MELANIA TRUMP: AMERICA’S GREATEST FIRST LADY? AND A GREAT MOTHER!

May 8, 2018

We may be witnessing the unfolding story of one of America’s greatest first ladies, Melania Trump. And on this mother’s day, an example of a dedicated mother who puts her child ahead of other justifiably, demanding, distractions.

Melanie has been first lady for almost two years and she continues to quietly and gracefully move through her public duties as wife of the president. While political storms rage all around her, she keeps her head held high, with poise, with beauty and humble grace.

Her dignified performance is made all the more powerful when contrasted by a shrill and hysterical, corporate media, still angry that their chosen candidate lost the 2016 presidential election. Every negative thing her husband says and does is amplified while his remarkable economic and foreign policy record is ignored.

When Melanie Trump took up the issue of internet bullying of children, the media turned their ferocity on her, claiming that her husband was the biggest internet bully of all, how dare she speak on this issue?

The First Lady responded with exquisite grace. In March, 2018 she slipped into a White House roundtable meeting with technology executives, dropping the comment, “I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic but that will not stop me from doing what I know is right.”

Historians point out that she is the second first lady to be born outside the United States. But it is where she was born and raised that may hold the secret to her success.

Melanie comes from Slovenia. A tiny country that was part of Yugoslavia during much of its time in the Soviet bloc. It was illegal to celebrate Christmas in Slovenia, or even have a Christmas tree, but her parents had her secretly baptized as a Christian.

In the middle of the Cold War Slovenia provided the whole Soviet bloc with refrigerators and other manufactured products. The people were very positive, proud of themselves, creative. But they knew how to keep their heads down. How to become invisible. They knew that they couldn’t even challenge any of their small neighbors, let alone the centralized government in Belgrade, which was walking a tightrope between the mighty Soviets and the Chinese.

And yet Slovenia thrived by minding its own business and letting insults and provocations pass over their heads.

I have been to this remarkable country many times and I believe that Slovenia, and Melanie’s family may be part of her secret to success.

It is very Slovenian for her to be discreet and to avoid provocation. In that respect, she is almost a perfect match for Donald Trump who is upsetting traditions and taking on entrenched powers.

Some say that the role of first lady should be changing because the role of women is changing. And thus a first lady who only deals with ceremonial and domestic chores is diminished when compared to a career woman.

But this is complicated. A president’s wife is not elected.

The German people voted Angela Merkel as their leader. Should her husband serve as a co-leader? Is he diminished as a man if he does not assert himself in her government?

When Bill Clinton said, “You get two for the price of one,” meaning that Hillary was going to help him run the country, it was not well received. Hillary had to establish her own separate identity and political success, separate from him.

The modern role of first lady is complicated by the fact that it has grown in responsibility.  Unlike the UK or France, there is no ceremonial head of state in the United States. Thus all such duties fall on the shoulders of the president. This is where first ladies play a critical role.

Add to that, a first lady may sometimes be a mother. It was a role that Jackie Kennedy made preeminent and that Melanie Trump is reviving.

In history, Slovenians won their revenge by quietly succeeding, not through violent domination of their opponents. As the old T-shirt slogan proclaims,”Success is the best revenge.”

This seems to be the First Lady’s style. She maintains a dignity that makes her all the more mysterious when her critics rage. Sometimes she wins just by being still. And in some cases she is succeeding through her fashion sense, which is stunning, no easy thing.

So today, the media is in a frenzy about borrowed words from an old FTC document, as if it were sacred script that cannot be re-used. Tomorrow it will be something else.

Meanwhile, Melanie, our beautiful, graceful first lady, whose life will one day cover entire bookshelves in libraries, can knock around the private quarters of the White House today, with a T-Shirt emblazoned with her wonderful new slogan for America’s youth, words that represent New York City meets Ljubljana.

“Be best.”

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The national media told us that Trump was ruining our relationships with European leaders. It turns out…

April 30, 2018
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Macron and Trump

French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit. Then Agela Merkel. What’s going on here? Who is trying to charm whom? I thought the Europeans didn’t like us. That’s what our own news media contends.

