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Make ours a 'Mr. Palmer,' too

| Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Honorary starter Arnold Palmer reacts after hitting his ball on the first tee before the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 11, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting stands near the team logo before the home opener against the Cubs Monday , April 1, 2013, at PNC Park.
AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Jill Cooper. Steph Anderson | Tribune-Review
State Sen. Kim Ward
Gov. Tom Corbett. James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The question has obsessed golf lovers for years: How does Arnold Palmer order an Arnold Palmer?

The answer came from intrepid New Jersey Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi, who spotted the Latrobe golfing legend at the Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga., drinking the beverage that bears his name.

That naturally got Politi thinking about how Palmer orders the iced tea-lemonade concoction.

“It has to be a bit awkward, right?” Politi wrote. “Does he tell the waitress, ‘I'll have a me?' Does he just expect that she'll know, because of who he is. That could lead to an awkward moment if, for a change of pace, he'd like a Dr. Pepper.”

Politi seized the moment and approached Palmer's waitress, asking, “How did Arnie order his drink?”

The waitress responded: “He leaned over and said, ‘I'll have a Mr. Palmer.' Then he winked.”

Sounds as though Palmer is as delightfully unpretentious as ever.

Political penny-pinchers, as well.The Pittsburgh Pirates aren't cheap just when it comes to player payroll.

The team also doesn't believe in spending on politics, according to a Sunlight Foundation study on Major League Baseball teams' political contributions during the 2012 election cycle.

The Pirates ranked 26th out of 30 teams, ponying up a paltry $28,000. Only the Cleveland Indians ($22,272), Tampa Bay Rays ($20,250), Oakland Athletics ($5,000) and Toronto Blue Jays ($0) donated less to political causes. The Chicago Cubs contributed the most — $13.9 million.

Most of the Pirates' political money was donated to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball's Political Action Committee, which distributes money to candidates on both sides of the aisle. But Pirates owner Bob Nutting and his wife, Leslie, did contribute $7,500 to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

We would have preferred they put that money toward a shortstop who can hit.

RICK'S ALREADY RUNNING. Don't dare tell Rick Santorum the next presidential election won't occur for three years.

The former U.S. senator of Pennsylvania, whose White House dreams were dashed in last year's campaign, will be prepping for the 2016 Iowa caucuses on Monday by delivering the keynote address at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's spring kickoff event.

The Rickster has made no secret of the fact that he is all but a formally declared presidential candidate. Given that he's already campaigning, folks in Iowa are sure to be sick of him long before 2016 arrives.

SHORT-STAFFED AT STATE.John Kerry apparently isn't concerned about the dearth of diplomats at the State Department.

The secretary of State, husband of Pittsburgh's own Teresa Heinz, hasn't filled nearly a dozen pivotal positions — including the top job in East Asia, which has been vacant since February despite North Korea threatening nuclear strikes almost daily.

The New York Post reported diplomatic vacancies also exist in the Middle East and Africa. Also, three officials in the diplomatic security bureau, removed after last September's fiasco at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, have yet to be replaced.

Perhaps Kerry should spend less time displaying his soccer skills, as he did recently in Afghanistan, and more time reviewing resumes.

YOUNG BLOOD? Westmoreland County Republican Committee Chairwoman Jill Cooper drew laughs from party faithful at the Ronald Reagan Liberty Celebration dinner in North Huntingdon when she announced the minimum eligibility criteria for the committee's “Young” Republican of the Year award.

The nominees must be under age 40, she said.

Tiffany Schomer, who assisted in county Recorder of Deeds Frank Schiefer's 2011 campaign and now works in Schiefer's office, won the award.

And by the way, she is 27.

GAINING TURF. Even 10 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Westmoreland County Republicans making a dent in Democrat-strong District 1, which includes the New Kensington and Lower Burrell areas. But on the Ronald Reagan Liberty Celebration dais to accept the county GOP committee's award for Most Improved Republican District — a bust of Reagan — were Terry Speer, the party's District 1 chairman, and other District 1 workers.

The group earned plaudits for assisting U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, as he ousted then-incumbent Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, last year.

NEW DIGS. State Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, has relocated her Westmoreland County district office.

It's now in Suite 116 at 1075 S. Main St., Southwest Greensburg — in Westmoreland Crossroads Plaza, a short distance from the intersection of routes 30 and 119.

NOT ADDING UP. Gov. Tom Corbett did not get good news from statistician Nate Silver.

Based in part on recent approval ratings, Silver, The New York Times' political prognosticator, ranked Corbett the fifth most vulnerable governor in the 2014 elections.

Others in jeopardy, according to Silver, include Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, Illinois' Pat Quinn, Florida's Rick Scott and Kansas' Sam Brownback.

— compiled by Tribune-Review staff

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