- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2016

As the election rages, life goes on. American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp has announced that registration for the Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC — is now up and running. The annual event is a reassuring spring rite for conservatives who are weary of shrill, insistent media claims that America has abandoned its founding principles and is now a progressive, globalist entity in a brazen new world.

Not so, Mr. Schlapp says. Indeed, CPAC has a robust theme for 2017: “We the People: Reclaiming America’s Promise”.

Once again, the big doings will be staged at National Harbor, seven miles south of the nation’s capital on the banks of the Potomac River. The four-day event starts Feb. 22, but preparations are well underway four months ahead of time. Organizers are already considering “agenda ideas” from all comers, while sponsors, interns and volunteers are being galvanized.

A rousing “save the date” video is already online for a gathering with a big draw: Some 12,000 people typically show up at CPAC. Find the details at Conservative.org.

‘SHE’S TOO RISKY’

Well, let’s just cut to the chase here. The current media narrative steers Americans towards the belief that the Republican Party is in turmoil two weeks short of Election Day. “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson asked Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus point-blank whether Donald Trump is going to win the election.

“I think he’s going to win because I think people in this country have had enough. He’s the change agent. When it comes down to risk in this country, Hillary Clinton has been tested — and she’s failed. She’s the risky candidate. You look at Russia, the uranium deal, giving them control of 20 percent of the world’s uranium, her pocketing hundreds of thousands in speeches, Russian reset, Libya. You look at Iraq and the mess that she left there. What I’m saying is, she was tried and tested. She failed. She’s too risky for this country. That’s why she’s going the lose.”

But is the Grand Old Party “100 percent” behind Mr. Trump? Well?

“He’s the nominee of our party. Of course we’re behind Donald Trump. This is ridiculous, as if we wouldn’t be behind the nominee of the party. Of course we are,” Mr. Priebus replied.

MEANWHILE, AT THE WHITE HOUSE

President Obama began his week with a Las Vegas fundraiser Sunday for Hillary Clinton, followed by another for the Democratic Party in San Diego. And here’s the rest of the week:

“On Monday, the President will deliver remarks at a Hillary Victory Fund reception. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Los Angeles, California. In the evening, the President will participate in a Democratic National Committee and Hillary Victory Fund roundtable,” notes a White House advisory.

“On Tuesday, the President will participate in a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee roundtable. In the afternoon, the President will return to Washington, D.C. On Wednesday and Thursday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.

“On Friday, the President will attend a Hillary for America event in the Orlando, Florida area.”

AN ENDORSEMENT FROM VEGAS

This is not going to stay in Vegas. A major newspaper endorses Donald Trump:

“Make no mistake, a Hillary Clinton administration would indulge the worst instincts of the authoritarian left and continue to swell the bloated regulatory state while running the nation deeper into the red in pursuit of ‘free’ college and health care. Yes, Mr. Trump’s impulsiveness and overheated rhetoric alienate many voters. He has trouble dealing with critics and would be wise to discover the power of humility,” notes the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an editorial on Sunday.

“But neither candidate will ever be called to the dais to accept an award for moral probity and character. And we are already distressingly familiar with the Clinton way, which involves turning public service into an orgy of influence peddling and entitlement designed to line their own pockets — precisely what a disgruntled electorate now rises up to protest.

Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave. But he promises to be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites for whom the nation’s strength and solvency have become subservient to power’s pursuit and preservation. Donald Trump for president.”

STILL WONDERING

“Most voters still disagree with the FBI’s decision not to seek a criminal indictment of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information when she was secretary of state, and even more rate the issue as important to their vote,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday.

It found that 53 percent of likely voters say the federal agency should have sought the indictment; 39 percent disagreed. Does this issue matter to their votes? Well, yes: 70 percent of voters say Mrs. Clinton’s “mishandling of classified information is important to their vote for president,” the survey said.

The partisan divide here is epic: “85 percent of Clinton’s supporters agree with the FBI’s decision not to indict her; 92 percent of Trump supporters disagree. Thirty-seven percent of Clinton voters say the issue is important to their vote, compared to 96 percent of Trump voters,” the poll said.

POLL DU JOUR

90 percent of likely voters agree that civility is “important for a healthy democracy”; 87 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 95 percent of Democrats agree.

84 percent overall say the 2016 presidential race is more negative than previous elections; 83 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of independents and 80 percent of Democrats agree.

83 percent overall say American society has become less civil in the last decade; 87 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats agree.

76 percent overall say civility in politics has decreased in the last decade; 80 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

69 percent overall say the decline of civility puts American politics in crisis: 68 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Colby College/Boston Globe survey of 845 likely U.S. voters conducted Oct. 11-14.

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