- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 16, 2008

Presto politics

Just in time for all your chitchat needs at cocktail parties, church coffees or carpools: Here’s the latest political updates, this from Predicto Mobile, a text-messaging-based polling company.

Yes, texter-based.

According to thousands of text responses nationwide:

75 percent say Beyonce will sing at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration party.

53 percent say “Joe the Plumber” will not get a book deal before year’s end.

60 percent say Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will win a position in Mr. Obama’s Cabinet.

75 percent believe Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. will take over Mr. Obama’s seat in the Senate.

60 percent feel the Obama family’s first puppy will be a Labradoodle.

55 percent say the California Supreme Court will overturn California’s Proposition 8.

59 percent think CBS anchor Katie Couric will take over as host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

POTY notes

Uh-oh. Brace for impact. All the end-of-year, best-of and worst-of lists are just around the corner, along with the all-important person-of-the-year, or POTY, in politispeak. Time magazine — which has built an entire cottage industry around this annual designation — is in a quandary, some suspect.

Should President-elect Barack Obama or Almost Vice President-elect Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin win the august honor?

Since 1927, Adolph Hitler, the “American People,” the endangered Earth and “You” have been among Time’s choices. Former President Bill Clinton made the list twice, as did President Bush.

Maybe the editors will choose the stock market this year. Or same-sex couples. Or Tina Fey.

Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman votes for Mrs. Palin, because her instant fame had more vitality than Mr. Obama’s carefully scripted game plan.

“But was there ever any doubt about which one was driving the media train? It was Palin,” Mr. Friedman says.

Days of yore

Happy 101st birthday today to Oklahoma, admitted to the Union in 1907 as our 46th state, its name derived from the Choctaw Indian words “okla,” meaning “people,” and “humma,” meaning “red.” Congress decided to admit Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory as a single state, with all Indians in the state to become U.S. citizens.

The admission was shepherded along by President Theodore Roosevelt, who had previously embarked on a wolf hunt there, traversing the “Big Pasture” area in the southern region of the state. Roosevelt signed the proclamation at 10:16 a.m. with an eagle quill pen and announced, “Oklahoma is now a state” in the aftermath.

Let us also recall that two opposing sides have been babbling at one another for decades: Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were formalized for the first time on this day in 1933.

Last but not least, former President Bill Clinton on this day in 2000 became the first serving American president to visit the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, arriving to “popular acclaim,” according to news reports of the day.

Quotes of note

“I cannot tell you what an inspiring experience it’s been to be the president of this country because we’re a nation full of generous, courageous, decent people.” — President Bush, to CNN.

“I don’t care what people say about me. I defend the United States, Israel and the Constitution. That’s when I get my death threats.” — Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, to the Vindicator newspaper.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s our first, you know, colored president.” — actress Lindsay Lohan, to “Access Hollywood.”

“The liberal media attacked Sarah Palin because she did not abort her Down syndrome baby.” — Michael Barone, to attendees at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

Ode to a side dish

Holiday dinner tables loom, complete with the inevitable political discussion. This snappy Pepper Casserole could start the conversation off on a civil footing — it holds two quarts and is made of cast iron with nonstick enameled surface that resists corrosion and is easy to clean. Oh, and you can use it over a campfire.

From the Plow and Hearth. It’s on sale for $24; a pumpkin version priced at $36 is also available. There are eight stores in Virginia and Maryland; order by phone (800/494-7544) or online (www.plowhearth.com).

P.S. For every sale, the Plow and Hearth donates one tree seedling to the National Forest Foundation to restore America’s national forests.

By the numbers

86 percent say President-elect Barack Obama should include Republican policies in his thinking.

13 percent say he should only use Democratic policies.

59 percent trust Mr. Obama more than Democratic leaders.

59 percent say a Democratic White House and Congress is “good” for the country.

50 percent disapprove of the way Democratic leaders in Congress handle their jobs.

73 percent disapprove of the way Republican leaders handle their jobs.

62 percent of Americans approve of the Democratic party.

38 percent approve of the Republican party.

26 percent of blacks and 10 percent of whites have “never heard of” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research survey of 1,246 adults conducted Nov. 6 to 9.

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

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