- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Here’s a question about journalism: When is a blockbuster not a blockbuster? The answer: When it’s a negative story about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. This familiar phenomenon has unfolded in the last 48 hours following a new Associated Press investigation which revealed that over half of Mrs. Clinton’s visitors when she was secretary of state turned out to be donors to the Clinton Foundation. The revelation bolstered credence to Republican claims that Mrs. Clinton favored “pay-to-play” schemes in global affairs and elsewhere. In the immediate aftermath, major broadcast networks soft-pedaled the findings, and were quick to showcase the outrage and push back from Mrs. Clinton’s representatives — this according to a Media Research Center analysis released Wednesday.

“This is classic Clinton dodgeball. In their game, everybody gets hit but her,” said Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for the conservative press watchdog.

“They’ve been dodging the ethics of the Clinton Foundation for years. The more this gets out, — now close to the election — Clinton should have to answer all of the allegations of pay-to-play. If she doesn’t, we don’t get any answers about the fact that they ran a foundation while she was secretary of state which was getting $2 billion, including at least $25 million from nations that either lock up or execute gay people,” Mr. Gainor told the Fox Business Network, citing a previous study from his group that found the networks only gave four minutes of coverage to “Clinton Foundation scandals” from January through late May this year.

Mr. Gainor added, “The reality here is that their side gets upset anytime they get any negative coverage. And they get so little, it’s ridiculous.”

FOR THE LEXICON

“The Hillary Effect”


SEE ALSO: Obama didn’t cause EpiPen price hikes with law to stockpile drug: White House


— Handy new term coined by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in a new voter outreach, warning Americans about a phenomenon which could be set into motion should Hillary Clinton win the White House.

“Imagine the poisonous trickle-down effect it would have on our democracy if she is elected,” Mr. Ryan says. “A Hillary Clinton win, in essence, would be granting her a free pass for her illegal and corrupt behavior. The situation would be even worse if we fail to protect our House majority. Imagine how bad it would be if Hillary Clinton came into office with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

SHALOM, GEORGE P. BUSH

The son of Jeb Bush continues to build a political legacy. George P. Bush, 39, ran for and won the powerful office of Texas Land Commissioner in 2014, prompting many observers to wonder if he would day end up “the third Bush in the White House.” Could be.

Consider that Mr. Bush the younger just returned from a three-day trip to Israel. He with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. He prayed at Kotel — the Western Wall, a holy site. Mr. Bush, who recently endorsed Donald Trump for president, also led a business delegation to the Jewish State and returned with plans to collaborate on several projects.

“I think that Texas is the perfect partner for Israeli business. Above all, I want to do everything I can to bring Texans and Israelis closer together. We share common values, common ideals and, yes, common enemies,” Mr. Bush said in an open letter to Texans on his return to the U.S. earlier this week.

“Together, we can expand freedom, strengthen free markets, and continue to fight back against terrorism. The people of Israel have been tested for quite some time, however, their challenges have only created a stronger Israel. I saw that this week in the eyes of the Israeli people with whom I met. They are not afraid to stand for freedom. And we must never be afraid to stand with them,” Mr. Bush noted.

ROMNEY NOSTALGIA

It’s not just certain establishment Republicans who are dithering over Donald Trump’s quest for the White House. The Democrats are joining in.

“When President Obama ran for re-election, Democrats made no secret of their disdain for Mitt Romney. That was all before Donald Trump. Horrified by the prospect of Trump in the White House, Obama and his party have changed their tune about Romney. As they denounce Trump as ‘unhinged’ and unfit, they’re getting nostalgic about the 2012 Republican nominee they now describe as principled, competent and honorable,” writes Josh Lederman, an Associated Press political analyst.

“It’s a sharp reversal from four years ago. Back then, Democrats spent hundreds of millions of dollars portraying the former Massachusetts governor as a callous, unpatriotic, pet-abusing caricature of the uber-rich. Yet as Trump is proving, everything in politics is relative,” Mr. Lederman notes. “It’s this year’s great irony that the same Democratic attacks that landed hard on Romney seem to bounce right off of Trump. Where Romney had to downplay his wealth, Trump boasts of his riches, and brushes off controversies over remarks perceived as insensitive to women or minorities.”

A MOMENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Two presidential nominees will be in New Hampshire on Thursday, just a few miles apart. One is Donald Trump, in Manchester for a rally in the ballroom of the state’s biggest hotel. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson will also be in the Granite State, appearing at his own rally on the steps of the gold-domed state house in Concord 18 miles to the north. It is a critical moment. Mr. Johnson and vice presidential running mate William Weld are not on the New Hampshire ballot just yet, and time is running short. But the pair are optimistic.

“You’ve heard of a sit-in. Don’t miss the you-in,” Mr. Johnson advises voters, referring to his terse campaign motto, which is simply “You in?”

POLL DU JOUR

49 percent of America have looked for a new church to attend at some point in their lives.

80 percent of that group said “quality of the sermons” was an important influence in choosing a new church.

79 percent cited “feeling welcomed,” 74 percent cited the style of worship service.

70 percent cited the location of the house of worship, 56 percent liked religious education for children.

48 percent said having friends and families in congregation influenced them, 42 percent cited volunteer opportunities.

29 percent said other reasons influenced them, including church values, political influences and music.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 5,000 U.S. adults conducted March 17 to May 6, 2015 and released Wednesday.

Wishful thinking, sundry complaints to [email protected]

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