- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 17, 2015

Americans still dream that some sensible, honest patriot will surface in the heartland, then run for office and rescue the nation. The numbers: 82 percent of U.S. voters say the nation needs to recruit more “ordinary citizens to run for office rather than professional politicians and lawyers” — this according to a new Fox News poll. That includes 84 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats.

Such findings could be disconcerting for all the 2016 hopefuls who race off to Iowa to display a carefully calibrated presidential posture. Or not.

A pronounced public preference for Joe-the-Candidate doesn’t appear to phase the polished hopefuls. Iowa is crawling with them. A dozen Republicans were in the Hawkeye State over the weekend. On Monday, it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton’s turn, creating a situation bound to repeat itself: Rivals in close proximity. On her second campaign trip to Iowa, Mrs. Clinton will journey to Mason City for a much ballyhooed grass-roots event in someone’s living room, but significant enough to draw coverage from C-SPAN.

In town at the same time: Rick Santorum, popping in at a local meet-and-greet, then head to the Family Leadership Regional Summit at a high school in Cedar Falls, about an hour to the southeast where he’ll parse family and pro-life issues with Mike Huckabee. While all this is going on, Rick Perry will appear at seven events in Rock Rapids, Sioux Center, Le Mars, Holstein, DeWitt, Dubuque and Waterloo — an indicator of the demanding nature of grass-roots campaigning in this day and age. Mr. Perry will be in Iowa all week, as a matter of fact — a schedule that just might cow the “ordinary citizen.”

But back to Mrs. Clinton. When Tuesday dawns, she heads to Cedar Falls herself for a meeting with small-business leaders at Bike Tech, a bicycle shop located in a former historic post office, which also offers advocacy: “In a country full of cars the bicycle seems to be the underdog. This is why the role of the bicycle advocate is so important,” the company notes. And Mr. Huckabee? He’ll also be in Cedar Falls, before racing off for multiple events in four cities, including a howdy-do at Cecil’s Cafe in Marshalltown with the Marshall County Pachyderm Association.

QUIZZICAL ABOUT MR. BUSH


SEE ALSO: GOP leaders vow to pass Obama’s trade bill


One pollster remains unconvinced about Jeb Bush and his likely quest for the White House.

“He has name recognition, money, clear leadership capacity, and the demeanor to be president. He also will raise a staggering amount of money. Given the GOP tradition of ultimately nominating the heir apparent or the most moderate candidate in the field, he wears both hats. But something doesn’t ring true just yet,” says John Zogby, who is slowly but surely offering odds on all the GOP hopefuls.

“He is being booed by the most ardent conservatives, his polling numbers are anemic, especially in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and he should be doing better for someone who represents an iconic name in the party. I give him 5-1 odds, but he should be in better shape,” Mr. Zogby observes.

COZY BUT CURIOUS GEORGE

“There is a coziness that George cannot escape. While he did try to separate himself from his political background to become a journalist, he really isn’t a journalist.”

— Former ABC News correspondent Carole Simpson, reminiscing about her old colleague and “This Week” moderator George Stephanopoulos, to CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

THREAT ON THE HORIZON

The terrorist threat takes a hair-raising new turn. Scheduled later this week before the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence: “Admitting Syrian Refugees: The Intelligence Void and the Emerging Homeland Security Threat.” The hearing will alert America to a whole new terrorism scenario.

“This hearing will review the potential threat posed by terrorists exploiting refugee resettlement programs, the challenge of gathering sufficient information to vet them, and what additional risk mitigation measures can be implemented to improve the ability to detect refugee applicants of concern,” says Rep. Peter King, New York Republican and panel chairman.

BOEHNER’S PERSONAL PRO-LIFE STAKE

A big family has something to do with House Speaker John Boehner’s emphatic support of pro-life values.

“Growing up with 11 brothers and sisters, I didn’t need my parents to tell me that every child is a gift from God. But they did, and memorably so. To Earl and Mary Ann Boehner, that respect — that sanctity of life — was everything,” says the Ohio Republican.

“I talked about my parents this week just before the House passed H.R. 36, some of the most pro-life legislation to ever come before Congress. It protects unborn children from abortion at the point when, according to science, they are capable of feeling pain. Most Americans support this legislation, which reaffirms that it is morally wrong to inflict pain on an innocent human being,” Mr. Boehner continues.

“This is why we’re here: to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves — to defend the defenseless. We should all be proud to take this stand together,” he concludes.

FOXIFIED: GREG GUTFELD GOES SOLO

“A multifaceted comedic hour, with parodies on current events, conversation on key issues and signature monologues,” proclaims Fox News, upon announcing the May 31 debut of “The Greg Gutfeld Show” at 10 p.m. The busy Mr. Gutfeld previously hosted “Red Eye” in the wee hours on the network for seven years, and now appears on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “The Five.”

“Gutfeld is a distinctly versatile talent whose quick witted humor and gift for comedy writing will enable him to stand out in prime time on Sunday nights,” says Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

“Every host of a new show likes to say they’re breaking new ground. So why should I be any different? This show will forever change the way you watch television, plus guests provide their own transportation,” Mr. Gutfeld observes.

His Sunday-night showcase will hammer on the major headlines of the week and include appearances by newsmakers, culture critics, and media personalities. Mr. Gutfeld is also the author of such books as “The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage,” and “Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You.”

POLL DU JOUR

82 percent of U.S. voters say the nation needs to recruit more “ordinary citizens to run for office rather than professional politicians and lawyers”; 84 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall say political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege over “doing what’s right for Americans”; 63 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall are concerned that “scandals would have a serious effect” on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s administration if she won the White House; 78 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall are not concerned about the scandals; 20 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall are concerned that scandals would seriously affect the next administration if a Republican wins the White House; 47 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall are not concerned about such scandals; 51 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,006 registered U.S. voters conducted May 9-12.

Weary analysis and abrupt conclusions to [email protected]

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