- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 22, 2011


“My candidate can eat your candidate: Chris Christie, 2012.” (Bumper sticker spotted near Trenton, N. J.)


He’s shedding fancy ambassadorial plumage and getting in campaign stride. And down home. Potential presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman winds up a five-day trip to New Hampshire on Monday, complete with a dozen stops to a country store, two cafes, several private homes, one gun shop, one VFW post and Southern New Hampshire University, where he gave the commencement address. The former U.S. ambassador to China spoke in Mandarin to the graduates, declaring that “civility is a lubricant to make our system work,” then asserting, “We still have the power of our values, the power of our technology, the power of our innovation and the power of our entrepreneurial culture.”

He now journeys to Maine for a heart-to-heart with former President George H.W. Bush, the encounter sure to be punctuated by talk of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ apology-tinged decision to drop out of the 2012 presidential derby, said to be at the behest of his wife Cherie, herself leery of a surly press. The decision could have future ramifications in the campaign funding department. Mr. Huntsman, though, still remains the white-glove diplomat.

“Mitch Daniels will be missed in this presidential debate,” he says. “But his message about the most immediate threat facing our nation - the massive debt - will not go unheard. Our country owes Gov. Daniels unending gratitude for his service.”


“Is Sarah Palin moving to Arizona?” That’s a new fundraising plea from the Arizona Democratic Party, launched after the Arizona Republic reported that Mrs. Palin had bought a $1.6 million, 8,000-square-foot, six-bedroom home in north Scottsdale to prepare for a possible presidential bid, or to establish Arizona residency and a potential run to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl.


Presidential protocol: one candidate exits, another arrives, like clockwork. Newt Gingrich also heads to New Hampshire for a four-town tour that includes a town meeting in Derry, breakfast in Portsmouth and a just-say-hi event in a quaint cafe in Conway. Of interest, though: a home visit with Ovide LaMontagne on Wednesday in Manchester.

Mr. LaMontagne - who describes himself as a “tell it like it is grassroots conservative” and New Hampshire as a “bright red state”- ran in 2010 for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. He was bested by Kelly Ayotte, who won the nomination by only 1,600 votes.

Mr. Gingrich’s visit to the proverbial political oracle of the Granite State is one of many, however. Mr. LaMontagne has already hosted Rudolph W. Giuliani, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty, all part of the powerbroker’s “presidential series.”


Eager progressives at Democracy for America have launched an online “night school” offering fundraising and campaigning tips for their grassroots crowd.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party Patriots remain in the boots-on-the-ground mindset, offering actual classroom training this week in the motels and airports of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the fare covering conservative history, public speaking, and campaign leadership. All free. Details here: www.leadershipinstitute.org.

“Tea Partiers are ready to take their passion to the next level, and are very responsive to the training,” Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin tells Inside the Beltway. “Even in today’s 24/7 social media environment, door-to-door neighborhood engagement is the most effective way to convey your political message.”


Tributes to Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday soon go international. We’re talking big celebrations in Britain, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in late June and July that include black-tie galas, policy symposiums, the unveiling of two statues in London and Budapest and a Catholic Mass of thanksgiving in Krakow. Former Reagan administration stalwarts Condoleezza Rice and Ed Meese will attend several of the events on behalf of Nancy Reagan.

“President Reagans legacy of inspiring freedom changed the world. It remains as relevant today as it was when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, particularly in Central Europe where change as a result of Ronald Reagans leadership is still felt in a very personal way,” says Miss Rice.

Meanwhile, the artists are at work. From jewelry designer Ann Hand, a limited edition brooch and cufflinks designed for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundations centennial celebration. Both feature the American eagle and one of Reagans most famous quotes, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny,” from a pivotal 1964 address that essentially marked his entrance into politics.

“It has been a labor of love,” the designer tells the Beltway.

Both items are available beginning Monday through the Reagan Foundation website (www.reaganfoundation.org). Brooch and cufflinks are 18K gold and sterling silver, genuine pearls, priced at $450 and $275, respectively. Each features Reagan’s signature on the back.


• 83 percent of Americans say that “recent events” show that Wall Street should be subject to tougher regulations.

• 75 percent say Wall Street firm should pay bonuses only when they are “doing well.”

• 67 percent say Wall Street “people” would be willing to break the law if they could profit and get away with it.

• 63 percent still agree that Wall Street is “essential” to provide investment money.

• 55 percent say Wall Street activities “benefit” the country.

• 31 percent say Wall Street “people” deserve the money they earn.

• 26 percent say Wall Street people are as honest and moral as others.

Source: A Harris Poll of 1,010 adults conducted April 12-18 and released Sunday.

Fancy talk, plain talk, double talk to jharper@washingtontimes.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide