- The Washington Times - Monday, August 25, 2008

Gettin’ global

Denver doesn’t belong to the Democrats alone this week. A rival presence is afoot. Some two dozen staffers from Sen. John McCain’s campaign have taken office space near the convention — which is a “A Mile High and an Inch Deep,” they say.

Luminaries will be present, though. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, along with Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, will be part of an advance team hoping to distract the news media from Sen. Barack Obama, at least for a few nanoseconds.

Mr. McCain could be borrowing a page from a certain famous Democrat’s playbook when the Republican National Convention gets under way in St. Paul on Sept. 1. The overall convention theme has a definitive JFK feel to it — “Country First.”

The opening acts are pure Republican, however. Speakers include President Bush and Laura Bush, Vice President Cheney, Mr. Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Tom Ridge, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Michael Steele, Mr. Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The GOP is getting global, meanwhile, with an eye on doves, not hawks.

“Our next president will have a mandate to build an enduring global peace on the foundations of freedom, security, opportunity, prosperity and hope,” Mr. McCain said of his own intentions.

“Events will reflect his vision of an America in pursuit of peace and seen as a beacon of goodwill and hope throughout the world,” convention officials added.

Mirth worth

OK, everybody lighten up as we slouch toward Armageddon, Dunkin’ Donuts or maybe Home Depot. Here’s one Obama joke and one McCain joke free of charge, both from a study by Robert Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs. He’s got news about such things.

But first the jokes.

“His tour may strike some as presumptuous. In fact, I joked that Obama would be stopping in Bethlehem to visit the manger where he was born.” — The Comedy Channel’s Jon Stewart.

“McCain was asked how he’s going to conserve energy. He said by taking three naps a day.” — NBC’s Jay Leno.

Here are the findings from the Center’s newly released “2008 Political Humor Study,” which analyzed jokes made between Jan. 1 and July 31 on late night NBC, CBS and Comedy Central.

Barack Obama still lags far behind Hillary Clinton and John McCain as the most joked-about presidential candidate in opening monologues by hosts on the late-night TV talk shows,” the study said.

The tally? Mr. Obama garnered 382 jokes, Mr. McCain 549 and Sen. Hillary Clinton 562 jokes, despite her departure from the presidential race on June 7th. Former President Bill Clinton attracted 152 jokes while President Bush topped the list with 605 jokes.

By the numbers

89 percent of Americans deem patriotism a “good” thing.

86 percent say voting is patriotic.

73 percent have displayed an American flag outside their homes.

67 percent say wearing an American flag pin is patriotic.

67 percent say helping America’s environment is patriotic.

87 percent think they personally are patriotic.

56 percent say Sen. Barack Obama is patriotic.

74 percent say Sen. John McCain is patriotic.

79 percent say Democrats are patriotic.

70 percent say Republicans are patriotic.

92 percent say military troops are patriotic.

58 percent say teachers are patriotic.

Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey of 1,000 adults conducted Aug. 12-14.

Paper tigers

Everybody looks good on paper. Consider that Dover Publications is offering paper doll books of the presidential hopefuls, complete with little biographies and election night scorecards for a mere $8.

The McCain collection “includes white tie and tails, a sweater and slack combo, and more for John McCain while Cindy can be dressed in her wedding dress, full-length gown, and others.”

For the Obamas, there is “a wardrobe of authentic outfits: business suit, tuxedo, and more for Barack Obama; wedding dress, evening gown, and others for Michelle; and coats and knit shirts and shorts for the children Malia Ann and Sasha.”

View the finery at www.doverpublications.com/doverdolls or use snail mail (Dover Publications, Mineola, NY 11501-3852).

Quotes of note

“Who is more likely to order a fruity (pink) drink? Democrats 58 percent, Republicans 34 percent.” — from a new survey of 100 Washington bartenders commissioned by Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc.

“Who has the better pick-up lines? Democrats 74 percent, Republicans 14 percent.” — Ibid.

“The Democrats appear to be professional losers.” — filmmaker Michael Moore, in an op-ed at his personal blog.

“Somebody’s got to walk the line in the country. They’ve got to walk it unapologetically. And I’m sure Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.” — country singer John Rich.

“It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined, and to try to further their own agendas by doing so.” — singer/daughter Roseanne Cash.

Days of yore

It was a really long hot summer on this day in 1814. As the War of 1812 dragged on, British forces under Gen. Robert Ross invaded Washington and set fire to the Capitol and the White House.

Early that morning, President James Madison had been present at the Battle of Bladensburg and actually taken command of a few American batteries, becoming the first and only president to exercise in actual battle his authority as commander in chief. The next day, Madison returned to a smoking and charred Washington and vowed to rebuild the city, according to History.com. James Hoban, the original architect of the White House, completed reconstruction of the executive mansion three years later.

Aug. 24 is also a little red around the edges, perhaps. On this day in 1954, the Communist Party was “virtually outlawed in the U.S.” after Congress passed the Communist Control Act.

Contact Jennifer Harper at [email protected] times.com or 202/636-3085.



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