Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
(Clip from 2012, when Rand Paul was stopped by the TSA.)
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
(Clip from 2012, when Rand Paul was stopped by the TSA.)
Short answer? Nobody knows at this stage. Not even former Governor Mike Huckabee. Well, maybe he knows at some unconscious level.
Yes, he is going through the motions. He is visiting with supporters in Iowa, where he leads the field in the latest poll. And he has made trips to South Carolina. He will be back to both places for events again this Spring. He has mended fences with Paul Pressler and the conservative crowd of leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. Their support of Fred Tompson in South Carolina, arguably, cost Huckabee the GOP nomination in 2008. Yes, he has been connecting with evangelical leaders for the last six years, leaders he ignored last time around. But that is all work he has to do to keep the option open. It doesn’t mean he will run.
Republicans are famous for sending “the next man in,” that is, selecting the candidate who has earned his turn. Nixon,
Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole, McCain all benefited from that imagination deprived process. And many would say that Huckabee is the next man on the list. But the world “it is a changin.” Not many see Hukabee beating Hillary Clinton and the national media in a 2016 fall election showdown.
In the race for the GOP nomination, Huckabee will have FOX NEWS as a friend. They may not fall all over him like they did Giuliani and Christie but at least they won’t actively try to destroy him. Some at FOX will probably now tilt to Paul Ryan but Huckabee will get his moments in the sun.
Huckabee’s problem has always been money. Organically, the former governor of Arkansas will be able to raise more money on the stump this time, because he is a television celebrity. He won’t need Chuck Norris to tag along. People will pluck down $1,000 for a picture with just him alone, the FOX NEWS star.
But there will still be a gap. Evangelicals give to World Vision, Convoy of Hope, their local church and not much is left over for political candidates. Specifically he needs a big donor, someone who will chuck in a few million to a Huckabee super pak. Without it he is dead in the water. Rand Paul will have it. So will Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan. To look at it another way, Governor Huckabee is only ONE person away from making a strong run at the GOP nomination. He just needs one. But that one must be a multi-millionaire.
It may be a temptation for someone to take. History is full of things that turned out differently. Hillary Clinton is not guaranteed the White House. Just ask President Dewey, or President Muskie, or President Hart. Anything can happen. And Huckabee would be there to pick up the pieces and his billionaire would be at the pinnacle with him, like Raymond Tusk.
He needs for Sarah Palin to stay out of the race. She might get to thinking that a run would be a good career move. Like Rick Perry, she may want to get into the debates to win back some intellectual respect. Her involvement would suck a lot of air out of a Huckabee presidential campaign.
Then there is Karl Rove. He and his powerful pak will be watching. Ready to take out Huckabee if he gets too close.
Perhaps the best evidence of Huckabee’s chances are two numbers. The presidential preference polls, which have him as the GOP leader. And the bathroom scales.
If the numbers continue to climb in the GOP polls he will have to run. It is a case of “good stewardship.” A Southerner, raised with the Protestant work ethic cannot let such a moment pass without taking action.
But if the numbers continue to climb on the bathroom scale his subconscious may be saying, “Don’t do this to me Mike. You are rich and famous already and you won’t win.”
This latter process can be easy for all of us to track. Just keep Googling for the latest pictures. If the Governor starts getting trim in spite of all that good food and the difficulty in exercising when you are living on the road, well, his subconscious might be saying, “Get with it Mike. We’re going to do this things with or without you.”
Mike Huckabee can run but he can’t hide.
“I am no bully,” said Governor Chris Christie at his January 9, 2014 press conference. And then he proceeded to pummel to death his best friends and closest political advisers. Now some of those advisers are coming back to haunt him.
Christie insisted that he knew nothing about the hardball, political pay back machinations of his own office which led to the shut down of traffic at Fort Lee. It was allegedly payback to a mayor who had not supported Christie for re-election. It tied up traffic coming out of New York City for a day.
The governor claimed that his staff was to blame. They had lied to him, he said, and what they had done reeked of “abject stupidity.”
Christie said he had immediately fired his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and was ordering his two time campaign manager, Bill Stepien, to withdraw his nomination to lead the New Jersey Republican Party.
Christie went out of his way to distance himself from another aide who had long been considered a high school friend, David Wildstein. “David and I were not friends in high school,” Christie lectured the press. “We were not even acquaintances in high school. We didn’t travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don’t know what David was doing during that period of time.”
