NEWS AND OPINION:
A very large poll conducted in 28 countries reveals that the global audience may be weary of one classic aspect of the Olympics.
“A global country average of 57% agree that there is ‘too much nationalism on display’ at the Olympics. Agreement is highest in Saudi Arabia and Turkey (both 77%) and lowest in Sweden (35%),” reports a new IPSOS Global Attitudes poll released Wednesday.
But politics are OK. Sort of. The poll analysis notes that “55% overall agree that it is appropriate for athletes to take a public stand on social or political issues when performing at the Olympics.”
And a melancholy finding: 54% of the respondents said they simply weren’t interested in the Olympics.
Host nation China shows the highest levels of interest (84%), followed by India, South Africa and Malaysia. Fewer than one in three in Germany, Canada, Britain and Belgium say they are interested in the event, the analysis noted.
And the U.S.? Among Americans, 42% said they were interested in the games.
See the Poll du Jour at the column’s end for more numbers, and a list of the 28 nations which participated in the massive survey.
HEADLINE OF NOTE
“Rare Hillary Clinton fundraiser sparks renewed speculation of presidential plans: Hillary’s flame for power burns eternal.”
The headline is from ElectionCentral.com, citing a “high dollar” fundraiser staged this week for Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio Democrat and a 2022 Senate hopeful. It marks Mrs. Clinton’s first foray into fundraising in this election cycle.
THE EVOLVING U.S. CONSTITUTION
President Biden had a telling comment on the U.S. Constitution on Tuesday during a meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, there to discuss the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court, now that Justice Stephen G. Breyer is retiring.
Mr. Biden revealed his thoughts on the founding document.
“There’s always a renewed national debate every time we nominate — any president nominates — a justice, because the Constitution is always evolving slightly in terms of additional rights or curtailing rights,” the president noted.
“No,” countered the New York Post in an editorial released Thursday.
“The whole point of a written Constitution is that it doesn’t ‘evolve’ except under the arduous procedures for amending it. The Supreme Court may make new constitutional law in the course of applying it to new situations, but that’s supposed to be it. Which is why progressives going back to President Woodrow Wilson have always hated the actual Constitution, as it limits their agenda,” the Post wrote.
“These days, [Democrats are] eager to pack the high court with judges who’ll ‘read’ that agenda into the nation’s fundamental law, which is a lot easier than convincing the people’s elected representatives to endorse their program. And so they play rank politics with the Supreme Court,” the editorial said.
“They gin up personal smears against nominees from Clarence Thomas to Brett Kavanaugh in a bid to keep them off the court. They threaten to delegitimize the high court itself if it rules the ‘wrong’ way — threats that apparently got Chief Justice John Roberts to save the ObamaCare law. For all their talk of a ‘war on democracy,’ the left is engaged in a decades-long war on a vital branch of our Republic,” it concluded.
“One of the main disadvantages Republicans have faced over the last few cycles has been a disparity in candidate dollars. But heading into 2022 that’s no longer the case,” points out Michael McAdams, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
He credits the “tireless efforts” of Republican leadership, his own organization, Republican interest groups and the “entire GOP financial ecosystem” for the victory — revealed in new campaign finance reports released this week.
“At least 53 Republicans raised over $500,000 in the fourth quarter, compared to 38 Democratic candidates, according to a Politico analysis of the data. That’s a marked difference from the third quarter of 2021, when a roughly equal number of candidates from each party cleared the half-million mark. It’s a sign of GOP momentum that portends trouble for House Democrats, who have long enjoyed the financial edge. For example, back in the fourth-quarter of 2019 — the same point in the last election cycle — some 60 Democrats raised more than $500,000, but only 27 Republicans did,” Mr. McAdams noted.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: “Medieval castle” with two towers, built in 1990 on six acres in Oakland Township, Michigan. Five bedrooms, seven baths; 10,790 square feet.”The frame is built with 60 tons of steel and construction took over 6 years utilizing artisans from all over the world. The castle is taller than a four-story building. It features a moat, waterfall, drawbridge, portcullis, 26 rooms, elevator, 5 fireplaces, 6 new furnaces, secret rooms, hidden doors, hidden passageways, hidden staircase, wine cellar, Tudor style pub, and a few more surprises.” Priced at $2.3 million through SothebysRealty.com; enter 2210072525 in the search function.
POLL DU JOUR
• 69% of the global population agree that if a nation is barred from the Olympics for doping, its athletes not implicated in doping “should be allowed to perform.”
• 57% of the population agree there is “too much nationalism” on display during the Olympics.
• 55% agree it is “appropriate” for athletes to take a public stand on social or political issues when performing at the Olympics.
• 54% are not interested in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
• 52% agree that the Olympics should go ahead as planned even if the COVID-19 pandemic “isn’t over yet.”
Source: An Ipsos Global Advisory survey of 20,025 adults ages 18-74 in 28 countries, conducted from Dec. 23 to Jan. 7 and released Thursday. The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.S., and about 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.