- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In another era, Donald Trump pursued the question of President Obama’s citizenship with gusto, wondering if the nation’s primary leader had been born in the United States — or elsewhere. Republicans, apparently, are still wondering. A wide-ranging new survey of GOP voters by Public Policy Polling finds that a mere 29 percent of them believe Mr. Obama was born on these shores; 44 percent say he was born someplace else, and 26 percent are not sure what to think. Another 54 percent of the Republicans say Mr. Obama is a Muslim; 14 percent say he is Christian, and 32 percent are not sure about his faith. Things are more intense among respondents who are fans of Mr. Trump, Republican hopeful: 21 percent say Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., while two thirds say he’s a Muslim.

That’s what’s out there. It’s interesting to note that the pollster chose to give an exclusive advance look at the survey results to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, presumably for commentary fodder. Yes, well. “Republicans have no freaking idea what they’re talking about,” Ms. Maddow noted in her on-camera analysis.

The poll also reveals that Mr. Trump continues to lead the GOP presidential field with 29 percent of the support, followed by a distant Ben Carson with 15 percent and everyone else clamoring for attention with 10 percent of the support and under. There are more numbers from the survey reflecting the Republican mindset in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump continues to draw attention from intrigued researchers intent on getting to “the science” of Mr. Trump’s persistent appeal. A new Bloomberg Politics analysis reveals that his ability to “tell it like it is” remains the biggest draw, followed by the billionaire’s outsider status, his independence from outside influences and the feeling that “he’ll do what he says he’ll do.”

Late-night America will soon be privy to it all as Mr. Trump will appear an NBC’s “Tonight Show” next week. Though the network and Mr. Trump have feuded this year, they are making up long enough to take a jab, say some analysts, at the newly reinvented CBS “Late Night with Stephen Colbert. It debuts next week, with Jeb Bush as the very first guest.

DELETED AND PURGED

The political realm is once again shuddering and quaking with the State Department’s release of yet another batch of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s old State Dept. emails. The phenomenon brings out the fangs — or at least the incredulity — of the Republican National Committee.

“These emails show Hillary Clinton exposed even more classified information on her secret server than previously known,” proclaims chairman Reince Priebus. “On hundreds of occasions, Hillary Clinton’s reckless attempt to skirt transparency laws put sensitive information and our national security at risk. With the FBI continuing to investigate, Hillary Clinton’s growing email scandal shows she cannot be trusted with the White House.”

There is dot-connecting to be had, though. National Journal columnist Ron Fournier, for example, asks in a terse tweet: “Remember, these are the emails HRC wanted us to read. What didn’t she want disclosed via an unauthorized private server, deleted and purged?”

Noteworthy question, and on par with The Atlantic’s senior political editor, Yoni Appelbaum, who wonders why Vice President and potential presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden seems so relaxed and confident these days. “There’s one intriguing theory that has so far garnered little attention: What if Biden knows something about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton that the rest of us don’t?” the editor asks.

NO RIFT BETWEEN OBAMA AND CLINTON

Trouble afoot? Pundit chatter comes and goes, suggesting President Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton are at odds as 2016 approaches. Among voters, positive perceptions about their relationship appear stable however: Most say that the two agree on major policy issues, and that Mr. Obama is going to endorse Mrs. Clinton in her quest for the White House.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 58 percent of voters say the pair still agree on policy, which is actually up by 6 percentage points since last year. Another 68 percent think the president will endorse Mrs. Clinton over her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. Among likely Democratic voters alone, the number is 74 percent.

ONE FOR THE GREATEST GENERATION

Lest we forget, Wednesday is the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Allied forces’ victory in the Pacific and the end of World War II. The ever-vigilant Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service will pay tribute to those who won that victory at the aforementioned memorial. In attendance will be some of the greatest of the Greatest Generation: World War II vets John R.L. “Jack” Cassidy, William D. Curley, Frank Ettinger, Edwin M. Savacool Sr., Thomas “Bob” Vaucher, Sylvester T. Winter and Frank B. Yanick.

Hurray for them all.

And a big message for the social media mavens out there: “As part of the 70th anniversary commemoration of V-J Day, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial is asking the public to ‘profile your pride’ in our Greatest Generation on September 2nd by changing their social media profile pictures to a World War II veteran in their life and to share their love, honor, and pride of their veteran by sharing their image and story.”

AMANDA ON THE MOVE

CNN has announced that Amanda Carpenter is now a regular contributor to the network, adding a strong conservative voice to the mix. Ms. Carpenter was a columnist for The Washington Times and later wrote for Human Events and Townhall.com; she ultimately departed all to become a speech writer for then-Senator Jim DeMint and Sen. Ted Cruz as well.

There’s more, though. Ms. Carpenter has joined the Conservative Review as an exclusive contributor. Dan Bongino, John Gray and Chris Jacobs — canny analysts all — have also come aboard the publication. There’s a new editor as well: talk radio kingpin Mark Levin.

“It is clear from prior election cycles that electing Republicans to Congress is not sufficient. It is time for bold, new conservative voices to guide the Republican Party and the conservative movement, just as Ronald Reagan did for the GOP in the 1970s and ‘80s,” Mr. Levin says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 78 percent of likely Republican primary voters support a criminal background check for every person who wants to buy a firearm.

• 75 percent describe themselves as conservative; 20 percent say they are moderate, 5 percent liberal.

• 71 percent agree that “America is great.”

• 54 percent want a GOP candidate who has the best chance of beating a Democrat in the general election; 31 percent say finding the “most conservative candidate” is the most important.

• 51 percent would support changing the Constitution to bar citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants.

• 37 percent trust Donald Trump more than Fox News host Megyn Kelly; 34 percent trust Ms. Kelly.

Source: A Public Policy Polling survey of 572 likely Republican primary voter conducted Aug. 29-30.

• Doggerel and caterwaul to [email protected]


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