- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Things are not as they seem. After losing the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton gave a single speech, then made a few strategic appearances as a private citizen on nature walks or browsing in local bookstores. But her campaign is still percolating with vigor, now recalibrated to revise the election narrative.

Clinton allies are already “bending the storyline in their favor through a concerted media offensive” to undermine President-elect Donald Trump says U.S. News and World Report senior political analyst David Cantanese.

“The Clinton campaign’s stunning and largely unforeseen loss has only hardened its own resolve to win the post-mortem of how it happened. In the six weeks since the election, her aides have cited white supremacy, FBI Director James Comey, the apparent Russian hacking of campaign emails and a delinquent press corps as primary reasons for Clinton’s loss,” Mr. Cantanese continues in his analysis. “While the messaging has evolved, the motive has becoming strikingly apparent: It’s an unrepentant effort to delegitimize Donald Trump and absolve Clinton of the lion’s share of electoral liability.”

The march of history may not favor such efforts.

“Their intent to try to rewrite the history books is super obvious. The history books are not written by losers. She lost the election because she broke the law and didn’t bother to campaign in swing states. She’s got nobody to blame but herself,” veteran Republican consultant Chip Englander told Mr. Cantanese.

Americans — ready to move on and make their nation great again — already appear immune to a complex blame game and legacy restoration project.

Sean Lester, a contributor to The Federalist and a self-described “member of the political left,” says he has been put off by the escalating “absurdist alarmism” about Mr. Trump emanating from his own side of the aisle.

“I find myself defending Trump from what I see as a stunning lack of honesty, objectivity, or reason from the party that’s supposed to be on the side of facts, education, science, and a compassionate moral high ground,” Mr. Lester observes.

THE SILVER LINING

“Following Donald Trump’s election as president, Americans are more optimistic about the future than they have been in over four years,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey,

The simple numbers: 47 percent of likely U.S. voters now believe America’s best days are in the future, while 33 percent say they are in the past, with 20 percent undecided. The survey of 1,000 voters was conducted Dec. 18-19.

THEY HAD MUCH TO SAY

Some lawmakers are more chatty than others. C-SPAN is offering “end-of-year stats on the 114th Congress” gauging which House members made the most floor appearances during the year. The public affairs channel, which faithfully covers legislation and policy on Capitol Hill and elsewhere from dawn to dusk, has named the top-10 representatives with the most appearances before their peers — and the cameras of C-SPAN.

Seven Republicans and three Democrats were named.

In first place is Rep. Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania Republican, who stepped out to speak 208 days this year. In second place is Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, with 163 days; followed by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California Republican (140 days); Rep. Lleana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican (137 days); Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican (127 days); Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican (124 days); Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat) (118 days); Rep. Dan Kildee, Michigan Democrat (108 days); Robert Dold, Illinois Republican (106 days) and Rep. Virginia Foxx, North Carolina Republican with 105 days.

NEWS FROM THE PARK

The National Park Service has donated 1,300 pounds of fresh venison to DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that prepares meals for shelters and transitional housing in the nation’s capital. The donation follows the “safe and successful removal of 36 deer” from Rock Creek Park, which essentially runs through the center of the city.

The federal agency says it “must balance the needs of all the animals and plants” in the 2,000-acre park, also home to foxes, coyotes, beavers and “the largest density of raccoons in the United States,” the agency says. The National Park Service notes that a deer population density of 15-20 per square mile results in “a healthy, diverse forest.” In the last three years, the agency has reduced the number from 80 per square mile to an estimated 19.

“Biologists, who are also highly trained firearms experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, work under the direction of National Park Service resource management specialists and in coordination with U.S. Park Police and local law enforcement to conduct reduction actions at night when the park is normally closed,” the agency noted.

TAKE YOUR PIC

“PIC” is the acronym of the day, standing for “presidential inaugural committee.” President-elect Donald Trump’s public outreach for all things inaugural is up and running, and humming with social media sites and a sense of mission.

“An overwhelming amount of Americans have already joined us on Twitter, and now our website and other social media outlets will provide broader opportunities to participate in this historic event. We are hard at work producing the most engaging and innovative inauguration yet, and our growing digital presence will provide every American with a front-row seat to this exciting and unifying day,” says spokesman Boris Epshteyn.

Find the official “PIC” website at 58pic2017.org.

POLL DU JOUR

62 percent of likely U.S. voters say Congress and the incoming Trump administration should investigate whether Russia “tried to meddle with the presidential election”; 48 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree.

59 percent overall say that divisions in the country “are deeper than in the past”; 61 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent say the U.S. should not change voting system using the Electoral College; 76 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

43 percent say the US. is in a state of economic recovery; 35 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall are not concerned about Russians “meddling” in the election; 57 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A USA Today/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted Dec. 14-18.

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