- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One more time, he is California bound.  We know it’s time to fire up Air Force One for a West Coast mission. Indeed, President Obama journeys to Palo Alto, California on Friday to address the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University — then it’s on to San Francisco for a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser with tickets priced from $10,000 to $32,400. But wait. The holiday weekend looms.

On Valentine’s day, Mr. Obama departs for Palm Springs, “where he will remain until Monday,” the White House advises. Well, OK. This is his fourth visit to the swank and scenic area; the previous three have all included time spent at Rancho Mirage, the resort town just to the southeast. No one has confirmed or denied the presence of manicured greens, endless fairways and brilliant blue skies in the plans yet; first lady Michelle Obama’s schedule has not been mentioned either. Local news organizations are recalling, however, that Mr. Obama had been interested in buying a $4.25 million home in Thunderbird Heights, an exclusive community once home to Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. But they’re talking about it.

“The 6,100 square foot main home has four bedrooms and 4.5 baths, and there is an additional 2,000 square foot casita with three bedrooms, three baths,” notes Palm Springs Life, a local lifestyle magazine.

And just to review, the president attended 71 fundraising events in 2014, this according to the Sunlight Foundation. In fairness, though, we also must mention that the group says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went to 109 fundraisers last year in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Assoc.

RUN LIZ RUN

Democratic voters want a campaign not a coronation, and grass-roots populism is on their minds. A new poll from the progressive activists at MoveOn.org and YouGov reveals that 82 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers and three quarters of likely New Hampshire primary voters want Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016. The Massachusetts Democrat has already said she’s not interested, but that has not deterred her devoted fan base from declaring “Run, Liz, run” — against Hillary Rodham Clinton of course, long deemed the dominant favorite by pollsters and pundits alike.


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A hefty 98 percent of the respondents agree that a competitive primary is “good for the party, candidates and voters,” the poll states. “When they are informed about Warren’s biography and issue positions, 79 percent say they would like her to run for president.”

She bests Mrs. Clinton, and everyone else in the survey. “Elizabeth Warren leads all other potential candidates for the nomination in both states: 31 percent to 24 percent over Hillary Clinton in Iowa (with other potential candidates further behind) — and 30 percent to 27 percent in New Hampshire,” the results say. The respondents also liked Mrs. Warren’s take on things like “standing up to Wall Street” and easing student loan debt.

“A shock poll. Fauxcahontas leads Mrs. Inevitable in Iowa, New Hampshire,” Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience on Wednesday.

CALIFORNIA ON THE HORIZON

 

CULTURAL MOMENT

Time, culture and legislation march on. Assembling on Thursday at the National Press Club in the nation’s capital: Rep. Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat, and Women Grow, a national professional network for “women entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry,” the ladies say. Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association will also be on hand. More than 60 female cannabis entrepreneurs will then go to Capitol Hill to lobby their lawmakers, and industry sources.

Yes. Time, culture and legislation march on.

‘STAND WITH BIBI’

“Speaker John Boehner invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on the threats posed by radical Islam and a nuclear Iran. Many have been critical of the timing and nature of the address coming up on March 3rd, but not the RJC and our 40,000 members across the country. Unlike J-Street, we believe the Prime Minister of Israel speaks for all of the Jewish people around the world as it relates to threats from a nuclear Iran.”

— From the “Stand with Bibi” public petition launched Wednesday by the Republican Jewish Coalition. The grass-roots group is already planning its two-day spring leadership meeting in April, and advises that former President George W. Bush, Sens. Rob Portman and Ted Cruz, House Speaker John Boehner, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry will address the organization when they gather at the opulent Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on April 25. The big doings will include a Shabbat dinner and golf tournament.

A JON STEWART REALITY CHECK

While an anxious quadrant of the broadcast audience wonders what Comedy Central host Jon Stewart plans to do when he steps away from his nightly show later this year, one analyst offers a reality check.

“With Stewart gone, the media know they are losing a vital weapon in the arsenal they use to destroy conservatives. Jon Stewart is the least man-of-the-people comedian America has ever seen. Though he disguises himself as a populist, in reality he’s a self-described socialist, who, for the last decade and a half, has sought and enjoyed unearned fame by playing a Court Jester perfectly-aligned with everything the Court of the Media Elite holds dear: Power over others, a monopoly on political speech, and withering attacks against conservatives,” writes John Nolte, media analyst for Brietbart.com

He points out that the admiring press also consistently replayed video clips from Mr. Stewart’s work to up his popularity, though the show drew fewer viewers than Mike Huckabee’s talk show on Fox News.

“There’s no question Jon Stewart is a talented guy. But he is also an intellectual coward, a defender of a central government forcing others to conform to his values, a hypocrite opposed to others enjoying the same unfettered speech that made him a multi-millionaire, and a sellout to The Man,” Mr. Nolte says. “Don’t let the gilded door hit you on the way out, Jon. The White House is sad to see Jon Stewart go. If that doesn’t say it all.”

MAXIMUM NEWSMAX

Very promising news for Newsmax TV, the feisty news organization that offers politics, policy, current events plus practical lifestyle fare. The channel has signed a long-term agreement with Verizon FIOS, which ups their viewing audience to 40 million homes. Newsmax TV is also seen on DISH, DirectTV and NCTC, a cable cooperative; it currently offers 10 hours of daily live programming, but will expand to 18 hours later this year, all under the motto of “independent, American,” — not a bad bit of branding in an age when even Gallup polls reveal the political marketplace is dominated by, yes, independents.

CEO Christopher Ruddy points out that in the last six months, the channel exceeded an initial goal of signing 20 million cable homes by more than 100 percent. “We’re going fast because there is a huge appetite for Newsmax. We are the voice of America’s heartland,” he tells the Beltway.

POLL DU JOUR

48 percent of Americans say TV reporters are untrustworthy; 46 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say TV reporters are trustworthy; 49 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent of overall say NBC anchor Brian Williams is untrustworthy; 57 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent overall say Mr. Williams is trustworthy; 27 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 43 percent of Democrats agree

35 percent have a favorable impression of CBS anchor Scott Pelley; 28 percent of Republicans, 15 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent have a favorable impression of ABC anchor David Muir; 26 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 8-9.

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