- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The hardest working man in politics won his prize fair and square in the early  hours of Wednesday. President-electDonald Trump made what was repeatedly billed as a gracious and wise speech from his election headquarters in New York City after winning the 2016 race for the White House. It was a stunning upset, according to a mostly stunned news media.

Mr. Trump called for unity, and for focus and strength among voters and political parties alike, as addled analysts and pundits struggled to make sense of it all. But the victor perhaps revealed the secret to his success after his final campaign speech, this after spending 512 days on the trail, fueled by stamina and accompanied by loyal family members plus a determined staff.

He never lost touch with Americans or America during his quest for the highest office.

“It’s been an amazing process,” Mr. Trump told Fox News. “It’s been a beautiful process. The people of this country are incredible. I’ve been all over the country, met the people at every level. I’ve met the people at every level and they are amazing. So that’s really the thing. I think when people ask what have you learned? That’s what I’ve learned. The people of this country are amazing.”

FROM THE VAULT  From an Inside the Beltway column dated March 2, 2011:

Donald Trump has a burgeoning new “grass-roots army” who pine for him to run for president in 2012. Who knew? There are numbers to back it up, reflected in a star-spangled website (www.shouldtrumprun.com) for Trumpaphiles convinced the billionaire has the business acumen, political calling and inner mettle to join the campaign fray.

“He’s a populist. As close to Ronald Reagan as I’ve seen in any candidate. When you watch his media appearances, he’s talking right to you. Reagan had that and so does Trump,” says Michael Cohen, a special counsel and executive vice president within the Trump Organization, who launched the effort on his own.

“When Trump talks, he’s fresh, he’s honest and he shares the same concerns as the common man,” Mr. Cohen continues. “Our current president and leaders have taken us off track and have sold out our future to foreign interests. Our economy is a disaster with staggering unemployment numbers and a deficit that is unsustainable. Trump is unafraid to tell Americans the honest truth on where we stand today as a nation, on issues they care about, including unemployment, gas prices, China, Libya, Mexico, India.”

“Will Trump run in 2012? My hope and the hope of these people is a resounding ‘yes.’ We need a new leader who will stop apologizing to foreign dignitaries for our superpower status, bring jobs back to America and ensure that this country becomes respected again,” Mr. Cohen adds.

JOHN KERRY IS OFF TO ANTARCTICA

“The secretary of state travels to all corners of the world to do his job,” the State Department notes in a helpful public statement. Well, yes indeed. According to the federal agency, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has traveled 1.3 million miles aboard his official Boeing 757, visiting 90 countries during his three-year tenure. That’s a lot of traveling. But he has a doozy of a trip coming up: Mr. Kerry heads to Antarctica on Thursday, poised to visit McMurdo Station, a research center, nearby Ross Island, and the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, set atop the earth’s southern axis on a 9,300-foot ice-bound plateau.

Mr. Kerry will likely take a ceremonial walk to the actual South Pole, located a few hundred yards from the station.

“He will be the first secretary of state and the most senior U.S. government official to ever travel to Antarctica,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby in the press conference announcing the trip, adding, “It’s a chance to really see firsthand what’s going on with climate change research.”

Mr. Kerry will hobnob with the scientists and researchers and venture to the newly established, 600,000-square-mile Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area, the world’s largest marine protected area.

“There’s some criticism that this trip is basically Secretary Kerry wants to knock Antarctica off his bucket list, and he’s doing it on taxpayer expense,” observed one persistent reporter.

“He wouldn’t be making this trip — or any other trip, for that matter — if he didn’t think it was important to advancing issues that are important to our national security and our foreign policy,” replied Mr. Kirby. “Given all the stakes for the planet, particularly for sea-level rise, melting ice, the secretary believes this is an important trip to make and it’s a place that he’s been wanting to go for a while now.”

But wait, there’s more.

Following his two-day visit to the land of emperor penguins and minke whales, Mr. Kerry is off to New Zealand, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco — site of the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference. Then it’s on to Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, also attended by President Obama — who will be arriving in Peru from his own overseas jaunt that also includes visits to Greece and Germany.

AND IN SUMMATION

“Politics is the only field where the more experience you have, the worse you get. So when you see people who’ve been around for a long time that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re any better. In fact, they’re probably worse.”

— Raconteur, singer/songwriter and former Texas independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, to the Dallas Observer.

FREEDOM HAS ITS DAY

Wednesday is World Freedom Day, marking the day when the Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989. Who knew? And so much has happened since then. At the moment, Germany is contemplating freedom of a different sort. According to multiple press reports, the nation is rethinking its open borders policy. German officials are suggesting people seeking international protection and asylum should be “stopped at sea and returned to North Africa to then apply for asylum in the EU,” this according to Welt am Sonntag, a German newspaper.

But it’s World Freedom Day nonetheless.

“For centuries, people of every nation have borne witness to great strife and tension in our ever-changing world — but we have proven we can always choose a better course through our relentless pursuit of freedom. Across oceans and continents, in recognition of World Freedom Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to carrying forward the enduring celebration of liberty that defined the fall of the Berlin Wall,” said President Obama, in his official proclamation for the occasion.

ONE LAST POLL FOR THE ROAD

Americans want Republicans to control Congress no matter who is president. So says a new Gallup poll, and here are the numbers:

Fifty-two percent of registered U.S. voters would prefer Republicans control Congress if Hillary Clinton is elected president, while 42 percent would prefer the Democrats in charge.

Forty-eight percent of voters would prefer Republicans control Congress if Donald Trump is elected president; 46 percent of voters overall would prefer Democrats. The survey of 945 registered U.S. voters was conducted Oct. 27-28.

POLL DU JOUR

58 percent of likely U.S. voters say employers should be required to verify the legal status of their workers; 51 percent of likely Hispanic voters agree.

56 percent of voters overall support returning illegal immigrant to their home country through local law enforcement, denial of welfare benefits and other means; 49 percent of Hispanic voters agree.

54 percent overall say there is “too little effort” to enforce immigration laws; 51 percent of Hispanic voters agree.

54 percent overall say 500,000 or fewer legal immigrants should be admitted to the U.S. each year; 52 percent of Hispanic voters agree.

Source: Pulse Opinion/Center for Immigration Studies poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted Nov. 1-3.

Whoops and snores to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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