The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

rent TV, the San Fran­cisco-based cable chan­nel founded six years ago by Al Gore and en­tre­pre­neur Joel Hy­att. Not much has changed since Mr. Ol­ber­mann left his old net­work in Jan­uary.

The new show is still called “Count­down with Keith Ol­ber­mann.” The host also has been given the ti­tle of “chief news of­fi­cer” at the net­work, which ap­pears ea­ger to take on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and ev­ery­one else in the com­bat­ive news land­scape. “Keith will be back, speak­ing truth to power and call­ing them as he sees them, but this time, on Amer­ica’s only in­de­pen­dent news and in­for­ma­tion TV net­work,” Mr. Hy­att ob­serves. with their lib­eral take on ma­jor po­lit­i­cal is­sues.” A cer­tain bil­lion­aire is get­ting am­bi­tious sup­port in the heart­land from a rock­a­billy hero, far from the glit­ter­ing av­enues of Man­hat­tan. And for once, Don­ald Trump is not or­ches­trat­ing it all. In­deed, the real es­tate mogul is busy preen­ing his pres­i­den­tial plumage for a White House run; he had two jour­neys to New Hamp­shire in a 10-day span lined up to meet with busi­ness lead­ers and po­lit­i­cal strate­gists in the Gran­ite State. “Should Trump Run,” a vig­or­ous pub­lic outreach chaired by his close ad­viser Michael Co­hen, con­tin­ues to push the Trump brand in myr­iad ways.

Then there are his grass­roots devo­tees. Trump fans ex­ist in fly­over coun­try, on the far coasts, in the ham­lets — out there on their own, and un­of­fi­cial. But they’re or­ga­nized, re­lent­less and tap­ping into some vintage tal­ent.

Nick McLaugh­lin, chair­man of the Mis­souri-based Draft Trump 2012 has an­nounced that coun­try west­ern singer and “rock­a­billy le­gend” Jerry Nay­lor has signed on to serve as Ore­gon state co-co­or­di­na­tor for the ef­fort. The per­former — who took Buddy Holly’s place in “The Crick­ets” af­ter the leg­endary singer died in a 1959 plane crash — later cam­paigned for Ron­ald Rea­gan in 1976 and 1980. As pres­i­dent, Rea­gan later ap­pointed Mr. Nay­lor to twin terms as a fed­eral com­mis­sioner of the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Em­ploy­ment Pol­icy.

And just in time for the first of­fi­cial GOP pres­i­den­tial de­bate on May 5 in South Carolina, Mr. McLaugh­lin also says that Lib­er­tar­ian at­tor­ney Scott Royce, a for­mer po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tor for Jack Kemp’s 1988 pres­i­den­tial run, will co­or­di­nate the South Carolina ef­fort to draft Mr. Trump.

“He is one of us. He is not a ca­reer politi­cian, thus will not be par­a­lyzed by the in­flu­ence of spe­cial in­ter­ests when re­solv­ing the big is­sues that chal­lenge the coun­try at present,” Mr. Royce says.

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