Inside the Beltway: Biden’s big plans to woo conservatives

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Presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden appears ready to woo his former foes. Is it “Kumbaya” time already? The Biden administration is now planning to reach out to conservatives according to Rep. Cedric Richmond, Louisiana Democrat, and a senior adviser and director of Mr. Biden’s Office of Public Engagement.

“Right now I’m trying to set up the office, and I’m actually looking at establishing a position that reaches out to conservatives. It’s about moving forward. We cannot stay where we are,” Mr. Richmond told an audience of The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting this week.

“We were elected to help this entire country and that means reaching out to conservatives, that means reaching out to rural areas, reaching out to people who didn’t vote for us,” said Mr. Richmond, who was co-chair of the Biden campaign itself.

“The office’s goal was to forge connections with all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation,” noted a Bloomberg News analysis of the events.

It all sounds very promising and cuddly. But Breitbart News analyst Joel B. Pollak is having none of it.

“The Biden campaign advocated for limits on conservative free speech throughout the 2020 presidential campaign. Biden pushed social media companies to crack down on conservatives, and appointed anti-free speech Richard Stengel to his transition team,” Mr. Pollak writes.

“The Biden campaign also smeared conservative media throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, targeting Breitbart News among others. In August 2019, the campaign referred to this reporter as ‘one of Trump’s Breitbart lackeys’ after I confronted the candidate about his repeated misquoting of President Trump’s remarks about the Charlottesville riots in 2017,” he says.

CONSERVATIVES PREPARE TO STRIKE BACK

Meanwhile, the Republican Study Committee — the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives — appears ready to rumble. Multiple committees and three task forces are already organized and able.

“Conservatives are as unified as ever, and together we will spend the next two years fighting the radical Democrats and stopping them from implementing their socialist agenda,” said Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, incoming chairman of the 172-member group.

“At the same time, Republican Study Committee will work hard the next two years to pave the way for a conservative agenda that House Republicans can implement when we win back the majority in 2022,” he vows.

MR. GORE EMERGES

Former Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore seemed very quiet during the 2020 election. The former vice president, however, has broken his silence, and is now busy fundraising for Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both pursuing seats in the Senate in the two runoff elections that could change the dynamics at the Capitol in a major way.

The Georgia GOP is not thrilled.

“Once again, Radical Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are reminding Georgians that they would stand with radical liberals, like Al Gore, to implement their radical socialist agenda — including the Green New Deal that would cost each Georgia family tens of thousands of dollars in the first year alone,” says Georgia GOP spokeswoman Abigail Sigler.

MR. GORE, PART 2

Al Gore also continues to speak out on behalf of Climate Realty Project, the eco-minded nonprofit he founded in 2006. But wait. The organization has expanded its reach beyond weather concerns and troubled polar bears and into the new realm of “climate-smart cooking.”

The new culinary category pushes the idea that fossil fuels could threaten “farms and food systems” and that food itself is “critically threatened by the climate crisis.”

Yes, there’s a cookbook. It is titled “Climate-Smart Cooking and the Future of Food.” And yes, there are recipes from climate activists included, such as “Amy’s Spinach and Quinoa Patties,” “Ashleigh’s Potato Loaf” and “Lynda’s Save the Planet Tomato Basil Pasta with Pine Nuts Pasta.”

Curious? The free publication is available for download at ClimateRealityProject.org.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GEORGE

A round of applause, please, for Reagan-era stalwart George Schultz, who turns 100 on Sunday.

“As Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of State, Mr. Shultz has dedicated his life to serving our nation and advancing causes of great consequence,” advises the Hoover Institution, where Mr. Schultz serves as a senior fellow.

This august occasion will be saluted on social media. The organization urges one and all to cheer this birthday with the hashtag is #Schultz100 The Hoover Institution, incidentally, is a public policy think tank that counts former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as director and is located on the campus of Stanford University with an office in the nation’s capital.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

88% of U.S. adults are washing their hands more often to minimize the risk of coronavirus; 80% of Republicans, 90% of independents and 95% of Democrats agree.

73% overall consider a national mandate to wear masks against the coronavirus is a “good idea”; 47% of Republicans, 74% of independents and 96% of Democrats agree.

72% overall consider the coronavirus to be “a real threat”; 49% of Republicans, 72% of independents and 94% of Democrats agree.

64% overall will get vaccinated when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available; 48% of Republicans, 66% of independents and 75% of Democrats agree.

51% overall consider a national stay-at-home order to be a good idea; 25% of Republicans, 48% of independents and 78% of Democrats agree.

Source: An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll of 1,065 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 1-6.

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