- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Forget Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Scooby Bus. Gov. Scott Walker is about to show the competition how to campaign in authentic down-home style once he declares his intent to run for president — now only days away. The “Team Walker” campaign is already warning news organizations that this is a major media event and to plan accordingly. Once the Wisconsin Republican makes his announcement, he’s got big doings planned — and we do mean big. Remember, this is a man who donned black leather, aviator sunglasses and heavy boots, then personally rode into Shanghai on a Harley Davidson to promote one of his home state’s most prominent manufacturers. He has a sense of occasion.

Walker’s announcement event will take place in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Monday, July 13th. From there, Walker will travel to Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, capping off the week with a three-day Winnebago trip through Iowa as he pursues the ‘Full Grassley’ 99-county tour over the coming months. Next week’s leg of the tour also includes a stop in Atlanta, Georgia,” the Walker campaign announced.

The Winnebago touch is a brilliant campaign strategy, likely to eclipse Mrs. Clinton’s much-ballyhooed van tour of Iowa some weeks ago. Details about the actual motorhome in question have yet to emerge. Will it be a Class-A diesel model with stainless steel appliances? A cruiser with swivel seats, with Mr. Walker at the wheel? It is interesting to note that Winnebago is headquartered in Forest City, Iowa, and has a huge, devoted fan base. Journalists will be eager to chronicle the adventures of the Walker Winnebago and the emerging Winnebago voters — hearty stalwarts from the heartland, and eager to hear a presidential pitch.

RIGHT TO LIFE CONVENTION DRAWS BIG NAMES

Those who are “the voice for the voiceless” gather in a big way for the four-day National Right to Life Convention, which begins Thursday in New Orleans. It is a bodacious event — and clear proof that political A-listers continue to support the pro-life cause with gusto. Gov. Bobby Jindal, in fact, has left the presidential trail and is the opening act for the “Festival of Life” party, complete with brass band and a toast to the “pro-life heritage of Louisiana,” say organizers.

Republican Sens. David Vitter and Bill Cassidy, plus Rep. John Fleming are also on board for some speechifying, along with Louisiana state Reps. Frank Hoffman, Lenar Whitney, Julie Stokes and Mike Johnson. Also on hand: veteran political analyst Mary Matalin; Father Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life; Bobby Schindler, brother of the late Terri Schiavo; plus “Miss Kay” Robinson and Alan and Lisa Robinson of “Duck Dynasty” fame.

Then there are the presidential hopefuls: Sen. Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Ben Carson and Rick Santorum will have their say at a forum on Friday. All four are unapologetically pro-life; their appearances could yield a few moments of agreement among some intense rivals.

PRAYERS FROM PALIN

Sarah Palin is not done with public life yet.

The former Alaska guv has signed a deal with Regnery Publishing to write “Sweet Freedom: A Devotional,” a spiritual book to be released in late November featuring 260 meditations that “apply biblical principles to the pressing topics of our time,” the publisher says of the author’s‘s fifth book.

“This will be the first Palin title published by Regnery and is the first devotional released by the company best known for publishing political and history books from conservative authors,” says Emma Koonse, an analyst for Publishers Weekly.

NAME-WRANGLING

One academic has a solution to the ongoing controversies over names — specifically, the naming of important sites after people who have become unpopular over time. Joseph M. Knippenberg, a professor of politics at Oglethorpe University, cites towns and buildings named after religious saints, politicians who were once slaveowners and even Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who authorized the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“I suppose we could hand over naming responsibilities to the people who come up with the meaningless yet evocative model names for automobiles. We could have city, state, and building names like Sentra, Acura, and Elantra. Or we could restrict ourselves to the names of politicians and other public figures who have seen the light, which in practice means people born in the 1950s or later,” Mr. Knippenberg writes in The Federalist.

“The problem there is that they may currently hold opinions that will offend our grandchildren. Perhaps every place or building name should come with an expiration date: You get, not 15 seconds of fame, but, say, 20 years,” he writes. “Now that would be progress, that is, the progressive overcoming of the dead hand of the past, honoring and remembering only those who contributed to our transient and strictly speaking meaningless (because self-defined) perfection. Oh, brave new world!”

HUCKABEE WINS OVER THE SHERIFFS

It is a first for the nation’s sheriffs: Mike Huckabee has emerged as the favorite candidate in an unprecedented presidential straw poll conducted by the National Sheriffs’ Association. Top support overall, the organization says, went to Mr. Huckabee, followed by Jeb Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ben Carson and Scott Walker. The poll of sheriffs, deputies, police officers and jailers was conducted during a national convention in Baltimore last week, which included appearances by Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Carson, along with Democratic hopefuls Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb.

“Moving forward, our 3,081 elected sheriffs from across the nation and 20,000 members want to hear more presidential candidate ideas on immigration and border security, treating the mentally ill in our jails and other important criminal justice and public safety issues from those running for president. We are eager to continue the dialogue,” says Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the Virginia-based group.

AND IN SUMMATION …

“She accepted accountability for nothing. She was not asked a single question about her State Department time, and she blamed the vast right-wing conspiracy for everything.”

Carly Fiorina, to Fox News, reviewing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first national interview on CNN since launching her campaign for president in April.

POLL DU JOUR

47 percent of Americans say that it is “all right” for Southern state governments to display the Confederate flag; 67 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

19 percent of black respondents and 64 percent of white respondents also agree.

52 percent of those in the South, 42 percent of Midwesterners, 44 percent of Westerners and 42 percent of Easterners agree.

46 percent of Americans say Southern state governments should “stop practices” of displaying the Confederate flag; 27 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

73 percent of black respondents and 41 percent of white respondents agree.

41 percent of those in the South, 47 percent of Midwesterners, 50 percent of Westerners and 49 percent of Easterners agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 2,013 U.S. adults conducted July 1-3.

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