- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

President Trump’s rivals don’t know whether to laugh or cry when he goes off script or off message to brilliant effect. They cry, most likely — because Mr. Trump is a strategically minded, master showman who wins most every round in the public arena, whether he is responding to a partisan attack or creating a handy new phrase or motto for his 2020 campaign.

“Do you know that Donald Trump is probably the first president in our lifetimes who has not used focus groups to figure out where to go, what to say, how to dress, where to vacation?” Rush Limbaugh asked his 14 million-member audience, calling the president a “branding genius.”

Mr. Trump is at home on the global stage.

“A campaign is a performance. If you’re on TV, you are performing. Writing a column, you’re performing. It is a performance. It doesn’t mean that you’re not serious. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be taken seriously. It doesn’t mean that you are not qualified. It’s just another added skill set that others don’t have — most don’t have — and so it stands out. Trump is a natural performer, a great communicator. He doesn’t need polling data, doesn’t need focus groups,” Mr. Limbaugh observed.

“Trump doesn’t have any writers, doesn’t need any writers. He’s his own producer, he’s his own director, and he is the talent. And Democrats tell us that Trump is an idiot. Trump is running circles around them in all of the ways they wish they could compete,” he added. “And he’s doing it without the usual army of paid advisers, paid consultants, comedy writers, speech writers, nickname creators. I don’t know how long it’s going to be before we see his kind again in politics.”



VOTERS VETO A RAISE FOR CONGRESS

Do lawmakers deserve a little extra something in their paychecks? Uh, no.

Six-out-of-10 voters “strongly oppose” the idea of a $4,500 cost-of-living raise for Congress — which would bring their salaries to $178,500. Even half of Democrats strongly dislike raising Congress‘ pay.

The number of voters who actually approve of the idea is minuscule. See the rest of the findings in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

MATT SCHLAPP FOR SENATOR?

American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp could have another calling in the future according to some observers.

“If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo does not run for the Republican nomination for the Kansas seat in the U.S. Senate, Matt Schlapp’s conservative credentials and support of President Trump make him well positioned to win the nomination,” says David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth PAC.

“Obviously Sec. Pompeo would be a great senator. The Club for Growth also believes Schlapp would be a very effective champion of pro-growth policies in Congress in the Senate,” Mr. McIntosh notes.

Yes, there’s a poll. It asked 512 Republican primary voters in Kansas to consider a hypothetical match-up between Mr. Schlapp and Rep. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican now in his second term. Voters were asked to compare the biographies of the potential rivals.

The poll found 49% preferred Mr. Schlapp, 41% opted for Mr. Marshall and 10% were undecided.

And where does Mr. Marshall stand?

“Roger Marshall hasn’t officially entered the race for U.S. Senate, but he’s already winning the fundraising contest against Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner. Marshall can raise money through his House campaign and steer it toward a bid for Senate if he decides to run, which seems likely after the Kansas congressman’s meeting with the National Republican Senatorial Committee earlier this year,” The Kansas City Star reported earlier this year.

The poll was conducted by WPA Intelligence June 3-6; the Club for Growth is an advocacy group promoting economic freedom and free enterprise.

DE BLASIO FATIGUE

The Big Apple is going sour on Mayor Bill de Blasio, now a candidate for president.

“That he is now more focused on the White House than City Hall shows the extent of his delusions. He’s throwing away the best job he’ll ever have in a vain quest for a job he’ll never get. Polls in New York show growing unhappiness with him, and he fails to register a pulse in most Democratic presidential polls. Take a hint, Big Guy,” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.

“It’s his business if he wants to make a fool of himself nationally. It’s our business if he’s not doing the job he was hired — and paid handsomely — to do. Being mayor is not a part-time gig. Do the job or have the decency to give it up,” Mr. Goodwin advises.

“It is not a coincidence that the most successful mayors were on call 24 hours a day and left the five boroughs only briefly and occasionally. Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg weren’t figureheads or ceremonial mayors. They spent time to understand the issues in the major agencies, and while they delegated decisions, they didn’t delegate responsibility. They were in charge,” says the columnist.

CHICKEN AND LEMONADE

Legislation of note this week from the Lone Star State. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sign two bills into law.

One enables children to run a neighborhood lemonade stand without a peddler’s permit.

“Here is a common sense law. We had to pass it because police shut down a lemonade stand here in Texas. So kids, cheers!” Mr. Abbott said in a video greeting.

The other is Senate Bill 1978 — nicknamed “Save Chick-fil-A” because it prohibits the government from taking “adverse action” against a business which supports religious groups not in agreement with certain LGBTQ issues.

The bill’s opponents accuse the restaurant franchise of promoting discrimination, though Chick-fil-A itself has been boycotted, then banned from opening a location at a local airport.

POLL DU JOUR

57% of U.S. voters “strongly oppose” a $4,500 cost of living raise for Congress which brings their salaries to $178,500; 66% of Republicans, 59% of independents and 49% of Democrats agree.

15% overall “somewhat oppose” the raise; 11% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 20% of Democrats agree.

14% are undecided on the matter; 8% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 17% of Democrats agree.

10% “somewhat support” the raise; 10% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree.

4% “strongly support” it; 5% of Republicans, 3% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,991 registered U.S. voters conducted June 7-9.

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