- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2009


Sarah Palin will soon take over the known universe as her autobiography hits bookstands and the multiple interviews begin. But wait. Her sleddog-driving, he-man of a hubby Todd Palin is also gaining political currency. One eager Republican hopeful is seeking Mr. Palin’s endorsement in his quest for office.

“He’s a sportsman, he’s a regular, loyal guy. The Palin family is a sincere bunch of people who speak from the heart. Well, that’s what I’m all about, that’s what my campaign is about. So why shouldn’t I seek his endorsement?” Bill Kelly tells Inside the Beltway.

The brusque cable sportscaster — arrested 15 years ago for heckling President Clinton at a public event — is running for Illinois comptroller, determined to roust “corrupt” Democrats from his state.

“I could make real progress for the GOP in Illinois if I win. And maybe this could be a first. A spousal endorsement. But Todd Palin wins sled dog races. That’s a guy I want on my side,” Mr. Kelly adds.


Yes. The Palin family is a sincere bunch, judging from this comment from Sarah Palin on LeviJohnston, future Playgirl centerfold and estranged father of her grandchild — made to Oprah Winfrey in an interview to air Monday.

“Will he be invited to Thanksgiving dinner?” Miss Winfrey asks.

“It’s lovely to think that he would ever even consider such a thing,” Mrs. Palin replies. “He is a part of the family and you want to bring him in the fold and kind of under your wing. And he needs that, too, Oprah. I think he needs to know that he is loved and he has the most beautiful child and this can all work out for good. It really can. We don’t have to keep going down this road of controversy and drama all the time. We’re not really into the drama. We don’t really like that. We’re more productive. We have other things to concentrate on.”


To dither or not to dither: That is the question — and one that reveals partisan sentiment. Conservatives overwhelmingly say that President Obama’s indecision about a troop surge in Afghanistan does not bode well. Nine out of 10 conservatives say his wavering over the weeks “shows weakness,” according to a Zogby poll released Thursday.

Just 4 percent of liberals agree.

Among Republicans, 84 percent equate dithering with weakness, compared with 14 percent of Democrats. Their perceptions of the situations are almost diametrically opposed: More than three-fourths of Democrats say Mr. Obama’s indecision “shows strength.”

Half of Americans overall — 48 percent — say that indecision equals weakness.

“Obama’s deliberations on increasing troops in Afghanistan have cost him some credibility,” pollster John Zogby says. “But that may be forgotten once he makes a decision. There is striking unanimity that this war is important, and that the Karzai government is not a reliable ally. At some point, the nation must come to grips with the conflict in those two facts.”


Lou Dobbs returns to his planet; ‘My work here is don.’ Bids Earth farewell, boards rocket.” — parody headline from comedian Andy Borowitz, on the retirement of CNN financial news host.


Chicago-style politics, like Chicago-style pizza, can be thick and oozy — and Judicial Watch has quite the appetite. The public-interest group has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Chicago MayorRichard M. Daley’s office to obtain records related to the Obama administration’s failed bid to bring the 2016 Olympics to the Windy City.

The organization is pondering President Obama’s choice of White House senior adviser and former Daley employee Valerie Jarrett to lead the effort, granting her a conflict of interest “ethics waiver.” They also wonder about other ex-Chicagoans, such as Chief of StaffRahm Emanuel and senior adviser David Axelrod, not to mention first lady Michelle Obama and assorted Olympics officials.

So far, Mr. Daley has released no correspondence or records

“The Obama White House’s failed Olympics bid is a scandal. Why else would Obama’s ‘Olympics Czar’ Valerie Jarrett need an ‘ethics waiver’? Mayor Daley’s illegal refusal to release documents about the Olympics bid is a rather transparent effort to protect President Obama and other key White House officials,” says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.


Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley also distinguished himself this week after the mass killing at Fort Hood — which has turned into a vigorous forum about Second Amendment rights. Had firearms been allowed on the Army base, the shooting would not have happened, some maintain. Mr. Daley, however, blamed the event on weapons rather than Islamist extremism.

“Unfortunately, America loves guns. We love guns to a point where that we see devastation on a daily basis. You don’t blame a group,” Mr. Daley said earlier this week.

“Mayor Daley is deplorably capitalizing on the outrage at Fort Hood to push his gun prohibition agenda,” says Alan Gottlieb, chairman of Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “You don’t blame guns, either. You hold the perpetrator responsible for his crime, not the instruments he used.”


• 57 percent of Republicans and 18 percent of Democrats say President Obama should increase U.S. troops in Afghanistan by more than 40,000

• 26 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats say Mr. Obama should begin to reduce the number of troops.

• 45 percent of men and 27 percent of women favor an increase.

• 37 percent of men and 51 percent of women favor a decrease.

• 35 precent of Americans overall favor and increase, 44 percent favor a decrease of troops.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,008 adults conducted Nov. 5-8.

Catcalls, hoots, smatterings of applause to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.

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