- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Since April, John Bolton has relentlessly identified and supported dozens of “national security” candidates — the assertive few who stand up for a strong America. Mr. Bolton has endorsed and donated to 56 campaigns so far, and he’s succinct about it. The former U.N. ambassador knows who was awarded a Purple Heart, who’s got insight on emerging threats, who’s good for the long march, who’s a fiscal conservative. Mr. Bolton also has discovered that voters are eager to embrace this breed of political stalwart; over $6 million in grassroots donations have arrived to shore up big names and determined unknowns alike.

“To assure that the United States is prepared and capable to lead on the global stage, we must support assertive leaders who understand the nature of today’s most pressing security challenges to which our nation must respond,” says Mr. Bolton. “The GOP has a strong track record of electing leaders who embody hard working values, and provide sharp and bold American leadership.”

Among those who get the Bolton nod: Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa of California, former A-10 pilot Martha McSally and her quest for the U.S. House seat in Arizona, and decorated CIA officer Will Hurd‘s campaign for same in Texas. See them all here: Boltonpac.com

NO, CLINTON IS NOT REAGAN

He’s not one to stand in the wings and be a thoughtful statesman or play professor. That would be former President Bill Clinton, who has been out of office since 2001, but remains a fixture on the campaign trail and in opinion polls — prompting some observers to label him “the Democrats’ Ronald Reagan.



Is he? Uh, no. So says Reagan historian and author Craig Shirley, who knows the landscape all too well.

“When it comes to comparing Reagan and Clinton and their relative place in history, it is obvious that conservatives have higher standards than liberals. As an aside, for Clinton’s sake, let’s hope God is not done with him yet,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

FUNDRAISING MATINEE NOW PLAYING

White House + Hollywood = cash? But of course. For the third time this year, President Obama journeys to the glittering West Coast later this week, bound for a Democratic fundraising event at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow; tickets for this rarefied meal start at $15,000. This is a three-day jaunt, however, with yet-to-be announced plans in other locales.

Not to be outdone, Vice President Joe Biden was also in Tinseltown this week at a pair of fundraisers attended by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and folk singer Carole King. Oh, and he made cameo appearances at two more fundraisers in San Francisco on Tuesday, to be followed by appearances in Oregon, the state of Washington and Florida.

One look at first lady Michelle Obama‘s itinerary reveals that she too is in fundraising mode as the days before the midterm elections dwindle down to a precious few. This week Mrs. Obama visits Massachusetts, Maine, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin — with more likely following a brief intermission.

WELCOME TO THE FIASCO VORTEX

Yes, it is disconcerting that scandal, muckraking and murmurs occupies much of the press narrative. A new book adds insight, to be introduced Wednesday by Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist in the nation’s capital. The book is “Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal” by Eric Dezenhall, a crisis management guru who has now identified such things as “the fiasco vortex” and the “controversy iceberg.” Hm. Both sound like landmarks near the U.S. Capitol, but no matter. Formidable politicians, sports figures, celebrities, major corporations — all are at risk.

“When it comes to the narrow pathology of reputational and marketplace attacks, these behemoths are shockingly vulnerable to agenda-driven and organic disruption beyond their control,” Mr. Dezenhall writes. “At the same time, those who were once thought powerless — individual consumers, issues driven activist — have become more powerful than ever, and sometimes even qualify as conventional power in and of themselves.”

“He rightly identifies a public schadenfreude inherent in the taking down of wealthy targets,” Publishers Weekly says of the author.

HICKENLOOPER’S REMORSE

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is currently questioning the wisdom of legalizing recreational marijuana in his state without fully considering the cultural, health and law enforcement factors. Legalization could be folly.

‘I think for us to do that without having all the data — there is not enough data — to a certain extent you could say it was reckless. I’m not saying it was reckless because I’ll get quoted everywhere, but if it was up to me I wouldn’t have done it. I opposed it from the very beginning. In matter of fact, all right what the hell. I’ll say it was reckless,” the Democrat declared Tuesday during an economics debate with his midterm Republican opponent Robert Beauprez.

‘TRANSFORMATION TO LEGITIMACY’

Some stand by economics attributes of legalization, however.

“The marijuana industry finds itself in a very unique situation. No other industry has a demonstrated demand in the billions of dollars, yet because that demand has been black market until now, the barriers of entry are low and the competitive landscape is weak. The industry has already developed from underground operators using confusing laws as a cover to run their businesses to complete laws attracting opportunistic entrepreneurs,” Adam Bierman tells The Beltway.

He is partner in The MedMen, a California-based consulting and management firm for marijuana entrepreneurs.

“With the threat of federal intervention subsiding and states having learned from one another how to create implement structured, successful programs, we see only the most upstanding, successful local businesspeople participating in the industry,” Mr. Bierman insists. “With that last piece of the puzzle — the institutional capital — comes intellectual capital, a solid talent pool, structured systems, and competition. With upwards of six states currently creating legitimate marijuana industries, this institutional money will begin to flow into our space, and the transformation to legitimacy will be complete.”

POLL DU JOUR

69 percent of Americans have confidence that the Secret Service can improve the job it does providing security.

29 percent do not have confidence in the federal agency.

43 percent say the recent breach of the White House is a sign of “broader agency problems” within the Secret Service.

54 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent say the breach was an isolated incident.

35 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,007 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 2-5.

• Remorse, zeal to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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