- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2008


Bill Frenzel, chairman emeritus of the GOP research and policy group the Ripon Society, hit the nail on the head when writing in advance of the Republican National Convention that despite being “highly scripted events, where nothing is left for chance and the outcome is preordained,” there is still plenty of unexpected “high drama” to take stage.

Little did he, or for that matter other top members of the party, realize that this year’s convention drama would be in the unlikely form of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain’s pick for vice president. As Mr. Frenzel wrote in the Ripon Forum prior to the convention: “Who would have predicted a month ago — that Russia would have invaded Georgia? Or that Brett Favre would be playing for the Jets? Uncertainty in politics — like uncertainty in sports — catches us all off guard.”


Washington pollster Frank Luntz learned something for himself while conducting a two-hour session with 25 “floating” or undecided voters in St. Paul, Minn., site of the just-concluded Republican National Convention.

“Previously I have written that these remaining 10 percent who have not committed to a [presidential] candidate are ‘non-partisan.’ That was wrong. They remain uncommitted because they are ‘anti-partisan,’ and they are watching and waiting for one of the candidates to prove that they can effectively work across the aisle to solve the challenges facing the country.”


The Republican Party’s No. 1-listed principle going into the November election, as determined during the Republican National Convention, is energy independence and lower gas prices, or as Melanie Phillips of the Spectator puts it: “It’s the energy, Inuit!”


The Spalding Group, which supplies John McCain’s official campaign store with its 2008 presidential campaign gear, is pleased to announce a new fashion product line the “Sarah line” named after Gov. Sarah Palin, given her historic bid for the vice presidency and, shall we say, fashionlike figure.


Given all the buzz surrounding the selection of Alaska “frontier woman” Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican Party’s 2008 vice-presidential nominee, leave it to Jim Wrenn, Washington bureau chief of the political humor site PoliSat.Com, to come up with a new name for PETA: “Palins Eating Tasty Animals.”


Paul Volpe, deputy politics editor at washingtonpost.com, must not have much experience with mothers-in-law, or so we gather after he posted this observation Thursday after the vice-presidential acceptance speech of Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin:

“Meanwhile, we also noticed from our perch on a comfy living room sofa that would-be first lady Cindy McCain and her mother-in-law, Roberta McCain, didn’t hug or kiss or share any moments of intimacy that you might expect from the mother and the wife of the man who might be president. No whispered words. No hand on the shoulder. Nothing.

“And all we can ask is: What’s up with that?”


The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington has just announced the topics for its 20th Annual Bradley Lecture Series, the always popular speaker engagements that begin again Monday and continue through June 2009.

A few of the more intriguing lecture titles: “The Ten Commandments,” “Abraham Lincoln at Two Hundred,” “The Reagan Revolution and Its Discontents,” and this mind-twister: “Unintended Consequences and Intended Non-Consequences.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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