- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The Associated Press? Skewing a poll? Uh-oh. Some analysts have deemed President Obama’s “bin Laden bounce” short-lived, predicting he could expect only modestly improved favorability ratings after the death of the terrorist leader. Reinforcements arrived, though. A much ballyhooed AP poll now says that Mr. Obama’s approval rate now stands at 60 percent, with 53 percent of Americans saying he deserves to be re-elected. Press watchdogs at HotAir.com and Newsbusters are among those who say the findings are suspect.

National Review correspondent Jim Geraghty also took a close look at the wire service’s methodology to find that among the respondents, 46 percent identified themselves as Democrat or leaning Democrat, 29 percent identify as Republican or leaning Republican; remaining 4 percent were independent, 20 percent undecided.

“With a poll sample that has a 17-percentage point margin in favor of the Democrats, is anyone surprised that these results look like a David Axelrod dream?” Mr. Geraghty asks.


He is taking aim. Levi Johnston, nude model and father of Bristol Palin’s toddler son, has released the cover of “Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs,” his 256-page tell-all book on the Palin family that won’t even hit bookseller stands until Sept. 27. Touchstone Books - a Simon & Schuster imprint - says that Mr. Johnston pines to “clear his name, shed light on the Palins, and take us all up to Wasilla to see what it is like to grow up in Alaska.” The instant reviews of the cover image so far: “Hilarious” (Salon), “illogical” (Vanity Fair), “well played” (Business Insider).


Newt Gingrich, who is now in touch with his inner “humble,” is not getting correspondingly kinder, gentler reactions as he embarks on his 2012 presidential bid. The American Tradition Partnership, a grass-roots opponent of pushy environmentalism, is accusing Mr. Gingrich of supporting just that.

“Voters have the right to know about the radical ‘green’ agenda of a D.C. insider who’s just Al Gore hiding under a Phil Donahue wig,” says executive director Donald Ferguson. “Newt Gingrich may try to paint himself Republican red, but his record is radical green.”

He accuses Mr. Gingrich of being “a paid operative of ethanol interests and an outspoken advocate of global regulatory regimes, redistribution of wealth, federal controls of private property, multibillion-dollar welfare programs for wind and solar and taxing Americans into what he calls ‘environmental compliance.’ ” Mr. Ferguson also quips that Mr. Gingrich is actually a “Democratic candidate”; the activist is determined that voters recall an advocacy announcement the candidate made with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for We Can Solve It, one of several climate interest groups founded by Mr. Gore.

“Gingrich’s 2008 TV ad he recorded at the request of Mr. Gore, where he snuggles on a love seat with Nancy Pelosi and blames the American economy for so-called ‘global warming’ is the kind of manifesto that really speaks to radical environmentalists. And we all know how much environmentalists love issuing manifestos,” Mr. Ferguson says.

“Mr. Gingrich: Please spare us the explanations for your gullibility and poor political calculations. What ‘solution’ does anyone need to ‘offer’ to the alleged problem Gore presents? Please stop trying to spin your low IQ moment with Pelosi and Gore. It is embarrassing,” says Marc Morano, founder of the watchdog news site Climate Depot.


And among other projects from the aforementioned Mr. Gore, this one from Current TV, his cable news channel. Regular guest contributors on “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” the nightly commentary show that begins June 20 are Olbermann buddies, including filmmakers Ken Burns and Michael Moore, plus Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas.


“I’m delighted and honored that so many of my friends, who are not coincidentally among the top progressive and entertainment voices in the country today, will be joining me as contributors,” Mr. Olbermann says.


Lauded, applauded and rewarded Wednesday night at the Kennedy Center: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New York University law professor Richard A. Epstein, Harvard University government professor Harvey Mansfield, and Carnegie Mellon University economist Allan Meltzer. Each received a $250,000 Bradley Prize from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Columnist George F. Will served as master of ceremonies, and Pierre S. du. Pont and columnist Charles Krauthammer, were among the judges.

“These accomplished and respected individuals are being recognized for achievements that are consistent with the mission statement of the foundation, including the promotion of liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, and a vigorous defense of American institutions,” says president and CEO Michael W. Grebe.


• 50 percent of Republican primary voters would “never” vote for Donald Trump for president.

• 36 percent would never vote for Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin, 34 percent would never vote for Mike Huckabee.

• 32 percent would never vote for Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican; 27 percent would turn down Mitt Romney.

• 31 percent said Mr. Romney would “likely” win the nomination.

• 17 percent would vote for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie if the Republican primary “was held today.”

• 14 percent picked Herman Cain, 10 percent Mr. Paul and 9 percent Mr. Romney.

• 7 percent picked Mr. Gingrich, and 4 percent each picked Mrs. Palin and Tim Pawlenty, Mr. Trump and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Source: An IBOPE Zogby International of 1,377 likely Republican primary voters conducted May 6 to 9.

Polls, predictions and ballyhoo to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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