Richard Nixon had lost his presidency by trying to defend the Watergate burglars. “We have to help them,” he said, even though he had not ordered the break-in at the Democrat National Headquarters. It was the effort to get money to the burglars families that eventually implicated the White House in the scandal. And when the cover-up extended to the highest levels and Nixon was forced to fire his top aides, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, he told that nation, “I feel like I have lost my left and right arms.”
Said Nixon, “They were two of the finest public servants it has been my privilege to know.”
Later, when Sir David Frost interviewed Richard Nixon he asked why the president hadn’t blamed his staff for their mistakes and fired them and kept out of the scandal from the beginning.
Nixon quoted the British Prime Minister William Gladstone who said that the first requirement for a prime minister was to be a good butcher. Nixon answered ruefully, “I was a poor butcher.”
Not Chris Christie. Promoted by pundits on the Fox News Channel as their new Catholic candidate (ala Rudolph Giuliani in 2008) Christie had no problem immediately excising his arms, legs, hands, or anything else that might come in the way of more power. And he did so decisively.
Haldeman and Ehrlichman may or may not have been two of the finest public servants in American history but Christie’s appointees were “stupid” and “liars” who needed to be put down immediately. This was one Watergate lesson Chris Christie had taken to heart.
No one stopped to ask why Christie had surrounded himself with “stupid liars” as his closest aides. The Fox pundits, unperturbed, insisted that the incident was only a temporary setback for their man.
Anyone with experience working for a president or a governor knows that they are not ignorant of what goes on around them although they carefully nurture this idea to avoid blame for the things they can’t fix. Former Governor Sarah Palin pointed this out.
Information is currency, it has value. It is like finding a shoe box with hundred dollar bills that are disappearing before your eyes, you spend them as quickly as you can, while they still have value. If you have information, any information, you get it to the president or governor immediately.
Picture the young staffer bringing in some requested paperwork.
“So what were they talking about at lunch, kid?” The governor asks. “Why couldn’t they have the meeting here and what was so hush, hush?”
“You don’t want to know, governor, its some political payback thing and you need deniability.”
The governor smiles. “Okay, what is it kid?”
And the young staffer coughs it up immediately.
“Huh,” the governor grunts, acting dumb, apparently engrossed in a memo. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And the kid, if he should ever surface, would have to tell the grand jury that he can’t really say if the governor understood or not.
Usually, such a scenario is much too subtle. Consider Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who talked openly about selling a vacant U.S. Senate seat. But then, four of the last seven governors of Illinois have been convicted and imprisoned.
Now it turns out that David Wildstein, the Chrsitie appointee who ran the lane closing scandal is talking. In a letter through his attorney he said that “evidence exists . . . tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly.”
Now we will see how Gladstone’s axiom really works. Can a man cut off his arms and legs and still survive? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And how are all of those arms and legs supposed to feel about what has happened? Now, it’s time for Governor Chris Christie to pay the butchers bill.
Listening to the audio version of Ayn Rand’s classic bestseller, Atlas Shrugged, I was reminded of Regina Noriega. She is the most recent sensation in a growing list of outstanding women in the field of direct sales.
This was the one field that men seemed to have to themselves, Mary Kay Ash being the anomaly. Increasingly, in politics, journalism, education and business, women are doing the work. Hillary Clinton appears on this week’s TIME magazine cover crushing a little man beneath her heel. By the way, the new editor of TIME is Nancy Gibbs, a new star in her own right. More and more, men are increasingly being seen as having only one exclusive function, namely, protecting women from other men.
Regina Noriega has built a career creating brands and, well, networking, building genuine relationships with people in the field of direct sales and network marketing.
Regina’s tenacity, drive, vibrancy and ability to be a leader is known and greatly admired in the industry. Everyone that’s worked with her on any level knows her standards are high to the level of perfectionism and that she expects everyone around her to operate on the same level. Mediocrity in any form is not an option.
Again, to use the Atlas Shrugged metaphor, she’s never taken the easy road. Rather than ride the train, she thrives on building tracks and at the same time she’s comfortable swimming against the rip tide and can turn from defense to offense on a dime. Strategic is a word that describes her leadership skills.
Having spent 40 years as an amateur historian of the whole network marketing industry I’ve watched her face many professional challenges and tackle them with leadership skills that display not only strength but grace and courage. Her negotiation skills and work ethic is famous. And always, she practices the golden rule. (No, not that one, the real one.)
She’s usually the only woman, and minority woman at that, seated in the boardroom. She’s highly respected for her strategic mind and treats all around her with complete frankness, always thinking about the goals of a team above everything else. She talks hard and direct but always makes everyone feel like they are always in it together. She makes you want to drive yourself hard not only for yourself but for her. The best thing about her is that she is passionate about helping people first and joining people in their personal development journeys.
