans,’” Gallup director Frank Newport writes in his analysis of the findings. The poll found that 74 percent of Americans agree with that idea as well.

JUDGE SARAH

She’s already proved her prowess in reality TV. Now Sarah Palin will be the principal star in a daytime courtroom show, a genre that has proved both popular and lucrative for the nation’s networks.

The former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate signed a deal last month with Warm Springs Productions, a Montana-based creative group that is behind such offerings as “Duck Commander,” “Deadly Shootouts,” “NRA All Access” and “American River Renegades” among many others. A producer associated with the group is, in fact, the pointman behind both the very successful “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown,” another show which dwells on drama and legal spats.

“It’s a production deal,” an anonymous source told People Magazine. “Palin’s telegenic personality, wide appeal and common sense wisdom make her a natural for this kind of format.”

AND THAT’S THAT

“I’m not going to be anybody’s vice president. I’m not interested in being vice president. I’m not running for governor of Florida. I’m going to finish out my term in the Senate, and over the next 10 months we are going to work really hard here — and then I’ll be a private citizen in January.”

— Former presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio, at a recent impromptu press conference.

A $17,500 REAGAN LETTER

The Raab Collection, a dealer in historical documents, has acquired a newly discovered, unpublished letter of future president Ronald Reagan written on Aug. 12, 1946 — “showing him decrying the infiltration of the Democratic Party and Hollywood by Communists and sympathizers,” the organization says.

The letter, written on stationery belonging to his first wife, Jane Wyman, was sent to an Eastern European author and is deemed “among the most revealing letters Reagan wrote, presaging his transition from Democrat to Republican years later.” The value: $17,500.

“The evolution of Reagan from a liberal Democrat to a conservative Republican had profound consequences for our country and the world. In this remarkable letter we see the earliest stirrings of that and also his power of words in advocating his position. It shows just how early he was looked to as a leader in the crusade against communist influence in the United States,” says Nathan Raab, a principal for the collection.

“Believe me I don’t want to be a ‘Red Baiter’ or go on a ‘witch hunt’ but if the liberal cause is to win in the fight against native Fascism it must first stand up and be counted as opposed to communism,” Reagan wrote.

CARLY, REINVENTED

Former GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is back on the political landscape with a new mission. She has re-purposed her old campaign to “help conservative outsiders win in November, restoring citizen government at every level,” Mrs. Fiorina notes in an initial announcement. Her image has changed too. Gone are the patriotic colors of her presidential wardrobe, replaced by the muted shades of someone ready to get down to business.

“It’s about defeating the Washington establishment of both parties—and electing real conservative leaders from outside the political class, who will engage citizens around the nation and lead the charge to take our country back,” says Mrs. Fiorina, who endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president earlier this month.

“These citizen leaders have the commonsense solutions and the clear-headed perspective we need to solve our nation’s problems. Instead of representing the liberal establishment, they will represent the American people. Instead of being concerned with party politics, they will get the job done. Instead of taking away our rights, they will defend our Constitution,” she states.

“I know about outsider candidates, because I’ve been one,” Mrs. Fiorina continues, citing lack of funding and name recognition and a hostile mainstream media as primary challenges for those hoping to break in the field. Outsiders must also face down foes like a Republican establishment “actively working to shut them out and shut them up.”

FEELING THE BERN OVERSEAS

His outsider appeal resonates overseas. Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Global Presidential Primary — a survey of 34,570 U.S. citizens living in 170 countries, conducted by Democrats Abroad — actually, an official arm of the Democratic Party. Mr. Sanders snagged 69 percent of the vote.

“This political revolution that is gaining momentum across America is now resonating all over the world,” notes Mr. Sanders.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“Most rich people are a lot like you and me. They just know a secret that, while incredibly effective, isn’t very sexy. The secret to getting rich is as powerful as it is unexciting: Live below your means. That’s it. The bigger the difference between what you earn and what you spend, the sooner you’ll find yourself with enough money to do what you want with your life,” notes Catherine Hawley, a financial adviser for NerdWallet and a contributor to Money magazine.

POLL DU JOUR

46 percent of Republican primary voters support Donald Trump for president; 26 percent support Sen. Ted Cruz, 20 percent Gov. John Kasich.

35 percent “enthusiastically” would support Mr. Trump if became nominee; 32 percent “support him with reservations”; 15 percent “support only because he’s the nominee”; 17 percent would not support him.

29 percent enthusiastically would support Mr. Cruz if he became nominee; 33 percent support with reservations, 17 percent support the nominee, 19 percent would not support him.

27 percent enthusiastically support Mr. Kasich if he became nominee, 31 percent support with reservations, 27 percent support the nominee, 13 percent would not support him.

Source: A CBS/New York Times poll of 1,252 U.S. adults conducted March 17-20; the sample included 351 Republicans.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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