- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2017

Even after the turmoil of the 2016 presidential bout, political hubbub continues. Consider that Hillary Clinton is now mulling a run for New York City mayor in an election that will take place in just nine months. No, really. She is being urged by “major Democratic donors and leaders” to challenge incumbent Bill de Blasio, says John Gizzi, White House correspondent for Newsmax who cites unnamed sources in local Democratic and media circles and suggests that Mrs. Clinton’s famous “inner circle” is intrigued by the whole idea of Madame Mayor.

“If she ran, she’d win,” one insider told Mr. Gizzi.

Well, who knows? Perhaps former President Bill Clinton will get to serve as a “first gentleman” after all. And if President-elect Donald Trump establishes a Manhattan White House of sorts at Trump Tower, the dynamics could be most interesting. The news media is keen on the notion of “Mayor Clinton”; a dozen major reports addressing the possibilities have appeared in the last 24 hours. It’s not a new idea, however. Convinced she was an ideal candidate, Michael Bloomberg - once Big Apple mayor himself - contacted Mrs. Clinton in 2012 and urged her to enter the race the following year, according to The New York Times. What about residency requirements?

“The Clintons live in the Westchester County hamlet of Chappaqua, but state law requires only that a candidate for mayor be a New York City resident by Election Day, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections said,” The Times notes.

Should she decide to take the plunge this time around, Mrs. Clinton has some serious competition: nine other Democrats are eyeing the plum post, along with Republican billionaire and talk radio host John Catsimatidis, who reportedly plans to reveal his ultimate mayoral plans some time this month.

“I’m a people person. I’m a law-and-order person. I believe our people from the inner city have to be helped. Maybe we should start a new party called the Common Sense Party,” Mr. Catsimatidis recently noted in a radio appearance.

FOR YOUR ELECTION ENTERTAINMENT

Some may miss all the intricate fuss of the 2016 election with its heartland push and fierce intent. Why, it was a year ago today that Libertarian Gary Johnson declared his candidacy for the White House, even as Republican candidates marched toward their sixth debate in South Carolina. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rand Paul and Rick Santorum were still in the race. For those who still pine for such political distraction, there are seven elections to watch this year, say National Journal analysts Zach Cohen, Ally Mutnick and Karyn Bruggerman — including off-year bouts for governor in Virginia and New Jersey. There are also five special House elections in Georgia, Montana, Kansas and South Carolina to replace lawmakers nominated to serve in the incoming Trump administration, and in California, where another has opted to serve as a statehouse appointee.

Then it’s on to the Democratic National Committee chairmanship. Leading contenders include Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota — who has the support of Sens. Bernard Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer — and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, a favorite of President Obama. State party chairs Jaime Harrison of South Carolina and Ray Buckley of New Hampshire are also running, along with Sally Boynton Brown, executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party and president of the Association of State Democratic Executive Directors.

“Despite the buzz about an Ellison-Perez contest as a proxy war between different wings of the party, the chair’s biggest impact will be felt in managerial, not ideological decisions. The contest will be decided by DNC members from well outside the Beltway who are largely still reeling from the election and looking for answers. This will be the first open election for DNC chair since 2005,” the three National Journal analysts predict.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TRANSITION

“For weeks, President Obama — between rounds of golf and dabbling on the putting green — has been, with the swipe of his pen, dispatching executive orders banning oil drilling, establishing new environmental monuments and encouraging regulations on a wide scale — always as surreptitiously as possible. He has secured funding for Planned Parenthood onto eternity and ordered the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, possibly into the New York City public school system. For weeks his administration has been filling every job opening, its stooges planning to ambush the incoming administration. Even the janitorial staff is not exempt from Obama’s politics,” writes syndicated columnist Emmett Tyrell.

“I certainly hope Trump is watching. As I pointed out a few weeks ago, a stalwart band of us coolheaded conservatives supported him precisely because he would, as he says, drain the swamp. By the way, the mainstream media, or MSM, is proceeding to ignore us — much as it did during the Reagan years — by focusing on and interviewing mediocrities and extremists. Of course, it is the MSM that is being left in history’s wake. As I say, Trump is watching and tweeting and preparing to take power.”

MORE ADDITIONS AT FOX NEWS

OK. We already know about Megyn Kelly’s departure from and Tucker Carlson’s ascension in the true pantheon of prime-time at Fox News. But the nation’s top-rated cable network has more planned. Martha MacCallum takes over for Mr. Carlson in the 7 p.m. slot with a newsy program titled “The First 100 Days.”

After proving himself in a series of monthly specials, correspondent Jesse Watters has landed his own weekly show, which debuts Saturday at 8 p.m. with “Watters World” showcases of his work as a correspondent on “The O’Reilly Factor” — known for man-on-the-street interviews and wry takes on news of the day. Mr. Watters, who has been with the network for 15 years, is also managing editor for Fox Nation.

“I am humbled,” he says. “I look forward to viewers entering my world more often and wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for Bill O’Reilly.”

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POLL DU JOUR

56 percent of registered U.S. voters say job creation in the U.S. will “get better” in 2017, 24 percent say it will get worse, 12 percent say it will stay the same.

52 percent say the U.S. economy will be better in 2017, 30 percent say it will be worse, 20 percent the same.

49 percent say national security will be better, 30 percent say it will be worse, 10 percent the same.

44 percent say the U.S. health care system will be better, 37 percent say it will be worse, 12 percent the same.

38 percent say the political environment will be better, 45 percent say it will be worse, 8 percent the same.

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 2,000 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 28-29 and released Thursday.

Reluctant grumbling and bold assertions to [email protected]

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