- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 26, 2015

A pivotal moment at the Conservative Action Political Conference comes Friday when Jeb Bush steps before an audience who are still trying place him in the presidential spectrum. Yes, he has name recognition, a posh political pedigree and is a quick study. The 6-foot-3 Mr. Bush is not easy to intimidate. But in a world bristling with lone wolves, restless nations and asymmetric warfare, is he hawk or dove? The public is not sure, says William Jordan, assistant editor of the YouGov Poll.

“Americans overwhelmingly see George W. Bush as a hawk. They are mostly undecided about his younger brother,” he says.

The polling group finds that 64 percent of the respondents aren’t sure where Jeb Bush stands; a quarter rate him as a hawk, compared to the 56 percent who deemed brother George as a hawk — and the 33 percent who said the same about Hillary Rodham Clinton. And if you’re curious: 14 percent said President Obama was a hawk while 49 percent deemed him a dove.

But at this point, and as Mr. Bush comes forward to solidify his case before conservatives, partisan perceptions matter: 26 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats say he’s a hawk. Fourteen percent of the GOPers and 9 percent of the Dems say he’s a dove. And equal numbers of both parties — about six in 10 — simply don’t know.

Incidentally, C-SPAN 3 will be covering the big CPAC speeches and the Reagan Dinner on Friday, beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET.



CARLYISM

“Now is the time to declare without apology and without equivocation this is the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

— Likely presidential (or vice-presidential) hopeful Carly Fiorina, to the CPAC attendees on Thursday

TEDISM

“We must demand action, and not talk, from our candidates. We must ask: When have you stood up and fought?”

— Sen. Ted Cruz, also to the aforementioned audience

CHRISTIEGRAM

“Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up. More of that stuff needs to be happening in Washington.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to CPAC

CARSONOLOGY

“It’s interesting to me that the left in particular loves to relabel and rename things. For instance, if you’re pro-life, you’re anti-woman. If you’re pro-traditional family, then you’re a homophobe. If you’re black, and you oppose a progressive agenda, you’re crazy.”

Ben Carson, to CPAC

JUST A THOUGHT

“I hope the American people remember that the Clintons sold access to foreign governments and interests while in the White House during the 1990s,” observes David Bossie, president of Citizens United and a National Review columnist, on consideration of blockbuster news that the officially titled Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign governments.

“Their foundation’s scandal raises the question: Why wouldn’t they do it again? Our country deserves better,” Mr. Bossie says.

WASHINGTON TIMES IDOL ODYSSEY

The vast youthful audience at Conservative Political Action Conference has come under scrutiny by the press, who are most curious about the draw conservatism has for those under 30. And they know their stuff, as evidenced by “The Washington Times Idol” — a showcase for the wit and wisdom of the young and restless. On the main stage Friday afternoon, the event features eight college-age journalism student who will pose questions a pair of outspoken politicians: Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Dennis Kucinich, former Democratic congressman from Ohio.

Ah, but this is modeled after “American Idol.” The students’ prowess as future reporters will be assessed by “celebrity judges” from The Times — Managing Editor Chris Dolan, chief political correspondent Ralph Hallow and investigative team leader Kelly Riddell. The event is moderated by Times online radio host Rusty Humphries. A paid internship at The Times awaits the winner.

RUBIO VERSUS THE FCC

He’s written a second book, toured New Hampshire — and Asia. Slowly but surely, Sen. Marco Rubio, the presidential hopeful, is emerging as he defines his turf on the campaign landscape. But wisely, he’s also tending to the business of a lawmaker. This week alone, the Florida Republican has issued statements on Cuban dissidents, White House relations with Cuba, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Islamic State, health care, campus safety and narco-terrorists. Now he is troubled by the FCC plan to increase government regulation of the Internet by reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications utility — net neutrality.

“Unlike the roads we drive on, the Internet is not a place where we need to start posting new speed limits and setting up new speed traps, but that’s essentially what this federal action threatens to do to the Internet,” says Mr. Rubio.

“The Internet doesn’t need more rules and mandates that take power away from consumers and hand it to a federal government board that every lobbyist, lawyer and crony capitalist with a vested interest in the Internet will now seek to manipulate to their advantage. The Internet has worked so well so far precisely because it’s been as level a playing field as we have in any industry today, but now this decision threatens to give government regulators the power to pick winners and losers,” the lawmaker continues. “I’m also concerned that this needless government intrusion into the Internet distracts from what we should be doing to reach the next frontier in the Internet’s history: to bring it within reach of the almost 100 million Americans who remain offline.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The “Godfather House,” Staten Island, New York. Made famous in the movie of the same name; 1930 English Tudor mansion, 6,248 square feet; completed renovated in 2012. Five bedrooms, seven baths, grand foyer, living room, “entertainer’s dream gourmet eat-in kitchen,” formal dining and great rooms, custom moldings, natural stone, coffered ceilings, two offices, gym, playroom, two fireplaces, English pub, “Man Cave,” game room, four-car garage, ultra-security system, radiant heat.

Priced at $2.9 million through Connieprofacirealtysi.com under the “Featured Homes” heading.

POLL DU JOUR

51 percent say the Republican Party can best handle the threat of terrorism; 31 percent cite the Democratic Party.

48 percent say the Republican Party can best handle foreign policy; 35 percent cite the Democratic Party.

47 percent say the Republican Party can best handle tax issues; 36 percent cite the Democratic Party.

44 percent say the Republican Party can best handle the economy; 41 percent cite the Democratic Party.

43 percent say the Republican Party can best handle immigration; 45 percent cite the Democratic Party.

40 percent say the Republican Party can best handle health care; 47 percent cite the Democratic Party.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,504 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 18-22.

Sighs of relief, hubbub to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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