I’m not sure where she is headed. Will she take the route other woman business stars have taken and enter public life? Will she be another Meg Whitman? As a corporate executive she is legend. So there is always that. And she is one of the rare corporate animals in network marketing who would thrive in the field. Not many in that category. It would be fun to watch for woman are increasingly proving the misogynist, American, MLM old fogies that they can build groups bigger and better than they. Look at Natasha Yena in the Ukraine.
Which brings us back to the dilemma I first posed. What does this all mean for men? What will we do? Fight wars you say. But that work is increasingly falling on the shoulders of mechanical drones. We may soon see women sitting before computer consoles in America and Asia, duking it out through surrogate metal hardware on the ground. Yes, for that we may need little boys too, Ender Wiggins, who have quick eye hand coordination but even then we don’t need men.
In the celebrated, famous, Greek democracy of antiquity, women could not vote. They could not own property. Their word was not accepted in a court of law. They were not even counted in a government census. Today, at least outside the Islamic world, they are emerging as a dominate force. Their activism has changed education. Their votes have changed world governments. And they are in the process of changing business as well. They are all over the ballrooms of Davos. Oh yes, I forgot to mention banking and finance. There is Janet Yellen, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve.
So here come Regina Noriega, the bright new face in direct sales. We should not be surprised. She is yet another star in an ever expanding galaxy of women high achievers.
It’s the end of baseball as we know it. Stick a fork in it. This month’s drama with Alex Rodriguez only underscores the futility of trying to make it work the way it once did. If some use more drug enhancements and others less and still others none, and we only find out later in bits and pieces, then it has become more a game of deception and less a physical contest or a team sport.
In 1990, only days after his release from a South African prison, Nelson Mandela was a hero to blacks worldwide but a question mark for many statesmen and world leaders. Would he use his newfound popularity to take power and revenge?
One American president broke the ice and made his opinion clear. In 1990, Mandela was invited to the White House where the president of the United States stood by Mandela’s side on a stage on the South Lawn. Who was that president?
George H. W. Bush.
Only Bush, a Republican could give such a meaningful endorsement and so quickly. He had served as the vice president to Ronald Reagan who had visited the apartheid nation of South Africa as a private citizen and had many friends there. Indeed, Bush spent his life championing Black causes from the Civil Rights Act of 1968 to major contributions to the Negro College Fund.
“We don’t do it for political reasons,” Barbara Bush once told me, we were sitting next to each other at a charity event, “the media will never give us credit. We do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Likewise, George H. W. Bush was the first president to invite in openly gay activists to White House events. The national news narrative would have us all believe that these things happened on Bill Clinton’s watch. But hey, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good narrative. Such is the state of journalism these days.
One would get the impression from watching the news coverage of the past week, including the funeral and memorial services for Nelson Mandela, that the American president who first championed the South African leader was Bill Clinton.
All networks were alive with interviews with Clinton. They were good friends, Clinton and Mandela. Or so we were told. Clinton warmly revealed that Mandela had told him that he had forgiven his accusers and that, he, Bill Clinton had to do the same. Of course, the implication could not be missed. The accusers were equally evil and Mandela and Clinton were equally victims.
This narrative was so strong and so deliberately force fed to the American public that one of the major news networks virtually copied the interview with Clinton that their rival network had shown the previous night. It must have gagged veteran journalists to see their national news show reduced to copying a story but most of us have long ago resigned ourselves to the fact that television news has become the personal plaything of TV executives and it is increasingly obvious that they have decided Hillary Clinton should be the next president.
Of course, there are differences between Mandela’s accusers and Clinton’s. Mandela had to forgive racists who were wrong about him and who told lies. Bill Clinton had to forgive young ladies who were victims of his misogynist advances, who were right about him, and who told the truth.
It was one thing for Clinton, a Democrat who courted and depended on Black votes, to reach out to Nelson Mandela in 1994, when the controversy had passed and Mandela was the president of South Africa. And at a time when Clinton needed the association. It was something else for a Republican, who knew he would never get credit for it or even be remembered for it, to do it because it was right to do.
As a newborn follower of the Liberty Movement I have become a fierce critic of our monetary system and its exploitation of the masses, especially the poor. All, it seems, for the sake of an oligarchy who needs to see its net worth – Wall Street portfolio rise with inflation. It remains to be seen when and how the Bush administration had a role to play in all of that. And yet, I can’t help but feel that in time, when the full story of George H. W. Bush and his record will be known, he will be seen as the leader I knew and for whom I worked.
