- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 29, 2018

There it was, rising up like a mighty refrain from thousands of enthusiastic people: “Nobel, Nobel, Nobel!” The spontaneous, rhythmic chant from a crowd at President Trump‘s campaign-style rally just 48 hours ago has put the news media on edge. A growing number of significant folk are backing the idea that Mr. Trump should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for his steadfast finesse in brokering a peace between North and South Korea after decades of war between the two nations.

Should this come to pass, Mr. Trump would be the fifth U.S. president to receive the honor, joining former presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama on the rarefied roster. Roosevelt was primarily a Republican, while the other three are Democrats.

Like a growing economy and increasing job creation, a Nobel Prize for Mr. Trump would be a considerable asset for his 2020 re-election campaign.

British bookmaker Coral is currently offering 2/1 odds that Mr. Trump — along with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — will win the Nobel later this year. It is an evolving situation. Public reaction ranges from prudent guarded optimism to enthusiasm and downright dismay.

Mr. Trump himself has said “only time will tell” if the historic, swift events will yield lasting peace or temporary political theater. His national security adviser John Bolton told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the U.S. seeks commitment rather than “words” from North Korea.



Support for the president has been immediate from some — including Republican lawmakers Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Louis Messer, Fox News host Laura Ingraham, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Opposition to the idea has been brusque, though one observation suggests the greater implications of the prize.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd suggests that should he win, Mr. Trump would be the “cartoon Nobel peace laureate.” She also adds that “heads are also exploding from Chappaqua to Hollywood” over the unthinkable idea that a Nobel prize could guarantee a second term for Mr. Trump.

THE POST-WHCD WORLD

It is one for the lexicon: “#StandwithSarah”

That is a new social media hashtag which emerged within hours of the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday evening, which featured a controversial after-dinner program that included a public attack on White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders by comedian Michelle Wolf.

Twitter reverberated for hours in the aftermath, clearly delineating those who defended Mrs. Sanders and those who backed Ms. Wolf. Some tweets expressed dismay that a much ballyhooed “war on women” is waged on occasion by women themselves. This is not a new phenomenon, and has already surfaced according to those close to President Trump.

“Democrats love to talk about the war on women. The only war on women that I see is the one that’s being waged against every woman and every female that is close to this president. They constantly want to talk about women’s empowerment,” Mrs. Sanders told Fox News during an appearance almost exactly a year ago after Ivanka Trump was subject to insults.

The press secretary has some fierce defenders, poised to stand up to her critics.

“They hate @PressSec Sarah Huckabee Sanders because she represents every aspect of American womanhood that we admire: intelligence, grace, empowerment, patriotism, and beauty,” tweeted veteran actor James Woods.

Fox News anchor Bret Baier tweeted that the White House Correspondents Association should skip next year’s dinner and spend the year fundraising for journalism scholarships, then return in 2020 — “rebooted and retooled.”

Ms. Wolf, in the meantime, is preparing for her new Netflix show “The Break,” a sketch and variety series to debut May 27.

A MOMENT WITH THE ACTING DIRECTOR

Upon CIA Director Mike Pompeo‘s swearing-in as secretary of state late last week, CIA Deputy Director Gina C. Haspel assumed the role of the agency’s acting director.

“It is an honor to lead CIA at this critical time,” Ms. Haspel said in a statement. “While we go through this transition, I’ve asked the CIA workforce to remain focused on our vital mission and do everything in our power to deliver the intelligence our policymakers need to keep America safe and strong, just as they have always done. The American people and our allies around the world can rely on CIA’s vigilance, excellence, and determination to proudly serve.”

A COMEY COMIC

Former FBI director James Comey is currently on a national book tour promoting his now best-selling book “A Higher Loyalty,” a journey which will last well into May. TidalWave Comics, meanwhile, is producing not one but two 24-page comic books based on the author — part of a “Political Power” series which has already included President Trump, Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and 57 other political figures.

Michael Frizell, who wrote the text for the Comey comics, has penned an “origin story” plus a sequel from the “Trump era,” now in development.

“To put it mildly, Comey’s story is in flux. For this first book, I thought it best explore what makes the man tick. What motivates him?” says Mr. Frizell. “A Google search will give you thousands of stories about Comey. Combing through the political rhetoric was tough. With no resolution on the horizon regarding controversies surrounding Comey, coupled with my desire to tell a story with a solid arc, it made sense to write about Comey’s early life.”

Joe Paradise, the artist collaborating on the project, had his own motivation.

“I wanted a gritty, true crime vibe. That’s the best part of the process for me, tailoring the look to the subject, rather than simply having a stock style for everybody,” the artist explains.

POLL DU JOUR

89 percent of Americans believe in God “or some higher power or spiritual force”; 95 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent believe in God “as described in the Bible”; 70 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

32 percent believe in a “higher power of spiritual force”; 23 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of Democrats agree.

10 percent overall do not believe in God or a higher power of any kind; 5 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research poll of 4,729 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 4-18, 2017 and released April 25.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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