- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 23, 2019

It’s 48 hours and counting until 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls gather across a glittering stage in Miami to strut their stuff and tout their own brand in two days of broadcast events that could yield blockbuster ratings. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders are touting old-school name recognition while several lady lawmakers are poised to show their smarts and inner mettle. Some candidates aspire to be a breath of fresh air, others to bring forth their common sense solutions to complex problems.

Yes, well. It’s election season after all. One political analyst offers another perspective.

“The Democratic debates are going to be the largest gathering of liberals since Woodstock,” says Ross Baker, who ought to know.

He is a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University, a former research associate at the Brookings Institution and has served as a consultant and a resident scholar for Democrats in both the House and Senate. The debate itself is a cultural moment for the Democratic hopefuls, 10 of whom appear Wednesday evening, another 10 the following night.

“It will be a debut for some and a curtain call for others. The least well-known have the most to gain. The pack leaders — Biden and Sanders especially — have the most to lose. It is as engrossing as ‘Game of Thrones’ — but somewhat less violent,” observes Mr. Baker.



‘THE ANTITHESIS OF OPENNESS’

The South Carolina Democratic Party barred five major broadcast news organizations from covering a significant debate between the Democratic presidential hopefuls Saturday. The honor went to MSNBC alone. Hubbub followed. In a likely unprecedented display of unity, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, CBS News, CNN and ABC News protested this decision in a joint declaration to Trav Robertson, chairman of the Palmetto State party.

The importance of the event warranted its wide availability to the voting public — “without embargoes, restrictions or other limitation,” the broadcasters noted.

“Political parties have always had a traditional of open media access,” the networks said, calling the decision to bar them from coverage “the antithesis of openness” — which could set a negative precedent.

A copy of the declaration went to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat and the House majority whip.

NBC and MSNBC will host the aforementioned Democratic debate in Miami. Fox News, incidentally, was not invited to host any future national debates — though that has not stopped some of the hopefuls from appearing on the network’s well-received town hall meetings.

MR. AND MRS. HIT THE ROAD

An entertainment pairing of note: veteran comedians Roseanne Barr and Andrew Dice Clay are now putting together a “Mr. and Mrs. America Tour,” this after a trial joint appearance at a Las Vegas comedy club.

“They’ve both been banned by television outlets, so they’re taking their act on the road. He was banned for life by MTV for his risque comedy, and she was kicked off her ratings-leading ‘Roseanne’ show for comments about former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett,” writes Bruce Haring, a Deadline Hollywood editor.

“We’ve got to stop policing comedians. This is America,” Mr. Clay tells Fox News.

And of his new co-star?

“She’s an original, I’m an original and people should just stop reading Twitter. Calm down with your political conversations. Whoever is running the country, nobody else’s life changes. We still got to go out there and make a living. Enjoy your family, enjoy your friends,” he told the network.

The tour begins on Sept. 19 at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York.

A GOLDEN RETRIEVER GOES POLITICAL

A Democratic hopeful is now offering her dog as a voter incentive.

“Elizabeth and I would love it if you could join us for a drink — along with Bailey, our golden retriever,” advises Bruce Mann — the husband of Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a new message to her loyal fans.

“You could win a chance to have a drink with me, Elizabeth, and Bailey (beer, tea, coffee, or whatever you would like),” Mr. Warren advises. “These days, Elizabeth spends a lot of time traveling around the country to keep building a grass-roots movement. Bailey and I join her when we can. We would love the opportunity to meet you in person and say thanks for everything you do. (Bailey would love it, too, especially if you give him belly rubs.)”

The homespun message is actually a fundraising outreach, but no matter. The greater question would be — if we are to be fair to all dogs — would a Labrador also be an valuable incentive to get out the vote? How about a beagle? Boston Terrier? Komondor? Oh yes. And how about a cat?

UNEXPECTED NEWS

“For the first time in modern history, the world’s population is expected to virtually stop growing by the end of this century, due in large part to falling global fertility rates,” write Pew Research Center analysts Anthony Cilluffo and Neil G. Ruiz, who pored over new data from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

“By 2100, the world’s population is projected to reach approximately 10.9 billion, with annual growth of less than 0.1% — a steep decline from the current rate. Between 1950 and today, the world’s population grew between 1% and 2% each year, with the number of people rising from 2.5 billion to more than 7.7 billion,” the pair noted.

“Global fertility is falling as the world is aging The global fertility rate is expected to be 1.9 births per woman by 2100, down from 2.5 today,” they said, also noting that the world’s median age is expected to increase to 42 in 2100, up from the current 31 — and from 24 in 1950.”

POLL DU JOUR

51% of Americans say that President Trump’s “friendly” attitude toward Russia does not present a national security threat to the U.S.; 89% of Republicans, 56% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

45% overall say the friendly attitude is a security threat; 7% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 82% of Democrats agree.

48% overall are not concerned that Mr. Trump is “too friendly toward Russia”; 82% of Republicans, 54% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

47% overall say they are concerned; 14% of Republicans, 42% of independents and 82% of Democrats agree.

4% do not know whether they are concerned; 4% of Republicans, 5% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University poll of 751 U.S. adults conducted June 12-17 and released Friday.

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