- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trump card

“Smart Republicans like of South Carolina and of Texas are starting to recognize their party holds the ultimate trump card in the current energy debate,” Wall Street Journal editorialist writes at www.opinionjournal.com.

“In 41 days, the long-imposed moratorium on offshore oil drilling and domestic oil shale production is set to expire - gone. This happens automatically and can be stopped only if Congress votes to re-establish the ban. Lifting the moratorium might free up as much as 100 years’ worth of oil and gas for domestic consumption,” Mr. Moore said.

“But keeping domestic energy supplies off limits is something Democratic leaders and and their environmentalist allies desperately want to do. Ms. Pelosi has said that stopping new oil production is about ‘saving the planet.’ Nevertheless, Mr. DeMint tells me it would be a ‘tough vote for congressional Democrats to make just weeks before an election.’

“No kidding, with gas prices at near $4 a gallon and polls showing voters supporting an America-first drilling strategy by a two-to-one margin,” Mr. Moore said, noting that Mr. DeMint says he already has 38 senators poised to filibuster any attempt to extend the drilling moratorium, and Democrats “would need 60 votes to get a budget passed with the drilling moratorium rider attached.”

“Can Republicans keep it together? A House Democratic leadership aide says Democrats will accuse Republicans of shutting down the government and preventing seniors from collecting Social Security checks. But Democrats run Congress now, so ‘it will be difficult for Pelosi and her gang to blame the minority Republicans for a congressional train wreck,’ answers Mr. DeMint.”

Back to back

“For the first time in memory, the two parties are holding their conventions right after one another,” writes in the Hill newspaper.

“Within 72 hours of Obama’s acceptance speech on the night of Aug. 28, in front of 75,000 adoring fans outdoors in Invesco Field at Mile High, the Republican Convention’s opening gavel will come crashing down. How will it work? What will be the impact of these nearly simultaneous events? Nobody really knows, but the answer is critical. Usually, the post-convention polling sets a pattern that lasts at least until the candidates debate,” Mr. Morris said.

“Will Obama’s magic and aura last for the ensuing week, casting a fog over the Republican Convention, obscuring its proceedings and dulling its impact? Or will the winds of criticism against Obama, for four nights in a row in [St. Paul, Minn.], dissipate the vapors and nullify his bounce?

“At the moment, the scheduling of the conventions appears to make a prolonged deadlock between the two campaigns the most likely result.”

Exceptional race

“Primary elections among challengers for a House seat held by the other party aren’t normally of great political interest. But the race for the Republican nomination in a New Hampshire district is an exception,” writes at www.weeklystandard.com.

“The reason: , a conservative talk radio host, is running. She’s the first member of the talk radio tribe, so far as I know, to give up her radio perch to run for Congress,” Mr. Barnes said.

“Horn, the mother of five, has proven to be an impressive campaigner in her first bid for public office and no slouch at the rough-and-tumble of electoral politics. When one of her four Republican opponents,, accused her of misusing campaign funds, she fired back with a press release headlined, ‘Grant ‘Make Up the Facts’ Bosse Strikes Again.’ She denied the charge.

“Horn’s breakthrough in the race came last week when she won the endorsement of the state’s most influential newspaper, the Manchester Union-Leader, after being grilled by publisher and editorial page editor. ‘She is smart, likable, energetic and solid on the issues,’ the paper wrote. ‘She stands the best chance of beating [Democrat] this November, and if elected, she would vote the way a New Hampshire representative ought to - for smaller, more responsible government, a strong national defense and low taxes.’

“Hodes defeated , a 12-year Republican incumbent, in the Democratic landslide in 2006 in New Hampshire, once considered a reliably Republican state.”

Giddy media

“The headline conveyed urgency: ‘Obama Ready to Announce Running Mate’ said a breathless New York Times. In language worthy of a Madison Avenue pitchman, the paper reported Obama had ‘all but settled’ on his choice and would launch ‘an elaborate rollout plan’ of events,” New York Daily News columnist writes.

“Holy hype, Batman. Another day, another inflated report on the routine doings of The One.

“John McCain’s mocking nickname for Obama came in an ad comparing Obama’s grandiose promises to Moses parting the Red Sea. It was funny, but I’m starting to think it wasn’t a joke. The Obama campaign and its media handmaidens are taking their candidate way too seriously.” Mr. Goodwin said.

“So much so that they could be setting up a backlash against the hype. No human being can meet the wildly inflated expectations that accompany the rookie senator’s every move. It can’t help that House Speaker called Obama ‘a leader that God has blessed us with at this time.’

“That’s the kind of remark that can turn voters into problems. Most Americans famously resent being told an election is over months before the polls open or that God is taking sides.”

Forget Clinton

“As gets set to announce his running mate, there is growing evidence that his backers and the public in general do not favor an Obama-Clinton ticket,”writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“In our exclusive Washington Whispers poll, Obama’s success in ending the Clinton era was cited by nearly 1 in 3 as his best aspect, right behind his liberal-progressive positions,” Mr. Bedard said.

The Synovate eNation Internet poll of 1,000 nationally representative households asked: What aspect of Sen. Barack Obama do you like most? “Liberal-progressive positions” came in at 34 percent, followed by “Ended the Clinton era” at 30 percent, “Youthfulness” at 25 percent, and “Mixed-race background” at 11 percent.

  • Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]
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