- The Washington Times - Monday, January 16, 2017

Tuesday is a big day in Queens, New York. That’s when President-elect Donald Trump’s boyhood home in his old Jamaica Estate neighborhood will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and likely for a pretty high price as well. The house itself is proof, of sorts, that Mr. Trump had modest beginnings: It is an attractive, tidy, five-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot Tudor-style home on a 40-foot-by-120-foot lot. But it just may fetch $1.5 million to $2 million, say some real estate analysts. And why is that?

The answer is simple. The childhood homes of American presidents are often officially designated as national historic landmarks, which comes with benefits — including the possibility of becoming popular tourist attractions. The National Park Service, in fact, tends to the birthplaces, homes, monuments and memorials dedicated to 30 of our nation’s presidents, including the boyhood homes of Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton. States and cities also watch over such sites.

Some previous press accounts have broached the idea that Mr. Trump himself might buy back the property that he lived in until he was 4 years old. We’ll know if some mystery buyer sweeps in and buys the property soon: Bids are due by 4 p.m., according to Paramount Realty USA, which is handling the auction of the what could end up a historic site, tucked away there on Wareham Place in Queens.

RIOT SECURITY: A MOMENT WITH JOHN WAYNE

There will be 28,000 security officers on duty on Inauguration Day, according to the Department of Homeland Security. A round of applause for them all. The federal agency also reveals that barriers consisting of dump trucks and city buses will be used within critical blocks of the nation’s capital to prevent crowd attacks by terrorists who weaponize vehicles — as was seen in Berlin and Nice. It is a proven method, and one inspired by an iconic American movie hero.

On May 9, 1970, protesters planned an enormous demonstration against the “establishment” following the shootings of four students during a rally at Kent State University five days earlier. To protect the White House, President Richard Nixon ordered the building to be surrounded by two concentric rings of city buses, parked nose to tail, to form a solid barrier.

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum explained how the method evolved during a 2007 interview with former White House adviser Egil “Bud” Krogh.

“I remember a meeting in the Justice Department,” Mr. Krogh recalled. “I pointed out that in the old Western movies, John Wayne used to circle to wagons. That was enough to protect the people inside the wagon train. One thing led to another, and we thought, ‘Well, why don’t we just lease these buses from the metropolitan companies who own them and circle the wagons?’ And that’s what we did. It turned out to be a good decision.”

OBAMA DESTINATION: PALM SPRINGS

When asked recently what he’d do after he left the White House, President Obama said he’d take wife Michelle on a vacation, and start work on a book — a move that could net him a $30 million book contract, this according to The New York Times. The vacation part of it looks like a go. Mr. Obama and family will be off to Palm Springs, California, on Friday, says a new report from TMZ. It’s a familiar spot, perhaps. Rumors have circulated for years that Mr. Obama planned to buy a family home in Thunderbird Heights, an exclusive golfing paradise in Rancho Mirage just 10 miles to the southeast. Nothing has been confirmed quite yet.

Their journey on Friday will have a few differences, however.

“We’re told when the first family leaves the Capitol after the inauguration, they’ll take a chopper (it will not be Marine One because he won’t be the active president when he boards) to Andrews Air Force Base,” TMZ reports, noting that the Obamas will make their journey on an aircraft called “Special Air Mission.”

TMZ explains: “It’s the same plane that Obama used as president, but it won’t be called Air Force One. As for their return to D.C. where they’ll be living, they won’t have a government plane at their disposal.”

PARSING THE TRUMP VICTORY

A dozen books explaining how President-elect Donald Trump won the White House have either been published or soon will be. Some of these books are celebratory about Mr. Trump’s bodacious victory. Many are not, aiming strategic sympathy at those still upset, weepy or confounded by the outcome. One book for the happy-he-won crowd, however, is ready Tuesday: “How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution” by Brietbart.com senior editor Joel Pollak and historian Larry Schweikart in a Kindle edition from Regnery Publishing, available via Amazon. A print edition will be out next month.

“Donald Trump blindsided them all: the media, campaign consultants on both sides,” the two authors note.

They explain why only two pollsters predicted the correct election outcome and analyze cultural forces, specifically, “why working class and rural voters flocked to support a New York City billionaire.” The authors also took particular notice of the woes of the opponents, specifically, “how the Clinton Team realized they had lost before Team Trump knew they had won.”

FOXIFIED

An interview of note, now that the presidential inauguration is a mere 72 hours away: Fox News Channel’s Ainsley Earhardt will sit down with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City for an interview to air bright and early Wednesday during “Fox & Friends,” somewhere between 6 and 9 a.m.

“Trump will discuss details on his upcoming inauguration, Rep. John Lewis‘ recent comments, his relationship with the press and what he plans to do on his first day as president,” the network advises.

POLL DU JOUR

68 percent of Americans say the nation is on the wrong track; 60 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent say their household finances will stay the same; 55 percent of Republicans, 50 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent say their finances will improve; 36 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats agree.

12 percent say their finances will get worse; 9 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,192 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 9-11.

• Distant memories, momentary mirth to [email protected]

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