- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2015

Here comes Republican presidential candidate No. 12: Not to be outdone by any rival, Donald Trump has garnered intense buzz and media coverage for better or worse, in favor and disfavor. In his traditional, fabulous, bombastic style, Mr. Trump announced — sound the drum roll and clarion trumpets, please — that he was running for the White House in 2016. Before an enthusiastic New York City audience, he offered a wide ranging and self-assured speech that was part common sense, part show biz and part nerve - and definitely well received, whether he was promising to repeal Obamacare, support the Second Amendment, build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border - and make Mexico pay for it - or challenge the Islamic State and China.

Mr. Trump’s main message: “Let’s make American great again.”  He believes his skills as a negotiator, self-made entrepreneur and family man will come in handy. Mr. Trump was not shy about his wealth, either, clearly spelling out his net worth - around $10 million.

This all took place at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, an the event was covered by C-SPAN. Now there’s much activity. Following the big reveal, Mr. Trump will immediately depart for Iowa, to appear just as sunset falls upon Hoyt Sherman Place, a historic venue in Des Moines with a state-of-the art theater and broadcast system on site. But wait there’s more. Mr. Trump is in New Hampshire by Wednesday for another post-announcement moment at a community college in Manchester. And yes, he has organized a campaign staff under the direction of Corey Lewandowski, a local conservative strategist, plus a 17-member “leadership team” in the Granite State.

And naturally, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has an interview with Mr. Trump as a new Republican hopeful, or whatever it is that he has become. See it Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET.

HOW DID JOHN ELLIS BUSH DO?

He’s generated much hubbub himself. That would be Jeb Bush — aka as Jeb! — who like the aforementioned Mr. Trump, faces scrutiny fair and otherwise. Bombastic, he’s not. The GOP’s newest presidential hopeful could potentially be the candidate voters heed, particularly if his authenticity is not compromised by the tight campaign choreography and predictable messaging that has already troubled Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. Message to the handlers: Let Jeb be Jeb. Meanwhile, here’s the reception he got following his speech in Miami, via those ever convenient headlines:


SEE ALSO: Democrat arm-twisting on trade deal delayed after Obama weekend of golf, private Prince concert


“Jeb Bush promises optimism, consistency in 2016 bid” (CBS News), “Jeb Bush’s K Street connections” (Washington Post), “Wall Street casts its vote early — for Jeb Bush” (CNBC), “Immigration protesters disrupt Jeb’s campaign announcement” (Mediaite), “Bush takes on immigration — but at hecklers’ request” (CNN),” Jeb Bush announces candidacy, faces tough path in Iowa” (Des Moines Register), “Jeb Bush on 2016: ‘It’s Nobody’s Turn’” (National Journal).

GEORGE P. JUMPS IN

We’re talking George Prescott Bush here — Texas state official, Naval Reserve officer, attorney, husband, father of two sons and son of Jeb — now out to help his father’s emerging presidential campaign. He was there for the launch in Miami on Monday, and will fan out just like his father to meet the voters. Mr. Bush the senior journeys immediately to New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, highlighting his business acumen and record as a conservative governor.

And the younger Mr. Bush? At 39, he is a magnet for young voters, particularly young, undecided voters. George P. will be in both Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada to meet with college-aged Republicans and activists, and those proverbial “young professionals.” And that is all in the next week, just enough time for liberal news organizations to begin fretting that a fourth Bush could one day appear on presidential radar as well.

CLANDESTINE MOMENT

Appreciation for clandestine matters can start early. High school students from Canton, Oklahoma are in the nation’s capital Tuesday to compete in the National History Day finals, following their win on the state level competition. This year’s overall theme is “Leadership and Legacy in History.” The young Oklahoma scholars chose to center their presentation on General William Donovan, founder of the Office of Strategic Services — the World War II-era forerunner of both the CIA and U.S. special operations forces. An interesting choice. “You can’t succeed without taking chances,” the general once said.

Charles Pinck, president of the nonprofit OSS Society, will accompany the team on a tour of the original OSS headquarters overlooking the Potomac River near the State Dept. Their winning entry, incidentally, was titled “Calculated Recklessness: The Leadership and Legacy of William Donovan,” a group project by Charis McIntosh, Kaitlyn McIntosh, Isaac Sanderson, Conner Boettler, and Lynzey Black.

The contest itself is a formidable challenge: 600,000 kids entered the competition from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Central America, China, Korea and South Asia. The 3,000 state and regional winners will meet through Thursday at the University of Maryland just outside Washington.

HILLARY BEING HILLARY

In an age where official transparency is prized by both the press and the public, The Daily Mail reports that their own U.S. political editor David Martosko was denied access to a campaign event for Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire on Monday, though he was designated as the “pool reporter” for the day. Clinton staffers first objected that Mr. Martosko was “foreign press,” then claimed they needed to “have a conversation” about protocol. Mr. Martosko was turned away, denied use of a restroom and advised to “hit the woods.”

There was no clear resolution. But the press noticed. Mr. Martosko, former executive editor of The Daily Caller, was himself the subject of multiple stories.

“Clinton campaign stiff arms reporter in coverage pool,” noted The Washington Post. “Clinton boots critical reporter,” declared the Washington Examiner.

“Lapdogs only,” reported Twitchy.com

A previous tweet from Mr. Martosko may explain the acrimony. “It’s truly astonishing how many journalists at the @Hillaryclinton speech today reported exactly, and only, what the campaign wanted them to,” the reporter noted following Mrs. Clinton’s first major campaign appearance on Saturday.

HOLA AMERICA

It is a bipartisan series of events, and also an indicator that both parties hope to woo the much coveted Hispanic vote, now reported to number about 30 million. Several hundred Latino clergy will be on hand for the three-day Esperanza Conference in the nation’s, which incudes the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. Esperanza, incidentally, represents over 13,000 Hispanic congregations. Items to be discussed: the future political leadership of our country, plus education, immigration, housing and the economy.

There to make it happen: Esperanza founder Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr. plus Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, and GOP lawmakers Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington — along with Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democrats Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

POLL DU JOUR

72 percent of Americans have “a great deal” or “a lot” of confidence in the U.S. military.

67 percent have the same confidence in small business, 52 percent say the same of the police, 42 percent say that of church or organized religion.

37 percent feel such confidence for the U.S. medical system, 33 percent for “the presidency,” 32 percent for the U.S. Supreme Court.

31 percent feel strong confidence in the public school system, 28 percent in banks, 24 percent in newspapers and 24 percent in organized labor.

23 percent feel strong confidence in the criminal justice system, 21 in TV news and 21 percent in big business.

8 percent have strong confidence in the U.S. Congress.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,527 U.S. adults conducted June 2-7 and released Monday.

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