- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

All 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls are hoping to polish up their grassroots appeal and down-home personas in a desperate bid to attract the votes of all those grassroots, down-home voters. None of the Democratic candidates will forget that 65 million of them stepped up to the polls in 2016 and essentially put President Trump in the White House. Their affection, commitment and loyalty for Mr. Trump has not abated in the least as he continues to deliver on campaign promises.

He’s still their man.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden in particular, however, would also like to be “the man,” Democrat-style. And he appears to be fully in touch with his inner Lunch Bucket Joe — his schedule filling up with photo ops in diners, town squares and large-scale rallies in the Trump style. Political branding must be very precise these days.

Journalists are apparently ready to assist Mr. Biden in crafting his campaign persona.

“Days after jumping into the 2020 race, former Vice President Joe Biden is giving his own MAGA slogan a spin. Biden was asked what his version of President Trump’s ‘make America great again’ slogan would be in an ABC ‘Good Morning America’ interview that aired Tuesday,” notes an editorial in The Week.



“Make America moral again,” Mr. Biden told host Robin Roberts.

That would be “MAMA,” not “MAGA” — but no matter.

“Make America return to the essence of who we are, the dignity of the country, the dignity of the people, treating our people with dignity,” Mr. Biden continued.

Could that be a script for the next 19 months? We shall see.

“Biden sat down with ‘Good Morning America’ shortly before his first campaign rally on Monday. He said he’s running for president to restore the ‘soul’ and ‘backbone’ of America and to unite the country,” The Week noted.

Prepare for more of same as his campaign picks up speed — though many voters may think that America is already “moral.”

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel just keeps on keeping on, finishing the month of April as the most-watched network in the entire cable realm in both total day time and prime time, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News has been No. 1 in cable during the day for 34 consecutive months — almost three years — and No. 1 in prime time for the third month in a row according to Nielsen.

The network continues to prove that news, information and opinion — when presented in a consistently compelling way — can best such non-news favorites as HGTV and ESPN.

It is the same story on the news side. Competitors can’t keep up. Fox News has bested its two primary news rivals, MSNBC and CNN, for 200 months straight — that’s almost 17 years.

Fox News attracted 2.4 million prime-time viewers according to the latest numbers, compared to 1.6 million for MSNBC and 767,000 for CNN.

“Hannity” finished the month of April as the highest-rated cable news program, topping the NBA playoffs on ESPN and TNT. Fox News prime-time programming also eclipsed CNN’s much-publicized five-hour town hall event for Democratic presidential hopefuls on April 22, securing 2.3 million viewers. CNN had 1.2 million for their special event.

In addition, ratings continue to flourish at the Fox Business Network, which draws the largest audiences in business television and is home to the two top business programs for the 33rd straight month, according to Nielsen.

Lou Dobbs Tonight” remains No. 1 in its time slot for 40 straight months, while “Varney & Co.” has remained in first place in its time slot for 30 months.

ANATOMY OF A NAME

“I call him Buttabeep, Buttaboop.”

Oprah Winfrey, describing her designation for Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, as told to The Hollywood Reporter.

THREE YEARS LATER

Hillary Clinton misses her presidency more than voters do. ‘Hillary’s back in the news, claiming once again that she was robbed in the 2016 election and that President Trump should be impeached. But voters don’t see a Hillary Clinton presidency as a better deal for them,” notes a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

It found that 42% of them believe America would be better off today if Clinton had been elected president instead of Trump. But 48% disagree with that, and 11% are undecided. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted April 24-25.

MEANWHILE IN THE ARCTIC

Strategic alliances appear to be flourishing in the cold zone.

“China continues to invest in Arctic natural resources as two Chinese national oil companies secure a 20% stake in Novatek’s massive Arctic LNG 2 project,” reports the High North News, a Norwegian media concern.

“LNG” is liquified natural gas, by the way. Novatek is one of Russia’s largest independent natural gas producers.

Novatek is thus far sticking with the same project partners. The China National Petroleum Corporation and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation each secured a 10% share,” the Norwegian news group said, noting that the Chinese investors also have a stake in a previous Novatek project.

Novatek’s CEO Leonid Mikhelson called the new agreement an “important milestone,” and also describes it a “game-changer in the global gas market.” The company has also been in discussion with Saudi Aramco — Saudi Arabia’s national oil company — and is nearing an agreement.

The U.S. Coast Guard, meanwhile, released their new strategy for the Arctic only last week.

“We will remain vigilant in protecting our national interests in the polar regions to forestall the unchecked influence of competitors,” noted Admiral Karl L. Schultz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, in the introduction to the new strategic outlook.

POLL DU JOUR

96% of Democratic Party voters say it is important that a presidential candidate supports “taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change.”

91% of those voters say it’s important that a presidential candidate support “providing health insurance for all Americans through the government.”

85% say it’s important the candidate supports “taking executive action if Congress fails to pass stricter gun laws.”

78% say it’s important the candidate supports “making public colleges tuition-free.”

71% say it’s important the candidate support “impeaching Donald Trump.”

63% say it’s important the candidate supports “paying reparations to the descendants of enslaved people.”

60% says it’s important the candidate supports “restoring voting rights for all convicted felons, regardless of the severity of their crime or whether they have finished serving their sentence.”

Source: A CNN/SSRS poll of 411 registered Democrats conducted April 25-28.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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