- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Republican National Committee puts it this way: “The Clinton machine rumbles on.” Indeed, Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s quest for the White House is akin to an all-terrain vehicle on the campaign trail — rolling over bumps, skirting ditches, and even airborne at times. Despite the rough ride, it relentlessly covers the territory, on course for the prime destination. Yes, well. Mrs. Clinton’s critics, meanwhile, are weary of it, and thinking tactics.

“As Hillary re-announces her campaign, one can’t help but recall the string of foreign policy blunders and national security failures that follow her. Hillary Clinton is absolutely not the leader our country needs. She wasn’t in 2008 and she certainly isn’t in 2016. Over the next 18 months I will be doing all I can to ensure she isn’t our next president,” vows John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador who has endorsed scores of national security candidates rooted in a strong and stable America. He has plans.

“As president, Hillary Clinton would be a continuation of President Obama‘s failed foreign policy. It’s still early, but over the coming months through the Foundation for America Security and Freedom, through my super PAC, and by speaking directly with voters, I plan to hold her accountable for her own failures, including Benghazi and email-gate, that harmed U.S. national security and endangered American lives,” Mr. Bolton tells Inside the Beltway.

HOLLYWOOD CALLING HILLARY

It has been a restless schedule this first week. Since delivering her campaign reset speech last weekend, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been in New York, Iowa, New Hampshire — and now California. But it’s fundraising, not campaigning, that draws her to the Golden State. Mrs. Clinton will be in Beverly Hills on Friday for a trio of private fundraisers — those “conversation” gatherings where ticket prices start at $2,700 per person and work up to $50,000 for the honor of being a “host.” The actual hosts include actor and producer Tobey Maguire, of “Spider-Man” fame.



When Saturday dawns, Mrs. Clinton journeys to a fourth fundraiser: a swank brunch in the Mission district of San Francisco, again with admission ranging up to $50,000. Also in town: President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, poised to attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event at the home of billionaire Tom Steyer. Meanwhile, serious talk that Mrs. Clinton could raise $1 billion for her campaign could be realistic: By the end of June, she will have appeared at 26 fundraisers.

FAITH VOTERS VERGE ON A SURGE

“We are told that church and state must be kept separate. We are told that the younger generation doesn’t care about politics. We are told that our conservative beliefs are outdated. These lies have caused the Christian voice to be silenced in Washington,” declares a video outreach for the Road to Majority, now underway at a historic hotel in the nation’s capital — a bodacious gathering of 2,000 religion-minded activists, organized by the million-member Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Organizers spell out the mission: “To fight the radical Obama agenda, advance conservative legislation at the state and federal level, and prepare for the 2016 elections.” The event has drawn presidential hopefuls who anticipate a potential faith surge.

“The energy and engagement levels of faith-based voters have never been higher than right now,” says Timothy Head, executive director for the organization, which has urged the White House hopefuls to “speak from the heart.”

Among those happy to oblige: Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio; Govs. Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal; and Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Ben Carson and Rick Santorum. And on Saturday, Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina have their say, followed by Gov. Scott Walker — star of the Patriot’s Gala, the grand finale.

“The field of candidates this election cycle is large and diverse. But they all know that the only path to the White House is through the faith-based community,” says Ralph Reed, who founded the Georgia-based coalition six years ago.

THE WALKER DASH

It’s a good thing Philadelphia is a mere 136 miles from the nation’s capital. The Northeast Leadership Conference is now underway in Philly, organized by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and featuring some of the same luminaries appearing at the aforementioned Road to Majority — including Mr. Graham, Mr. Santorum, Mr. Christie plus Ms. Fiorina.

One has a tighter schedule than most, though. Mr. Walker is the featured speaker at the Pennsylvania GOP’s big luncheon reception Saturday, before he must race to Washington to keynote the Road to Majority gala at 7 p.m. “That’s what it takes. Part of the job description,” notes a sage GOP adviser.

THE DUH FACTOR

A message from voters to strategists tempted to dumb down or trivialize political campaigns: Don’t do it. The wise will heed findings of an unusual Rasmussen Reports survey of 950 likely registered voters, which finds that 91 percent say voters in countries with democratically elected governments “have a responsibility” to be informed about major policy issues. But alas, that does not appear to be the reality.

“Only 11 percent feel most Americans are informed voters. Eighty-one percent think most are not,” the pollster reports. “Twenty percent of Democrats believe most Americans are informed voters, but only 7 percent of both Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major political party agree.”

BUMPER PATROL

“The Constitution: Frustrating liberals since 1789”

— Bumper sticker spotted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Littlebrook Farm, hand-hewn log home and estate built in 1935 by a local sportsman in Spokane, Washington. Four bedrooms, four baths, 3,600-square-foot home on six wooded acres with stream in rustic lodge stye. Incredible natural wood and detailing, original hardware, light fixtures, wood flooring, Italian marble and tile, stone fireplace, stained glass, hand-carved trims. State-of-the-art kitchen, finished basement, sitting room, furnace, roof, drain field; electrical and other infrastructure replaced or updated. One-acre trout pond, dam, waterfall, extensive landscaping. Priced at $975,000 through HistoricLittlebrook.com.

POLL DU JOUR

75 percent of Americans will celebrate Father’s Day, spending a total of $12.7 billion, or an average $116 per person to celebrate Dad.

62 percent will buy Dad a greeting card.

52 percent will buy a gift for father or stepfather, 28 percent for husband, 9 percent for a son, 6 percent for a brother, 5 percent for a friend and 4 percent for a grandfather.

43 percent will treat Dad to a special outing like a meal or ballgame, 40 percent buy clothing, 39 percent let Dad pick out his own gift.

21 percent will purchase a book or CD, 20 percent a consumer electronic gadget or computer accessory, 16 percent sporting goods.

15 percent buy tools, 14 percent home improvement or gardening supplies, 13 percent auto accessories.

Source: A National Retail Federation survey of 6,087 U.S. adults, conducted May 5-15 and released June 1.

Happy Father’s Day to you and yours from Inside the Beltway.

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