- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2018

Public fascination with President Trump goes far beyond politics. He is also a cultural force, and there’s not a thing his Democratic rivals can do about that. The public is simply interested in all things Trump, and it works for him.

Case in point: a collection of Mr. Trump’s possessions from his years as an NBC reality-TV star will be part of a much publicized “Hollywood Icons” auction in Las Vegas on Saturday, right along with a dress once owned by Marilyn Monroe, a Superman costume worn by Christopher Reeve, and Marlon Brando’s 1969 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide motorcycle.

Let’s concentrate on the Trump collection, which goes up for bid at the Planet Hollywood resort and casino in Vegas, courtesy of Julien’s Auctions, which last year featured a small black magic-marker drawing by Mr. Trump on the auction block. His simple rendering of a New York City building fetched $16,000, and the sale made international headlines.

This time around, Mr. Trump’s 300-pound boardroom table from “The Apprentice” is available, estimated to bring $20,000. A collection of personal desk accessories — leather blotter, stationary tray, pen holder and notepaper container with blank sheets of paper — is expected to garner up to $6,000 while a red silk tie and two pairs of cufflinks from the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection should get around $600. Table, accessories and wearables were seen in several seasons of the show, including the “memorable season seven finale,” filmed at the Hollywood Bowl.

These items will share the stage with “Star Wars” hero Han Solo’s BlasTech DL-44 blaster from “Return of the Jedi” — which could command a half-million dollars. Then there are a pair of the late Hugh Hefner’s satin pajamas, Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Greta Garbo’s cigarette case, John Wayne’s tuxedo, and Roseanne Barr’s Statue of Liberty costume once worn on the original “Roseanne” series. These are but a fraction of the offerings. But such is life in an auction house.

“These pieces touched by these great Hollywood legends made an indelible mark on the lexicon of American pop culture,” says Darren Julien, president and CEO of the host organization.

Mr. Trump is part of that lexicon, making him the second American president considered a “Hollywood icon.” The first, of course, was Ronald Reagan.

‘ALL BETS ARE OFF’

“Rising presidential approval ratings and a softening of support for Democrats indicate that all bets are off when it comes to where control of Congress will land after the 2018 midterm elections,” reports a new Suffolk University/USA Today poll.

It found that President Trump’s job-approval ratings have shifted upward to 43 percent from 38 percent while his disapproval dropped from 60 percent in to 51 percent today.

“A rising tide for Donald Trump could have an impact on the midterm elections,” says David Paleologos, director of political research on the campus. “Our previous polling in states like Ohio had shown that many voters are making candidate choices based on their desire for better checks and balances on the president. But if approval of Trump continues to rise, voters may not care as much about electing a Congress that will stand up to the president.”

When it comes to relations with North Korea, 51 percent of voters approved of the way Mr. Trump handled the situation while 45 percent think the June 12 summit reduced the North Korean nuclear threat.

FOR THE LEXICON

The Oxford English Dictionary quietly added another 900 new words and phrases to its vast of collection of, well, words and phrases — meticulously citing their origins, emergence and usage in culture, academia and society. The new entries include things like “binge watch” and “spoiler alert” for those who can’t seem to get away from Netflix, and “silent generation” — a somewhat disquieting term favored by pollsters to designate those over a certain age.

Now that marijuana is being legalized in state after state, those old hippie terms like “kush” and “sativa” have been added, along with “microaggression,” plus four new designations for humanity’s romantic inclinations. That includes “aromantic,” for people who reject romance.

Consult Oed.com if you are curious about all this. Meanwhile, here’s a tiny selection of the new words and “senses”:

Antwacky, apoliticism, Beemer, beerfest, energy vampire, energy-dense, fictionality, GERD, hip-hoppy, hip-pop, imposter syndrome, Jumbotron, precariat, self fashioning, script doctor, teenagery, untogetherness, walkative, whataboutism, yessir and zeitgeisty.

THE MONEY WARS

“Just 78 days from the first ballots being available in the 2018 midterms, and the Democratic Party still finds itself in embarrassingly bad financial shape,” says Michael Ahrens, a communications guru for the Republican National Committee.

“Accounting for debt, the RNC’s war chest heading into the midterms is over 15 times that of the Democratic National Committee. Republicans have raised more money at this point in a midterm elections cycle than any party committee — ever,” Mr. Ahrens notes.

The GOP has just under $200 million in their war chest, has 500 paid campaign staffers in 27 states as the clock ticks toward Election Day and is committed on dropping $250 million to “defend our majorities,” Mr. Ahrens says.

The DNC has $101 million in the till.

But wait, let’s be fair. In the really big picture, the combined amount of funds raised by the RNC, the National Republican Senate Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee is $390 million. The combined funds of the DNC, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is $344 million.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Colonial Revival cottage built in 1910 in Jamestown, New York. Three bedrooms, two baths, formal living and dining rooms, parlor; 2,048 square feet. Original woodworking, hardwood floors, pocket doors, built-ins, marble fireplace, cabinetry, leaded and stained glass; updated kitchens and baths. Dormer windows, rocking chair porch, garage, mature trees. Priced at $48,500 through ERA.com, find the home here.

POLL DU JOUR

25 percent of voters who support President Trump say it’s because he gets things done.

12 percent support him because he “stands up for the country”; 6 percent cite his policies; 6 percent say he keeps his promises.

5 percent support Mr. Trump’s “businessman” approach; 4 percent like that he is “not a politician”; 4 percent say he stands up for himself.

4 percent say he “fights” for his causes; 4 percent says he “shakes things up”; 3 percent say Mr. Trump is “for the people.”

Source: A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters which included 431 voters who support President Trump and were asked to describe the reason in their own words.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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