- The Washington Times - Monday, September 21, 2015

He is the publisher’s dream. Republican front-runner Donald Trump has already written 15 books, has 7 million Twitter followers and is an instantly recognizable brand name symbolizing glitter, money, power and political prowess. And, of course, he has a book arriving in late October to augment his bodacious campaign for president.

“Not since ‘The Art of the Deal’ have I had this much fun writing a book,” Mr. Trump says, referencing one of his previous best-sellers.

But time is of the essence. The new book doesn’t even have a title yet, though it will be published in exactly five weeks by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster and the publisher of, among others, Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove.

Mr. Trump has already written “Time to Get Tough: Making America No. 1 Again” and “The America We Deserve,” so those titles are out. But no matter. A titleless book has happened before on the campaign trail. Hillary Clinton’s 2014 memoir “Hard Choices” remained nameless for months — though it was marketed online as the “Hillary Clinton Memoir” nonetheless and made available for presales.

Titled or not, Mr. Trump’s book sounds characteristically monumental. The publisher notes that the author “will outline how a crippled America could be restored to greatness,” concentrating on the economy, big CEO salaries, taxes, health care, education, national security, social issues and immigration reform.

Donald Trump has proven again and again how hungry audiences are for new ideas and unabashed opinions. This will be the must-read book of the year,” says Louise Burke, president of Threshold.

Just don’t forget the title.

AND IF HE EVER LOSES

“Sure, I’d like to stay on top. I have stayed on top. I’ve been very strong with that. I get by far the biggest crowds. I’m going to do what’s right. If I don’t make it, that’s OK. I’ll go back to having a good time and building a business and being with my family and my kids, but this is a shot, and I’ll give it my best.”

Donald Trump, on the possibility of declining favorability numbers, to Fox News

SHOULD THE POPE TALK POLICY?

Half of Americans would like to hear Pope Francis speak about social and economic policy rather than focus entirely on matters of faith and religion during his visit to the U.S. So says a new MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll.

There is a sizable partisan divide, however: 30 percent of Republicans agree, compared to 65 percent of Democrats — with similar divides among conservatives and liberals. Find all the numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

Another new Marist poll conducted on behalf of the Knights of Columbus plumbed the beliefs of 222 practicing Catholics in the meantime, and here is what pollsters found: 96 percent of the respondents cite the value and importance of daily prayer, 96 percent laud charity, 93 percent cite the importance of both the teachings of the Catholic Church and receiving the sacraments, while 89 percent applaud attending Mass regularly. Another 81 percent say abortion is morally wrong, 73 percent support the protection of religious liberty even if it conflicts with government laws, while 65 percent say the Eucharist is “the true presence of Jesus Christ.”

And one more thing: President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden and their wives greet Pope Francis when he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base just outside the nation’s capital; live coverage begins at 4 p.m. on C-SPAN, Fox News, CBS, ABC and other networks. Time Warner Cable has added a temporary 24-hour “Papal Visit Channel” for live broadcasts of all masses and speeches, available through Sunday.

FAREWELL, MR. WALKER

From our That’s a Shame desk: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to suspend his quest of the White House drew instant, brutal response from the press. Here’s how his decision got translated, at least according to assorted headlines:

“How Donald Trump destroyed Scott Walker’s presidential chances (Washington Post); Scott Walker says he’s dropping out to help unify anti-Trump vote (Daily Caller); Scott Walker, from hero to zero in record time, quits 2016 race (MSNBC); Walker quits after blowing through campaign cash (Politico); The Scott Walker campaign disaster (Reason); Was Scott Walker just too boring to be president? (U.S. News & World Report); Scott Walker’s own limitations did him in (Washington Examiner); How Walker’s withdrawal may affect Kasich’s presidential bid (Columbus Dispatch).

WHY CARLY WON’T BEST DONALD

Maybe it comes down to basic showbiz. Press and pundits continue to await the moment when GOP presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina will outpoll front-runner Donald Trump following her strong appearance at the most recent GOP presidential debate. A new CNN poll reveals she’s almost there, noting that Ms. Fiorina “shot into second place” from the lower echelons of the Republican pack after her appearance last week.

Some say it’s still a long shot. Americans apparently like their political theater.

“The reason why Fiorina won’t outpoll Trump is very simple: popularity. Donald Trump is nothing more than a misinformed gas bag who is running around on the campaign trail like some overage rock star,” declares Lisa Durden, an outspoken New Jersey-based political and cultural analyst. “And while we claim that we want substance from our presidential candidates, the truth of the matter is we are attracted to people like Donald Trump because he brings the drama and shenanigans.”

Ms. Durden continues, “He’s not talking about the issues. He’s not presenting any educable platform. He’s just spouting insults and being a bully. That’s very entertaining. And the polls show that people are eating it up.”

A MEGYN MOMENT

This should be interesting: Fox News prime-time host Megyn Kelly will conduct a sit-down cable exclusive interview with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses over the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. Look for it at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

“Among the topics to be discussed, Kelly will ask Davis on whether or not she disobeyed a federal judge’s order regarding altering marriage license forms for same-sex couples,” the network says.

POLL DU JOUR

51 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of Pope Francis; 48 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent of conservatives, 52 percent of moderates and 73 percent of liberals also agree.

49 percent of Americans overall would like to hear Pope Francis speak about social and economic policy; 30 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

31 percent of conservatives, 52 percent of moderates and 69 percent of liberals also agree.

36 percent overall would like Pope Francis to speak “just about religion and faith”; 55 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent of conservatives, 36 percent of moderates and 19 percent of liberals also agree.

27 percent overall have neutral feelings about Pope Francis; 29 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

31 percent of conservatives, 31 percent of moderates and 18 percent of liberals also agree.

Source: An MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll of 1,689 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 26-Sept. 9 and released Monday.

Rumination, chit-chat to [email protected]

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