- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 4, 2010

PALIN 1

When her critics grow shrill and unfriendly journalists circle with whetted appetites, Sarah Palin has the same reaction. She smiles. It is larger than life, universal, genuine, canny, sparkling - and it drives them all crazy. How can you defeat a woman who is fearless enough to smile in the face of the oncoming media train?

And smile she does.

Perhaps Newsweek is audacious enough to feature Mrs. Palin on its cover in running shorts, emblazoned with the headline, “She’s bad news for the GOP - and for everyone else, too.”

Yeah well. The newsstand is not always an unfriendly place for the former Alaska governor, however. Don’t overlook a new independent publication from IMG, a marketing group, and Imagine That Publishing titled, “Sarah Palin: The untold story in her own words,” now competing for space with all the weekly newsmagazines bent on a little Palin bashing. Yes, Mrs. Palin’s smiling.

And this time the headline reads: “Faith, family, freedom: Can she save America?”

“I think the headline speaks to the Palin audience, and their hopes and aspirations for a woman who has very adeptly caught the nation’s attention,” publisher and editor Steve LeGrice tells Inside the Beltway.

PALIN 2

One more notion about the Palin method of political currency.

There are some lawmakers who have recently distanced themselves from the “tea party” movement for one reason or another; whether they privately regret their decisions is not known. Sarah Palin - in smiling and fearless mode - has forged strategic alliances with several of the tea party tribes.

She is the keynote speaker at the National Tea Party Convention, which opens Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. C-SPAN, Fox News and MSNBC plan to carry her address live Saturday night.

In March, Mrs. Palin will help launch the Tea Party Express III - a cavalcade of exuberant tea partiers who will transverse the nation in buses, departing with much ado from Searchlight, Nev. - hometown of House Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“We are thrilled. Governor Palin has been a conservative advocate and champion of the people for many years. Her ongoing support of these tea parties shows the remarkable connection with everyday Americans that has made her a rock star among the grass roots,” organizer Levi Russell tells Inside the Beltway.

“Despite harsh criticism from the left and even some on the right, Gov. Palin remains a resolute advocate for the people, which is why she will get a very warm welcome from tea partiers at our rallies,” he adds.

EDGING FORWARD

The plot to bomb a jetliner on Christmas Day has strengthened the assertion that there are scores of terrorists lying in wait for their opportunity to do harm to America. That means the argument over civil trial versus military tribunal for future perpetrators is bound to continue. Ergo, inquiring minds want to know: In which direction is the Obama administration likely to go with this?

“The disputes and acrimony over this kind of issue is not unique to this administration. Some people within it clearly ‘get it.’ ” Others do not, and find themselves doing something for legal reasons, then for political reasons they must defend it,” David Rivkin Jr. tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Rivkin served as a Justice Department and White House lawyer in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and is a Washington, D.C., lawyer and co-chairman of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

“There is a phrase, ‘Reality bites.’ Well, reality is now biting the Obama administration. I think it is inevitable that they move more and more to a military embrace, towards the laws of war paradigm, a mainstay of the Bush administration that has largely been abandoned by this one,” Mr. Rivkin says.

BLUE HUE

Blue must be the new black. MSNBC host Chris Matthews‘ racially tinged comment about President Obama after the State of the Union address - that the pundit “forgot” the president was “black” - still has legs. From comedian Andy Borowitz comes this parody of Mr. Matthews’ big moment:

“On his television program ‘Hardball’ last night, host Chris Matthews revealed that he had seen the Oscar-nominated film ‘Avatar’ and for an hour had forgotten that the alien characters, the Na’vi, were blue.

” ‘I’m sitting there in the theater with my 3-D glasses on and here are these blue creatures talking to a bunch of white guys,’ Mr. Matthews said.’And for about an hour there I totally forgot they were blue.’

“Despite an awkward silence from his on-air guests, Mr. Matthews continued: ‘I mean, I totally forgot they were blue. And I forgot that they had three fingers and looked like cats. It says a lot about where our society is in 2010 that a bunch of white guys can be talking with a bunch of blue cat people with three fingers, in 3-D, and what have you, and nobody makes a big deal out of it,’ he said. ‘I mean, that blows my mind in a way.’

“Mr. Matthews revealed that in addition to forgetting that the Avatar characters were blue, earlier in the day he had also forgotten his car keys, his home address, and to put his pants on.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 58 percent of Americans with a Twitter account Tweet about politics.

• 48 percent Tweet about their personal lives, 47 percent about national news.

• 36 percent Tweet about work, 34 percent about local news.

• 34 percent Tweet about entertainment, 31 percent about sports.

• 45 percent know the people who “follow” their personal Tweets.

• 25 percent do not know them.

Source: Zogby International survey of 2,003 adults conducted Jan. 15 to 18.

Hoots, hollers, polite conversation to jharper@ washingtontimes.com. Follow her at twitter.com/harper bulletin.


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