Inside the Beltway: An ‘America First’ candidate

Inside the Beltway: An ‘America First’ candidate

The nation’s interest in the 2022 midterm elections continues to increase, despite riveting news from the Ukraine crisis and the ongoing pandemic. The political show goes on.

Over 60 candidates are running for Congress in New Jersey, for example  — and that number includes Mike Blasi, an Army veteran, former law enforcement officer and small business owner who is intent on representing the Garden State’s 4th Congressional District.

Mr. Blasi is one of five candidates who are challenging incumbent Rep. Chis Smith, a Republican who was first elected in 1980 and has served 21 two-year terms in the U.S. House. Mr. Blasi, however, has a clear message to voters.

“We’re cleaning house,” his business card advises.

Mr. Blasi’s motto is “The America First candidate” — and he describes himself as a “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-family, pro-business, pro-medical freedom and pro-religious liberty” candidate.

But he is not happy with the nation’s direction these days.

“Every morning I wake up, turn on the news and see what’s happening to our country and it sickens me,”  Mr. Blasi tells Inside the Beltway.

He noted that current political discord, cultural upheavals and other forces which work against traditional and founding American values are the equivalent to a “horror novel.”

Mr. Blasi, however, vows to take on such forces.

“I am not going to allow my country to embrace socialism or communism when so many people have fought to preserve our democracy and the U.S. Constitution. I am from New York originally and I live in New Jersey — and I know how to fight. And I will be the voice of District 4,” Mr. Blasi vows.


The Nov. 8 midterm elections are exactly 253 days away, as of Monday.

Analysts already have predicted that there will be many close bouts between Republican and Democratic competitors, and that many important outcomes will hinge on voter turnout and enthusiasm.

Yet another poll has revealed that Republicans have the edge here. This one comes from Fox News, and here’s what it found.

“If the election for Congress were held today, would you vote for the Democratic candidate in your district or the Republican candidate in your district?” the poll asked.

It found that 49% of the respondents would “vote Republican” while 45% would “vote Democrat.” Another 4% are still undecided, while only 1% would vote for some other candidate — a disappointment to third-party candidates, perhaps.

One more set of numbers offers more insight.

Among Democrats themselves, 93% would vote for the Democratic hopeful, 5% would vote for a Republican, 2% were undecided and 1% would pick some other candidate. Among Republicans, 96% would pick the GOP candidate, 3% would opt for the Democratic candidate, 0% would vote for some other candidate and 0% felt undecided.

It’s close. But the GOP appears to have an edge.

The Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters was conducted Feb. 19-22.


As alarming and compelling as they are, fast-moving events in Ukraine are subject to interpretation. A few headlines from the last 24 hours:

“A team of American and British Special Forces veterans are preparing to join Ukraine’s fight against Russia” (BuzzFeed News); “The invasion of Ukraine changed everything for Wall Street” (CNN); “Two of Russia’s billionaires call for peace in Ukraine” (Reuters); “Former Miss Grand Ukraine joins fight against Russian invasion” (New York Post); “Double standard: Western coverage of Ukraine war criticized” (Al Jazeera); and “Elon Musk responds to Ukrainian government official’s plea for internet access” (


Here’s some news of note from the publishing world.

“Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan, has announced its exclusive collaboration with The New Yorker to publish the House Select Committee’s report on the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol in both e-book and paperback,” Publisher’s Weekly advises.

“The book will feature the full text of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol’s report, as well as an introduction by David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize,” Celadon said in a statement.

“After months of scrupulous investigation and public hearings, the Select Committee’s report will address the origins of the insurrection, how it was organized and funded, and the role of Donald Trump and other high-ranking officials. The report is expected to be as consequential as the investigations into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Watergate, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” Celadon said.

“The New Yorker is proud to partner with Celadon Books in presenting and making sense of what promises to be an important historical document, the first comprehensive portrait of the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol,” Mr. Remnick said in a statement.


Fox News has led the live coverage of the Ukraine situation, outpacing its cable news rivals during the first 72 hours of the events, according to early Nielsen Media Research ratings numbers.

The network’s triumph peaked Friday when Fox News averaged 3.4 million prime-time viewers compared to 1.8 million who tuned into CNN and 1.7 million who opted for MSNBC. The standout was “The Five” — which drew an audience of 4.3 million viewers.


• 33% of U.S. adults think it is safe “right now” to resume normal life activities curtailed during the pandemic.

• 9% overall say it will be safe “in the first half of 2022.”

• 20% say it will be safe “in the second half of 2022.”

• 26% say it will be safe “after 2022.”

• 13% say it will “never” be safe.”

SOURCE: An Economist/You Gov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 19-22.

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