- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 22, 2018

So much for all those news media claims that the Republican Party is drifting around the political realm with no compelling message and dwindling support. Once again, the Republican National Committee has broken another fundraising record, according to chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, who says the party raised $13.9 million in March and now has a bodacious $171.6 million overall in the 2017-2018 cycle. The Grand Old Party’s midterm election plans are grand, and going swimmingly.

“Another month of record-breaking fundraising confirms what many in the mainstream media are ignoring: Americans are doing better under Republican leadership. Our country has more jobs, a growing economy, and higher wages, thanks to President Trump and Republicans in Congress,” says Mrs. McDaniel. “With our strong grass-roots support, we will continue to work with the president and Republicans in Congress to build upon these achievements.”

The Republican Party currently has no debt, and about twice as much in their war chest as Democratic counterparts, who currently have $87.7 million. The Democrats are over $6 million in debt — and now appear to have an additional burden.

Primary fights are draining the Democrats’ coffers,” writes Bloomberg News political analysts Bill Allison and John McCormick, who conclude that the surge of eager Democratic House candidates and early primary election fights mean more spending for the party.

“An analysis of this week’s Federal Election Commission filings shows Republican candidates have more money in the bank in 17 of 23 districts rated as tossups in November by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report,” the two analysts say.

What’s more, Republican political director Juston Johnson tells The Associated Press the party is ready to drop $250 million on midterm campaigns, has hired 300 state-based staffers with another 600 on the way, and now boasts 10,000 trained volunteers — boots on the group, poised for action.


“In two years, there’s been no evidence of collusion,” advises President Trump in a new campaign message — referencing, of course, the ongoing investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“But the Democratic National Committee is now suing my presidential campaign to keep the Russia witch hunt going and their bankrupt party alive. I will never surrender this fight, because this isn’t just about some political race. This is about saving America from an elitist swamp that thinks it can lie, cheat and attack its way into power. We are fighting for something more important than politics. We are fighting for you,” Mr. Trump tells voters.


Sunny and 68 degrees: the weather could be very nice indeed for an event at a most historic site Monday. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will dine with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron. The White House describes this rarefied rendezvous as a “private couples dinner.” And the place? That would be the very classy and incredibly lovely Mount Vernon — the iconic family home of George Washington, and a gracious 21-room residence on the banks of the Potomac River.

“President Trump is eager to host the Macrons for this special event as he remembers, fondly, the dinner the couples shared together in the Eiffel Tower on the eve of Bastille Day that was last July in 2017,” notes a senior White House official.

The menu, of course, is discreetly under wraps, though clever chefs and event planners behind this occasion likely will gear food and table settings to reflect convivial and historic commonalities between the two nations — with a little oo-la-la added. It is interesting to note, however, that Mount Vernon dining includes Colonial-era favorites, including hoecakes with country ham, Virginia peanut soup, and grits from the estate’s gristmill. A cocktail favored by George Washington himself called “Cherry Bounce” — which involves Morello cherries and a whole lot of brandy — also is still served.

The menu for the big State Dinner at the White House on Tuesday, meanwhile, will be released Monday evening.


Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who currently is worth $51 billion, according to Forbes — to date has donated some $5 billion to such causes as gun control, climate change and a new awards program for the nation’s mayors. Just in time for Earth Day, he also announced a $4.5 million contribution to the Paris Climate Change Accord in hopes that President Trump will “change his view” about leaving the agreement. Mr. Bloomberg, incidentally, was appointed “United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action” last month by Secretary-General Antnio Guterres.

Politics could be percolating, though.

Mr. Bloomberg, 76, still has a public calling, and according to a New York Times report earlier this year, was considering running for president in 2020, convinced that voters would respond to a “nonideological, bipartisan, result-oriented vision.”

Such reports surface that Mr. Bloomberg from time to time. He explored a White House run in 2008 and 2016, vowing to spend up to $1 billion of his money to give it a go. On Sunday, Arick Wierson, CNN contributor and former media adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, wrote that 2020 could be Mr. Bloomberg’s “best shot at the presidency” and that he could present himself as the ideal centrist, independent candidate.

So, will he run for the White House?

“At the moment I’m not running for president,” Mr. Bloomberg told CBS’s “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, then provided a list of those causes he was concerned about, including public education, job creation and defense issues.

“That sounds like a platform,” Ms. Brennan suggested.

“Well, anything you say could be a platform,” Mr. Bloomberg responded.


• 51 percent of U.S. voters say that the representative in their own congressional district deserves to be re-elected.

• 59 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

• 26 percent overall say “most members of Congress” deserve to be re-elected.

• 32 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,312 registered U.S. voters conducted April 9-15, plus Gallup historical data.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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