- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

OK, this is it — it’s showtime. Fire up that Jumbotron, because the next stop is Clintonpalooza. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s strategists have 11 days to come up with something perfectly spectacular. After weeks of quiet little meet and greets and a few paltry quotable quotes for the press, the leading Democratic presidential hopeful at last will stage a bustling public event for one and all on June 13 at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park — this on Roosevelt Island at the southern tip of Manhattan — complete with historic flourishes and a dramatic backdrop of industry and skyscrapers.

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been mired in scandals regarding the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donors and her secret email server. After dodging questions for months, she should take this opportunity to finally come clean and discuss the issues important to everyday Americans,” observes Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.

But the planners have another strategy.

“Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has been inspired by FDR’s belief that America is stronger when we summon the work and talents of all Americans, and has long admired Eleanor Roosevelt as a role model,” the Clinton campaign advises. “Her speech will lay out her view of the challenges facing this country and her vision and ideas for moving the country forward.”

The Democratic hopeful then will be whisked off on a tour of four states in five days: Iowa, followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. This will not likely involve the Scooby Bus or anything like it. Some are counseling Mrs. Clinton to add a little truth to all the spectacle.

“Maybe the best way to get Clinton to start answering substantive questions from the media is for someone to pay her a speaking fee to do so,” suggests Ian Prior, communications director for American Crossroads.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: BACHELOR PRESIDENT

The news that Sen. Lindsey Graham is a bachelor has emerged in the news, right along with his big announcement that he intends to run for the White House, making him the ninth in the ever-expanding Republican presidential field. Indeed, the South Carolina lawmaker’s single status garnered close to 500 press mentions on Monday, with much coverage devoted to the historic significance of it all — he would be the first bachelor president since James Buchanan, who was elected in 1856. Grover Cleveland also rated a mention; he was a widower who married in office exactly 129 years ago, as of Tuesday. Journalists appear almost as fascinated with the idea of Mr. Graham, single president, as they are over Bill Clinton’s potential status as first gentleman.

Yeah, well. This has been going on for a while, and indeed, the discussion could veer in multiple directions. Fox News Sunday moderator Chris Wallace advised Mr. Graham that he should retreat to a “psychiatrist’s couch” to explain why he’d never married, and that was back in April. Mr. Graham, 59, is defining himself as a fearless hawk in the meantime — as bold with his warning to terrorists as, say, George Pataki and Rep. Peter T. King, a pair of New York Republicans who don’t hold back on such things either.

“I want to be president to defeat the enemies that are trying to kill us. Not just paralyze them, or criticize them, or contain them, but defeat them. I’ve come to conclude that we will never enjoy peaceful coexistence with radical Islam, because its followers intend to destroy our way of life,” Mr. Graham said during his campaign announcement in Central, South Carolina on Monday. The candidate will be in New Hampshire by Tuesday. His pro-life fans, however, have not forgotten he was the lead sponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

“We need more people who put action behind their convictions. Senator Graham continually backs up his words with concrete action. He has been a true and consistent champion for life in the U.S. Senate and, thanks to his strategic leadership, we are closer than ever before to getting every senator on record when it comes to protecting innocent children after the fifth month of pregnancy,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life interest group.

BIG GOP DEAL OF THE DAY

Seven Republican hopefuls descend upon Florida Tuesday, lining up to appear at the daylong Economic Growth Summit at Disney World in Orlando, organized by Gov. Rick Scott himself, along with Let’s Get to Work, a political action committee.

Each GOP candidate will have 30 minutes to talk up jobs and the economy, and deliver customary warnings of Democratic folly, plus some Reagan-style optimism, including: Govs. Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal; Sen. Marco Rubio; Jeb Bush; Rick Perry; and Mike Huckabee. Three hundred guests and 150 journalists are also expected.

C-SPAN will offer live coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST. The ever-astute Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto will offer interviews with the big names beginning at high noon.

HOLA, SENORITA COULTER

On a U.S./Mexico border fence: “People who live in gated communities tell us fences don’t work.”

On welfare: “Today’s immigrants aren’t coming here to breathe free, they’re coming to live for free.”

On media coverage of immigration: “It can be difficult to discuss America’s immigration policies when it’s considered racist merely to say, ‘We liked America the way it was.’”

— Quotes from “Adios, America” Ann Coulter’s 11th book published by Regnery on Monday.

TUESDAY READING

Free for the download at noon Tuesday: “The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money” by George Gilder, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. The work will be introduced at a fancy lunch in New York City by Sean Fieler, chairman of the American Principles Project, and Steve Forbes, editor in chief of Forbes Media. You can find Mr. Gilder’s work at AmericanPrinciplesProject.org.

BERNIE WANTS A DISCUSSION

Newly minted Democratic presidential hopeful Bernard Sanders is calling for “interparty” debates with fellow Democratic contenders, which at this point are Mrs. Clinton, Martin O’Malley and maybe Jim Webb. In an open letter to Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Sanders suggests the Dem-centric debates begin as soon as summer gets rolling to spark voter interest and, ultimately, turnout. Then again, it could also spark voter fatigue since the election is still 17 months off — something for both parties to consider.

“The people of this country are tired of political gossip, personal attacks and ugly 30-second ads. They want the candidates to engage in serious discussion about the very serious issues facing our country today,” Mr. Sanders says.

POLL DU JOUR

61 percent of Americans say Congress should renew the Patriot Act that allows the National Security Agency to collect metadata; 73 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

36 percent of Americans overall say Congress should not renew the Patriot Act; 23 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent overall say the risk of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil will “remain about the same” if Congress does not renew the law; 35 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent overall say the risk of a terrorist attack will increase if Congress does not renew the law; 61 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats agree.

3 percent overall say the risk of a terrorist attack will decrease if Congress does not renew the law; 1 percent of Republicans, 3 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,025 U.S. adults conducted May 29-31.

Petty annoyances, strategic advisories to [email protected]

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