- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bill Clinton will be there, Bill de Blasio will not. New York City’s very Democratic mayor is skipping an event that includes a marching band, happy Democrats, a backdrop of skyscrapers and spirited speechifying that taps the wisdom of Franklin Roosevelt and spouse Eleanor. We’re talking Hillapalooza here. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally makes it official on Saturday at high noon, on an island at the lower end of Manhattan, aiming to persuade the nation that she is a sage populist destined for the White House. Or words to that effect. The event will be a big, noisy thing organized by a team that includes veteran planners behind the 1992 Democratic National Convention, during a previous Clinton heyday.

That’s a lot of distractions. Critics wonder if Mrs. Clinton will offer any substance to go with all the ballyhoo — say, a little policy talk or answers on Benghazi or those pesky emails and donations. And meanwhile, no mayor.

“What I am waiting to hear about is the fight against income inequality, how we raise wages and benefits, how we create the kind of progressive taxation system we need,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters eager to fathom why the mayor would be a no-show. The fact that he publicly announced he wasn’t quite ready to endorse Mrs. Clinton could be one reason.

“It’s June. The election is next year. There’s plenty of time,” the mayor advised.

Well, perhaps not as much as he thinks. Mrs. Clinton is out of there the moment her speech ends, flying off to Iowa as her intensely choreographed campaign takes shape.

“On Saturday evening, Clinton will attend a house party of caucus-goers in Sioux City that will be simulcast at hundreds of other house parties across the country. At least one such organizing meeting is planned for every congressional district in the country. More than a dozen house parties will be hosted in Iowa alone,” the campaign advises. “On Sunday, Clinton will host a launch party at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.”

And naturally, she’ll be in New Hampshire by Monday for the Manchester City Democrats’ Flag Day Dinner — and so forth and so on.

WHAT’S PAST IS PROLOGUE

As a U.S. senator once upon a time, Hillary Rodham Clinton voted against income tax relief for all Americans. “In 2001 she voted ‘no’ on the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act (HR 1836), the Republican tax cut package,” reports Americans for Tax Reform. The watchdog group vows to track the candidate’s entire tax record now and in the future.

The aforementioned legislation cut taxes for American families by creating a new 10 percent bracket and doubling the child tax credit, among many things. At the time, Mrs. Clinton characterized the tax relief as a “spendthrift tax plan” that was fiscally irresponsible by increasing the federal deficit.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Camp Mitt”

— Fox News nickname for Mitt Romney’s three-day retreat at a five-star Utah resort for six Republican presidential hopefuls, a retreat which includes horseback riding, skeet-shooting, flag football, hiking and hot air balloon rides. The actual name for the event is the “Experts and Enthusiasts Summit.” It begins Friday and will draw a number of luminaries, including Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who will moderate a key discussion on opening day.

AGE AND WISDOM

GOP strategists should not ignore or discount senior voters, who often prove to be politically engaged and the first in line at the voting booths. From a new poll of 3,900 registered voters aged 65 and up comes this:

“The results revealed that senior voters lean towards the GOP, especially when Hillary Clinton is the nominee. When asked about potential presidential candidates, respondents favored Scott Walker (45 percent) over Hillary Clinton (36 percent), and Jeb Bush (44 percent) over Hillary Clinton (41 percent). In addition, the survey found that 44 percent of senior voters would support a Republican candidate if the 2016 congressional elections were held today, while only 35 percent of seniors would vote for a Democratic candidate.”

The survey was conducted on several dates between April 27 and June 5 by Bring the Vote Home, a Washington-based interest group reaching out to home-bound and disabled voters, their families and caregivers. According to U.S. Census figures, 30 million registered voters over 65 voted in the 2012 presidential election.

A PROTECTIVE MOMENT

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has just received some new legislation to consider: State lawmakers have passed a bill to permit off-duty and former police officers to carry guns on school property; current state law prohibits firearms within a 1,000 feet of a school. All Republicans voted in favor of the Senate bill, along with three Democrats.

“I’d feel a heck of a lot better if there were off-duty law enforcement officers on those school grounds who have a weapon with them and have been trained and can protect my kids,” said Wisconsin state Rep. Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc, who authored the legislation.

Wisconsin news outlets say Mr. Walker is likely to sign the measure when it reaches his desk.

WHO’S WHERE?

Yes, yes, Hillary’s going to be everywhere for a while. Meanwhile, the 2016 presidential campaign itself tends to move in fits and starts like a faulty scooter. So, in fairness, here’s where her rivals on both sides of the aisle will be will be this weekend: California: Sen. Rand Paul; Iowa: Sen. Bernie Sanders; New Hampshire: Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, George Pataki; Oklahoma: Sen. Ted Cruz; South Carolina: Mike Huckabee; Utah: Sens. Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, Govs. Scott Walker and Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and the aforementioned John Kasich.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The H.L. Hunt Estate, built in 1929 in Dallas, Texas; home for the famous oilman as well as his son, the late sportsman and promoter Lamar Hunt. Five bedrooms, nine baths in 10,511-square-foot main home modeled after Mount Vernon on 10 acres facing White Rock Lake. Four-bedroom, five-bath guest quarters; tennis courts: swimming pool with 1,200-square-foot poolhouse; putting green: four-lane bowling alley; extensive landscaping. There’s also a 16-car garage, a media room and home theater, and 10,000-bottle wine storage with grotto, gym and elevator. Home renovated in 2002.

Priced at $19 million through Christiesrealestate.com; enter 271061 in search function.

POLL DU JOUR

69 percent of Americans trust the Supreme Court to deliver a fair ruling on freedom of speech issues, 65 percent trust the court’s judgment on voting rights and 60 percent on the death penalty.

50 percent trust the high court’s judgment on health care issues, 49 percent on same-sex marriage.

63 percent say gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry: 74 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans agree.

55 percent overall oppose Obamacare, 43 percent favor the health care law.

53 percent say it’s too early to judge Obamacare; 35 percent say it is a failure, 11 percent say it’s a success.

52 percent approve of the way the Supreme Court is “handling its job,” while 41 percent disapprove.

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

Hurrahs and impeccable logic to [email protected]   Follow her on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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