- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 5, 2015

Those annoyed with repeated claims that America’s best days are in the past can take comfort in the fact that 61 percent of Republicans still maintain that the U.S. remains the greatest nation on earth — compared to 34 percent of Democrats. For all Americans, the number is 40 percent. So says a new YouGov poll, which reveals that the positive sentiments among unapologetic GOP stalwarts is the highest across 21 other demographics included in the survey. Another 30 percent say that the U.S. is among the “best” of all nations.

And should the U.S. ever become more like socialist-friendly Sweden or Denmark? Sixteen percent of Republicans agreed, along with 52 percent of Democrats, and 37 percent of Americans overall.

WOOING THE VETS

The Republican Party pines to know more about military veterans and their families. The Republican National Committee has just launched GOPVets, a national outreach focused on former members of the military; the organization hopes to attract 700,000 from that community by next November and is sending representatives to 44 Veterans Day parades, as well as to events across battleground states.

“More than 6.5 million veterans didn’t vote in the last presidential election. We’re looking to change that,” observes RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

ONE FOR THE OSS


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Three cheers for the Office of Strategic Services — that’s the OSS, the World War II-era predecessor of the CIA and U.S. Special Operations Services. Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouriand Mark R. Warner of Virginia and Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio have introduced bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the can-do clandestine professionals of yore.

“The 13,000 members of the OSS played a critical role in the success of the Allied campaign in World War II, establishing intelligence networks deep behind enemy lines and bolstering resistance organization throughout Europe and Asia,” Mr. Blunt said. “Their actions saved thousands of lives, and it is only right that we honor their courage and accomplishments with the Congressional Gold Medal.”

Among those who trained in the OSS: CIA directors Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby and William Casey; film director John Ford, and culinary icon Julia Child. The OSS Congressional Gold Medal Act, incidentally, is co-sponsored by every member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

It’s been an uneven few days for White House hopefuls. A few are off the campaign trail completely; Donald Trump, for example, will be in Manhattan to host NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Jeb Bush will appear at fundraisers in Memphis and Atlanta. Others are in for a jam-packed weekend. Significantly, Democratic rivals Sen. Bernard Sanders, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Martin O’Malley head for Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina for the “First in the South Presidential Forum,” hosted by Rep. James Clyburn, moderated by Rachel Maddow and aired live on MSNBC. Things could get snippy. Sen. Rand Paul is the sole Republican in the Palmetto State, headed for multiple events, including a town hall with Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Out Iowa way, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Bobby Jindal will be in Des Moines for the National Religious Liberties Conference. Messrs. Sanders and O’Malley will also attend a presidential forum on immigration in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Meanwhile, former Gov. Jim Gilmore is still on the campaign trail, in New Hampshire through Monday on his “I’m Not Part of the Problem” tour. Gov. Chris Christie is also in the Granite State on his extended “Tell It Like it Is” tour, attending eight events, while tenacious Carly Fiorina appears at nine events. There are no Democrats in the state at the moment.

FOX NEWS EXPLAINS H.W. BUSH

There’s much back and forth these days about “Destiny and Power,” a new biography of former President George H.W. Bush by Jon Meacham which includes unsettling claims that Mr. Bush had issues with some high-profile denizens in his and his son’s administrations. Fox News offers its own take on it all Friday at 10 p.m. ET with guests who include President Obama, former President George W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Neil Bush, James Baker and the author Mr. Meacham, who is former editor-in-chief of Newsweek and is now executive vice president at Random House. The special will be anchored by Brit Hume.

And Mr. Obama has this to say about the 41st president: “He had principles, but he also had common sense. And when you look at both how he managed foreign policy and when you think about how he handled domestic policy in each case he was thoughtful, restrained and made good decisions.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Main Street Mansion, built in Queen Anne style by a lumber baron in 1890, in Richmond, Indiana. Seven bedrooms, seven baths; 3,986 square feet, four fireplaces, 19 original stained-glass windows. Ornate woodwork, crown molding, inlaid hardwood floors, intricate oak staircase, massive framed mirrors plus roll-top, pocket and French doors; original chandeliers, period light fixtures. Multiple exterior porches, turret, completely renovated. Landscape includes gingko trees from the Japanese emperor Meiji the Great in 1896. Priced at $300,000 through Lingle.com; enter MLS No. 10025654 in the search function.

POLL DU JOUR

60 percent of U.S. voters say Ben Carson is honest and trustworthy; 82 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 43 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent of voters overall say Sen. Bernard Sanders is honest and trustworthy; 27 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

43 percent overall say Jeb Bush is honest and trustworthy; 59 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall say Donald Trump is honest and trustworthy; 58 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent overall say Hillary Rodham Clinton is honest and trustworthy; 8 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,250 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 1-3.

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