- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

With his instant name recognition, early-bird polls consistently place former Vice President Joseph R. Biden as the top Democratic contender for president in 2020. Now comes a call for Mr. Biden to go rogue — or at least independent.

“Biden should run on a unity ticket with Mitt Romney. It could totally work,” writes Juleanna Glover — who worked as an adviser to former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the late Sen. John McCain, and former presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Rudy Giuliani — and now serves on the Biden Institute Policy Advisory Board.

“Here’s what Biden should do next: Pick a Republican running mate in a ‘trans-party’ third-party run for the White House. Should Trump run again, this could be a ‘break-the-glass’ moment for many Americans, creating an opening for a radical departure from our malfunctioning two-party political system,” Ms. Glover writes in a Politico op-ed.

“Biden could run as the major third-party candidate with a principled conservative by his side,” she suggests, citing such Republicans as Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Mr. Romney, now a senator-elect of Utah — and recommending this theoretical third-party dream team serve for a single term.

“Done right, a Biden-led, third-party bid with a TV-savvy campaign team and a pledge to serve only four years with a nonpartisan agenda could win outright,” says Ms. Glover, citing a Gallup poll which found that 61 percent of Americans would welcome a third-party bid, even as the Democratic Party continues to tilt left, leaving a potential opportunity in the center of things.



“Legacy political strategists will say that the structural impediments of ballot and presidential debate access, the overwhelming advantages of the two parties’ fundraising and voter turnout operations preordain failure. But they were wrong about Trump and they’re wrong now; with the right candidates, these legal and logistical hurdles are surmountable. All it takes is lawyering and money,” Ms. Glover says.

AND A ROMNEY UPDATE

Mitt Romney had already been mentioned as a third-party guy.

“I’ve got the perfect candidate to dethrone the Donald. It’s Mitt Romney. Or maybe Jeff Flake. Ben Sasse? Sure, whatever. Any of them will do. Because I’m not suggesting that any of these vocal Trump critics from within the president’s own party — including Massachusetts’ re-gift to Utah — run as a Democrat. I don’t even want them to take on the president in a primary. Instead, I’m asking only that one of these allegedly responsible Republicans — each of whom has unleashed hell upon Trump in the form of a sternly worded speech/tweet/press release/raised eyebrow — run as a third-party candidate,” wrote Boston Globe columnist Nestor Ramos in mid-November.

But wait. At the same time, The Washington Examiner reported that Mr. Romney is poised to cooperate with President Trump, who endorsed his campaigns for president in 2012 and senator this year.

Mr. Romney, some suggest, is eager for Capitol Hill work. Outgoing House Speaker Paul D. Ryan recently declared the Utah Republican could serve as “a standard bearer” for the GOP. Rumor also has it that Mr. Romney plans to join the high-profile Finance, Commerce and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, according to CNBC.

MATT GAETZ, TRUMP DEFENDER

Politico has made a noteworthy designation on it’s annual “Power List” of those “who are positioned to play a critical role in the political landscape” as the 2020 presidential election approaches.

“Rep. Matt Gaetz isn’t disappearing from your TV screens anytime soon. The controversial Florida Republican and ardent Donald Trump supporter, who just won re-election, will continue making his plea to protect the president on any news channel that will have him in 2019,” explains Politico. “With Democrats holding the House majority, he thinks it’s only a matter of time until House Democrats try to impeach the president. And Gaetz will be there to defend him.”

Indeed, the lawmaker already has plans to help Mr. Trump.

“He needs a capable defense on the Judiciary Committee to show what a witch hunt this truly is. I feel a real sense of obligation to provide that defense,” Mr. Gaetz told Politico, adding “I intend to be making the president’s argument, forcefully, frequently and in the mediums that are consumed by the American people.”

MERRY CHRISTMAS (IT’S OK)

Three-fourths of Americans agree that Christmas should be celebrated in public schools, says a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted the same week that a Nebraska elementary school principal banned Christmas in her school — right down to candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and the colors red and green.

“Most Americans continue to believe Christmas should be celebrated in public schools, and that there’s a place for religious symbols on public land,” said the poll analysis, which found that 74 percent of the respondents agreed that Christmas should be celebrated in public schools.

Fourteen percent disagreed, 12 percent were unsure in the survey, conducted Dec. 6-9.

The outcome of the Nebraska school’s ban on Christmas an suggests others may agree with these findings.

“Elementary school principal tried to ban Christmas. It didn’t go well,” reported The Omaha World-Herald; the school district has released a statement indicating that the principal had been placed on administrative leave.

FOXIFIED

Fox News has once again bested all the competition in the entire cable realm throughout the day, according to Nielsen Media Research. The network also aired 17 of the top 20 telecasts, and remains the top cable-news outlet, drawing 2.1 million prime time viewers compared to 2 million for close rival MSNBC and 1 million for CNN.

Fox Business Network, meanwhile, dominated CNBC with a ratings advantage which ranged from 13-15 percent according to Nielsen. The network also claimed three of the top six business news programs on television last week.

POLL DU JOUR

90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas; 95 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.

67 percent overall say holiday cooking does not stress them; 65 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of independents and 64 percent of Democrats agree.

63 percent overall say “being with family members” does not stress them; 75 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent overall say “finding the perfect gift” does not stress them; 46 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University poll of 802 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 9-12 and released Friday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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