- The Washington Times - Monday, May 25, 2015

ANALYSIS

The phrase gets old after a while, but it’s time to rev up Air Force One once again: President Obama has a pair of fundraisers to attend in Florida.

On Wednesday he’s off to Miami to raise money for the Democratic National Committee at a private dinner in the home of a local real estate kingpin, priced up to $33,400 a plate. Then it’s on to one of those private “roundtable discussions,” this at the home of a mortgage broker, fetching $33,400 a person for donors eager to parse the issues.

There’s some official business too. On Thursday Mr. Obama visits the National Hurricane Center “to receive the annual hurricane season outlook and preparedness briefing,” this according to the White House.

But the siren call of the Sunshine State is very loud this week. After an appearance in South Carolina, Hillary Rodham Clinton is bound for Florida as well, and yes, the two will be in Miami on the very same day. On Thursday, Mrs. Clinton attends a pair of “Conversations with Hillary” events in Miami and Parkland to benefit her presidential campaign — at $2,700 a person. Then she journeys to Orlando for a private fundraiser at the home of a trial lawyer. She’s just getting going, though. Beginning next week Mrs. Clinton will also be on the fundraising trail in New Mexico, Texas and Missouri.

THE FADING OF ‘INEVITABLE’

“We live in an age of narratives, not news,” points out Thomas Lifson, editor of AmericanThinker.com. “The narrative in the mainstream media is that Hillary Clinton is ‘inevitable’ as the Democratic nominee, with supporting polling data from The New York Times that oversamples Democrats and undersamples Republicans, manufactured to support the narrative.”

Such political artistry between press and pollster can shore up their candidate of choice. Sometimes the facts get in the way though.

“The real news, what people need to know, is that Hillary looks like a disaster in the making, with very poor campaign skills and an indefensible record overseeing foreign policy disasters that have exploded in the face of Obama. But some in the mainstream media are beginning to shed their reluctance to say that the empress has no clothes,” Mr. Lifson says, citing new op-eds centered on Mrs. Clinton’s private email system, the Benghazi matter and the increasing competition from eager Democrats like Martin O’Malley, who has scheduled his first fundraising event on Friday, followed by an “announcement event” on Saturday.

There could be a bonus for Republicans if Mrs. Clinton stays in the 2016 race.

“I am hoping that Hillary toughs it out and damages the Democrat brand. We could really use a reformist presidency backed by a GOP Congress,” Mr. Lifson concludes.

BERNIETOPIA

“Paid for by Bernie Sanders, not the billionaires.”

That’s the campaign motto of Sen. Bernard Sanders. The Vermont senator kicks off his campaign to become the Democratic nominee for president on Tuesday in Burlington, to be followed by a 10-event tour through New Hampshire and Iowa in the 48 hours that follow.

“We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to fight for change,” Mr. Sanders advises in his campaign outreach.

JEBTOPIA

Some big doings in Kennebunkport, Maine: Construction is underway on a 3,000-square-foot “cottage” at Walker’s Point, the George H.W. Bush family compound. It is the ninth residential building on the expansive seaside acreage, and it is being built for Jeb Bush, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The local newspaper also reports that architect Kristi Kenney is both honored and intimidated to work for “a politically prominent family.”

But she’s keeping with traditional design on the four-bedroom, five-bath home: cedar shingles, gabled roofs, wraparound verandah, big windows. Jeb’s vacation getaway will be finished in July. It’s not the largest house in the compound, however. That honor goes to the original 7,100-square-foot, 12-room main home built in 1920 — and where the big family will gather June 8 to celebrate matriarch Barbara Bush’s 90th birthday.

NOT SOMETHING FOR AL GORE

“World’s leading skeptics of man-caused global warming gather in Washington, DC,” proclaims the Heartland Institute, which has organized the 10th International Conference on Climate Change in the nation’s capital for June 11-12.

“Should policies adopted at the height of the global warming scare be repealed and replaced with pro-environment, pro-energy, and pro-jobs policies? In short: Given the new science and economics of climate change, isn’t it time for a fresh start to the debate over what, if anything, to do about global warming?” the organizers ask.

A SUB FOR JERSEY

Here is a moment far removed from the questions of Bridgegate for the potential presidential campaign of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. At a formal ceremony in none other than Jersey City, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced at the weekend that “SSN 796,” a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, will bear the name “USS New Jersey.” And she is a big girl: 7,800 tons, 377 feet in length, a speed of 25 knots submerged — complete with enhanced stealth and surveillance and the capability to attack targets ashore with accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Navy’s first sub was built in New Jersey in 1900, incidentally. Two naval ships also have been named New Jersey — a battleship commissioned in 1906 and another commissioned in 1943.

“New Jersey’s relationship with our Navy has been defined by innovation, leadership and courage — in conquest and in combat,” said Mr. Mabus. “The name of our newest nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine will carry on that strong tradition. She will sail the world like those who have gone before her, defending the American people and representing our American values.”

CNN, 35 YEARS LATER

Back in the day, it was the world’s first 24-hour cable news station — signing on the air June 1, 1980. On Tuesday the Cable News Network — yes, CNN — will air a recap of 35 of its most pivotal stories of the decades, including the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Anita Hill matter, the rescue of Baby Jessica, the first Persian Gulf War, the O.J. Simpson trial, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Boston Marathon bombing.

Larry King, Bernard Shaw, Aaron Brown and Paula Zahn are among the past CNN talents to have their say in this hourlong special — which airs at 9 p.m. EST and will repeat on June 1.

POLL DU JOUR

50 percent of Americans say the current federal tax system is fair; 40 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall favor a flat tax system; 59 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall do not trust either political party to handle the federal tax system; 30 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent oppose a flat tax system; 17 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

27 percent overall trust Democrats to handle the federal tax system; 1 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats agree

20 percent overall trust Republicans to handle it; 60 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted May 19-20.

Proclamations and assorted whatnot to [email protected]

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