George H. W. Bush ended the Cold War, brought China into the world marketplace and briefly united the world for a single cause, a feat that Metternich would envy. And so too, his improbable record on Civil Rights will be seen accurately for what it is without the bias lens of myopic journalists who cannot be bothered by facts. And when it is seen, Bush Senior will emerge from the fog of history as a leader who acted with courage and with wisdom when it was risky to do so.
Probably not. But we will have to wait another generation to know for certain because political forces even to this day prevent any objective discussion.
As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, controversy still surrounds the work of the Warren Commission, the official government investigation into the tragedy. I have interviewed some of the members of the Commission, including former President Gerald Ford, whom my wife and I have hosted in our own home on two occasions.
While there is still debate about whether or not there was a conspiracy behind the assassination, there can now be little doubt that there was indeed a “conspiracy” behind the Warren Commission’s inadequate report. Upon his assassination, Kennedy, as in the case of Abraham Lincoln before him, was instantly declared a saint and no politician, investigator, judge or media mogul would risk revealing anything that might appear otherwise.
The result was that any loose ends that brought out into the open the Kennedy family’s ties to the Mafia or the President’s dalliances with other women or the government’s repeated attempts to assassinate Cuban Premier, Fidel Castro, could not be pursued. It may be that Kennedy was indeed killed by an emotionally disturbed, lone gunman, with a “lucky” shot but unfortunately, thanks to an impotent media and compromised investigators, we may never know.
In the next few columns I will offer my best arguments for the most popular theories about this tragic event, including the lone gunman theory. I start with the so called Mafia Conspiracy.
During the presidential primary season, JFK’s father, Joe Kennedy, had called on old Mafia connections that had helped him in earlier, nefarious business dealings. He asked for their influence in the West Virginia presidential primary. Mafia violence, through the Miner’s unions, helped his son beat Minnesota Senator, Hubert Humphrey, and go on to win the Democratic nomination.
During the general election of 1960 the Mafia went to work again, this time in Illinois where ballot boxes from Republican precincts were “lost” and ballot boxes from Democratic precincts were stuffed. It helped Kennedy narrowly beat Nixon in this key state and thus win the White House by a razor margin.
When the President’s brother and newly appointed Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, began to aggressively prosecute those same Mafia leaders there was outrage and feelings of betrayal. Led by Chicago boss Sam Giancana, leaders of the underworld began discussing how to kill the president and his brother.
At the time of the assassination the public was not told of the ties between the Kennedy family and leaders of the American mafia. Nor were they shown FBI transcripts of top mafia leaders threatening to kill the president and his brother. Today, all of this is accepted history and the narrative appears in Pulitzer Prize winning books. The FBI transcripts are public.
According to CBS News, “The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in 1979 that it was likely Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy.”
The gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had lived in Russia and had a Russian wife, also had an uncle with ties to the Mafia. Oswald stayed with him in New Orleans shortly before the assassination.
Finally, there is much support for the once dismissed story of Judith Campbell Exner who claimed to have had an affair with the president, even as she was the girlfriend to Chicago mobster Sam Giancana. Ms. Exner claimed that she relayed messages and even money from the government to the Mafia for purposes of funding an assassination attempt of communist, Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro.
Her story, at first dismissed by critics has been buttressed by extensive corroborating evidence, including FBI wiretap transcripts, diaries, travel logs, and released government documents showing her regular visits to the White House.
Finally, only days after the Kennedy assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down on live television by nightclub owner, Jack Ruby. Taking out the hit man before he can talk is a classic Mafia tactic.
David Belin, counsel to the Warren Commission, scoffed at this notion. “Of course, common sense would dictate otherwise; as a practical matter, so-called Mafia ‘hit men’ do not chose an area where they are surrounded by the police and immediately apprehended.”
Actually, the most famous Mafia hits do indeed happen in public. Ask Carmine Galante, Albert Anastasia, Crazy Joe Gallo, “Big Paul” Castelllano, John Gotti and many others. They were all killed in restaurants, barbershops or on the streets of Manhattan.
In 1971, Joe Colombo was shot at the podium of an Italian Unity Day rally. He survived. His assailant was wrestled to the ground whereupon another man stepped forward and shot him dead. Police were all over the event but could not stop it.
Contrary to the “common sense” of the Warren Commission, the purpose of a Mafia public hit is to scare everyone else into silence.
Start reading about Joe Kennedy and his president son and the Mafia in The Raising of a President on Kindle now.