NEWS AND OPINION:
There was much mockery and criticism in the mainstream media after mysterious technical issues compromised the debut of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on the presidential campaign trail. The New York Times, for example, deemed it “the conference call from hell.”
Mr. DeSantis, however, followed the event with an appearance Wednesday evening on Fox News Channel that the network said drew 2 million viewers. He followed that, according to a campaign statement, with a “robust slate” of a dozen TV, radio and podcast interviews on Thursday.
The Republican candidate “is continuing to hit the ground running,” it said.
Mr. DeSantis, however, does not need to worry about a preliminary imperfection, some say.
“When the history of the Ron DeSantis 2024 presidential campaign is written, his announcement will be just one chapter,” predicted Jim Geraghty, a National Review columnist who deemed the partisan cackling that erupted in the aftermath as “Overreaction Thursday.”
But what about Friday — and all the days to come?
Mr. DeSantis likely has a formidable arsenal of political firepower waiting to be deployed. Consider that a straightforward campaign video released Wednesday emphasizes that the governor is poised to “lead our great American comeback.”
That video — and the much-criticized Twitter Space event — were viewed over 30 million times in the first 15 hours, according to the DeSantis campaign.
“I still believe that the key moments in the 2024 GOP presidential primary will be the first time DeSantis and Donald Trump are on the same debate stage, and the first time DeSantis challenges Trump to his face — and how that exchange plays out for the two men. It’s not that nothing matters until then, but it’s hard to envision anything being decisive before then,” Mr. Geraghty said.
MOVING ALONG, PART 2
Road trip season approaches.
“Will you travel for Memorial Day or Memorial Day weekend this year?” asks a new survey by TheVacationer.com, a consumer travel resource,
It found that 36% of U.S. adults are not traveling over the upcoming weekend. And 21% will travel to attend a relative or friend’s holiday party while 18% will travel for a formal vacation. Then there are the 17% who will travel for a day trip to a getaway spot, plus 7% who will travel for a different or undisclosed reason.
But wait, there’s more: 15% will attend a parade, 60% a barbecue or cookout, 25% a fireworks display and 8% a sporting event. A fifth will seek out a lake while another 20% will not participate in any of these seasonal activities — and 10% are satisfied to just go to the movies.
The survey of 1,021 U.S. adults was conducted online on May 1.
McCARTHY GETS GRAPHIC
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has offered a timely, sobering analogy to describe the nation’s fentanyl crisis Thursday, just as the House passed a bill that provides more stringent and effective punishment for those who deal in the substance.
“In March alone, 2,848 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the border — or the weight equivalent of one medium sized sedan,” stated a stark graphic issued by Mr. McCarthy’s office — and yes, it included an image of a car.
Mr. McCarthy is not mincing words either.
“The Biden administration’s refusal to secure our southern border has ignited a crisis. Every step of the way, President Biden has ignored the problem, ducked responsibility, and allowed the fallout of the crisis to affect American cities across the country,” he said in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
“From the border, inflation, crime, and the debt ceiling, President Biden and Washington Democrats have failed to do their jobs. While they blunder our nation into crisis after crisis, House Republicans remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering solutions to the American people,” Mr. McCarthy said.
THE POPPY REMINDER
The USAA Poppy Wall of Honor is a temporary installation honoring the more than 645,000 American service members who gave their lives in service to our nation since World War I.
The 133-foot wall returns to the National Mall in the nation’s capital for Memorial Day weekend. It stands over 8 feet high and features a panel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the Vietnam War.
“Memorial Day weekend has long served as the unofficial start to summer with many Americans getting together and enjoying the long weekend. However, it’s important to pause and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday — to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country,” retired Vice Adm. John Bird, senior vice president of military affairs at USAA, said in a statement.
Honor a loved one or share a remembrance via major social media sites using the hashtag #PoppyInMemory. Dedications are also found at USAAdigitalpoppywall.com.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Emphatic, stylish and streamlined midcentury modern home built on 1 acre in Richland, Michigan. Three bedrooms, two baths, “lovingly” restored with floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood and slate flooring plus rare “pecky” cypress paneling. Open floor plan, streamlined chef’s kitchen. Elegant landscaping and pathways, brick patio with gravel and rock accenting, mature trees, two-car carport. Priced at $459,900 through Remax.com; enter 23016434 in the search function.
POLL DU JOUR
• 43% of registered U.S. voters say they are “extremely concerned” about political divisions in the U.S.; 49% of conservatives, 35% of moderates and 41% of liberals agree.
• 36% overall are “very concerned” about political divisions; 34% of conservatives, 33% of moderates and 40% of liberals agree.
• 15% are “not very concerned” about political divisions; 12% of conservatives, 21% of moderates and 15% of liberals agree.
• 5% are “not at all” concerned about the divisions; 5% of conservatives, 9% of moderates and 3% of liberals agree.
• 1% “don’t know” about the issue; 0% of conservatives, 2% of moderates and 1% of liberals agree.
SOURCE: A Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters conducted May 19-22.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at email@example.com.
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