- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father’s Day offers something even querulous Republicans and Democrats can agree on. TV dads.

Both parties said that their favorite TV dad is Cliff Huxtable of “The Cosby Show,” according to a Harris Poll of 2,681 adults conducted May 11 and 18.

Well, that’s something, anyway. Congratulations.

Coming in at second place for Republicans is Ward Cleaver of “Leave it to Beaver.” And the runner-up for Democrats is Jim Anderson of “Father Knows Best.”

The Harris pollsters, however, noted that the nation appears to be soaking itself in warm nostalgia — oldies but goodies dominated the roster of dads, which included Ozzie Nelson of, well, Ozzie Nelson fame, and Andy Taylor of Mayberry RFD.

“Of the top 15 television dads, seven of them are from shows from the 1950s or 1960s and 2 were set in the 1950s or earlier. Maybe it is the economic crisis or just a desire for the days of old, but it seems when picking their favorites, Americans are looking back to simpler times and maybe even happier times.”

Queen of NOW

Feminists don’t have former President George W. Bush to trod upon any more. Oh, heavens no. Their man of choice is now in the White House.

But that doesn’t mean the ladies have quieted down.

“After years on the defensive during the Bush administration, the National Organization for Women is elated to have a president sharing many of its goals,” observes Davis Crary of the Associated Press.

The organization is heading for its own showdown, however.

Kim Gandy, a savvy former prosecutor, is stepping down as NOW president after eight years leading the battle against many Bush-era policies,” Mr. Crary says.

The election of her successor during NOW’s national conference this weekend sets the stage for raucous change. Mr. Crary politely describes it as “both an unusual clash of generations and an opportunity for activists to confront some of the challenges facing the feminist movement.”


The opponents are Latifa Lyles, 33, one of Ms. Gandy’s three vice presidents, and Terry O’Neill, 56 — a former law professor at Tulane University, former NOW vice president and most recently chief of staff for a county council member in Montgomery County.

We’ll know by Sunday who will reign over the nation’s feministas.

“It’s hard to ignore the fact there’s been a generational shift in the country, and an organization that doesn’t recognize that is living in the past,” Ms. Gandy said. “Latifa’s youth is not a detriment, but an advantage. She’ll take NOW to a different level.”

Quotes of note

“I never want you to get too old or too cool to come back and see me.” — Michelle Obama to elementary school children visiting the White House.

“There is a good chance not only that Michael Moore will finally jump the shark but that he may have become that which he has derided so brilliantly over the years: a simplistic, didactic, one-note bully masquerading as the world’s sheriff.” — James Scurlock in Newsweek.

“Four years from now, Mitt Romney will be president of the United States.” — Mike Potemra in NationalReview.com

Days of yore

The U.S. Constitution was ratified on this day 221 years ago, after New Hampshire became the ninth and last necessary state to sign off on it, thereby making the document the law of the land.

Even presidents are not immune to the spell of a June wedding.

Two presidents, Zachary Taylor and Richard Nixon, married their sweethearts on this very day in 1810 and 1940, respectively. Taylor married Margaret Smith, Nixon was betrothed to Thelma Catherine “Pat” Ryan. Presidents John Tyler, William Taft, Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman also got hitched in June.

Well, think about it. Imagine the fuss there would be over deep vein thrombosis over this ride.

On this day in 1945, Pan Am announced that it would offer a round-the-world flight. Time in the air? 88 hours. The fare? $700.

Forty-five years ago today, future baseball Hall of Famer and Republican lawmaker Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies — the first perfect game in the National League in 84 years — shutting out the New York Mets, 6-0. He left baseball in 1967 and was elected to the House in 1986 and the Senate 12 years later.

By the numbers

64 percent of Americans say it is not appropriate for comedians to make jokes about the children of public figures.

21 percent say it is appropriate, 15 percent are not sure.

50 percent followed news reports about David Letterman and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s disagreement over his jokes about her daughters.

49 percent did not.

16 percent said Mr. Letterman’s apology to Mrs. Palin for his jokes was “sincere.”

44 percent said it was not sincere, 39 percent were not sure.

43 percent gave Mr. Letterman favorable reviews, 49 percent gave unfavorable reviews.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted June 14 and 15.

Contact Jennifer Harper at [email protected] or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.



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