- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Three presidential candidates, seven lawmakers, one reality TV star and a host of conservative and security-minded activists: This significant, noisy event has grown. Sarah Palin will appear Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol alongside White House hopefuls Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Jim Gilmore plus national broadcasters Glenn Beck and Mark Levin at the Stop the Iran Deal Rally. The plainspoken patriarch of “Duck Dynasty” — Phil Robertson — will also be on hand, as will C-SPAN, which will cover the rally beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

The public, apparently, shares in the dissatisfaction: Just 21 percent of Americans approve of the nuclear accord between the U.S. and Iran according to a new Pew Research Center poll; 6 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree. Overall, half - 49 percent - disapprove of the deal; that includes 78 percent of the GOPers, 47 percent of independents and 29 percent of the Dems.

“Big crowd expected for our protest against the truly stupid nuclear deal we are making with Iran,” Mr. Trump tweeted in anticipation.

Besides Mr. Cruz, the other lawmakers attending include Republican Reps. Trent Franks, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Mark Meadows, Mike Pompeo and Ted Yolo.

Also among those appearing: Tea Party Patriots CEO Jenny Beth Martin, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, Citizens United founder David Bossie, Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein, Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney, Congress of Racial Equality spokesman Niger Innis, Heritage Foundation scholar Genevieve Wood, American Values founder Gary Bauer, Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance, ACT for America founder Brigitte Gabriel and former CIA Director Jim Woolsey.


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The press likes to beat up on Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and he doesn’t much care. But journalists are also beginning to pick on his Democratic counterpart. Yes, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the subject of a few headlines which acknowledge her ongoing campaign challenges and the notion that the old proverbial “coronation” of yore is a distant thing, indeed. A few samples:

“Joe Biden gains support at expense of Hillary Clinton, poll shows” (New York Times), “Hillary Clinton’s comedy of errors” (Washington Post), “Who needs Ambien when there are Hillary’s emails to read? (Chicago Tribune), “Hillary Clinton, fighting for votes, promises to defend unions” (CBS News), “Hillary, new and improved” (Wall Street Journal), “Team Hillary’s new efforts at ‘humble and humor’ can’t change who she is” (Mediaite).


The Weekly Standard has conducted its own presidential poll of its learned readers to reveal that Sen. Marco Rubio is the first choice with 21 percent of the support, followed by Donald Trump (15 percent), Sen. Ted Cruz (15 percent), Carly Fiorina (12 percent), Ben Carson (11 percent), Gov. Scott Walker (9 percent), Gov. John Kasich (7 percent) and Jeb Bush (4 percent). The other nine GOP hopefuls did not break above the 1 percent mark.

When asked for their second and either third choice in candidates, the same eight designees appeared all over again, with some variations.

“I’m going to claim (why not?) that the results are a suggestive leading indicator of where the GOP race may be going,” writes William Kristol, editor of the publication. “What to conclude? An Elite Eight seems to have emerged. Someone else could come from far behind or enter the race late — but at this point it would seem likely one of these eight contenders listed above will be the nominee.”

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And they could be heading toward a “final four,” he adds.


Jeb Bush paved the way. The Republican hopeful appeared Tuesday night on the debut of CBS “Late with Stephen Colbert.” But something must be in the air. Sen. Bernard Sanders makes his appearance with Mr. Colbert later in the month. Vice President Joseph R. Biden steps on the set of NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday, possibly to reveal his 2016 intentions, followed by GOP front-runner Donald Trump on Friday. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the current Democratic favorite, heads for Mr. Fallon’s territory on Sept. 16 — the same night of the next Republican debate night on CNN.

But all the showbiz is very much the norm. It’s a must, in fact. Though both John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan made appearances on after-hours talk shows in a tamer era, the practice really got rolling back to 1992, when then-Democratic hopeful Bill Clinton donned sunglasses and appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show to play “Heartbreak Hotel” on the tenor saxophone.

President Obama himself has set a high bar in this realm. As a Democratic senator, he was appearing on late-night TV since 2005. As a sitting president, his current tally of appearances has multiplied since taking office in 2009: Four times on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” three on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” including the host’s final show earlier this year; three times on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart“; twice on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report”; and once on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon“.

That does not include Mr. Obama’s appearances on daytime TV or “Saturday Night Live.” He will, however, debut on NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” later this fall; the network offered a tease of the president’s appearance, showing him sharing a raw salmon scrounged from a bear lair with the survivalist host.


While all the squawking and rustling continued in the nation’s capital, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy arrived at the North Pole on Saturday, becoming the first U.S. surface ship to do so unaccompanied, and only the fourth time a U.S. surface vessel has ever even reached spot. Numbering145, crew and passengers departed Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Aug. 9 on a National Science Foundation-funded research expedition aboard the Healy, a high-latitude research vessel and ice breaker measuring 420-feet long, weighing 16,000 tons, and powered by 30,000-horsepower.

“The United States is an Arctic Nation and the Coast Guard has operated in the Arctic since the 1860s. Reaching the North Pole serves as a testament to the Coast Guard’s continued ability to provide access and presence throughout this increasingly important and operationally challenging region of the world,” the Coast Guard notes.


84 percent of Americans say having a system to ensure sick people get care is a “moral issue”; 75 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents and 91 percent of Democrats agree.

76 percent of Americans overall say the U.S. should have a universal health system like other “advanced countries”; 53 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 95 percent of Democrats agree.

63 percent of overall favor a universal health system in the U.S.; 33 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent of overall say it’s a personal responsibility to get health insurance, not a government duty; 76 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent of overall say a universal health system would cost too much; 70 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A HealthDay/Harris Poll of 2,212 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 12-17 and released Tuesday.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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