The answer is that President Trump is in the process of renegotiating. And so are these world leaders.

Look, it’s all about money. Our money.

Do you want France, Germany and the UK to like America? Pay up.

They all want American money to expand their economies, to provide for their defense and to clean up the environment in Asia and Africa.

It seems as if we could make Macron and the French and many others, very happy if we came back into the Paris Accord.

Sure. The Paris Accord is all about American money to clean up Asian and African pollution.

When Americans are actually given a choice they overwhelmingly reject this notion.

The last time this was debated publicly in the US was in 1997 when the Byrd Hagel Resolution was passed 95-0. Even John Kerry voted for it. The idea was that developing countries must also help with emission reductions.

The Paris Accord was never voted on in the US Senate because it would have been rejected.

The only way that world leaders and globalists can get our money is to bully a US president into signing these agreements. That’s what they did to Clinton, Bush and Obama.  That’s what they are trying to do to Trump.

They decide. We pay.

And why have we participated in the past?

Many international companies, including American companies, make money. And they donate to the Washington establishment. And this includes companies that own media properties.

The point is, Donald Trump is forcing this out into the open and this is the sort of thing that cannot survive in the sunlight.

Do we want the French and the Germans and the English to love us? Of course we do.

But then, we have to ask this question…. if we have to pay for their friendship is it real?

Trump wants them to pay for more of their own defense, to increase their contributions to NATO. In fact, they agreed to this. But some have not done it. He wants them to be more fair in their trade with us and to make the worst polluting countries in the world also share in limiting emissions.


BARBARA BUSH – AN ICON OF HISTORY

April 17, 2018
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Doug Wead and Barbara Bush

Tonight, Barbara Bush, passed away at 92 years of age. By any standards, Barbara Bush is one of the most extraordinary women who has ever lived. Either that or she is one of the luckiest.  All around her people succeeded.

Historians like to point to the fact that Barbara Bush is the only woman, other than Abigail Adams, to have been both the wife and the mother to an American president.

But there is a big difference.

Abigail Adams never knew it. She died in 1818, having buried three of her children, including a promising young man who had become an alcoholic.

Barbara Bush not only saw one of her sons become president, she saw two of her sons elected as governors. George W. Bush became governor of Texas and the 43rd president of the United States.  Jeb Bush became governor of Florida and a presidential candidate. Unknown to the public, at one time, Neil Bush was being groomed as a future governor of Colorado.

No other child of a president has ever been elected a governor, although many of them, Jesse Grant to FDR, Jr. have tried.

Barbara Bush did something right.

People sometimes tell me that she reminds them of their grandmother. In fact, she was more like a bawdy, outrageous aunt. She was very funny and as in the case of all great wits, her humor was at times risky.

Soon after winning the White House she hosted the American Catholic Cardinals on a private tour of the family quarters. I was along as a member of the staff. One by one she detailed the history of the rooms and described the subjects and details of the paintings on the wall. When we got to the Queen Mum’s room, she turned, somewhat stumped, at a painting of a beautiful, young lady.

“Well, I don’t know who that is but I think we can all imagine how she got up there.”

There was a brief moment of stunned silence and then, their Eminences broke into uproarious laughter.

Only once did her humor get her into public trouble. In the middle of the 1984 campaign she referred to her husband’s vice presidential opponent, Geraldine Ferraro, with a descriptive comment “I can’t say it,” she said, “but it rhymes with rich.”

Barbara Bush had a keen sense of politics and used her comments to expand her husband’s base of support. She combined this with a shrewd sense of people.

Once, In the middle of the 1988 presidential campaign, I was on a flight on Air Force Two. George and Barbara invited me up to the front cabin for dinner. When we were finished a member of the Secret Service brought up blueprints with some of the proposed improvements for their home in Kennebunkport, Maine. George Bush was soon engrossed in conversations about what changes would be made, when, and if, he was elected president.

Only Barbara Bush sensed the danger of such a conversation with a member of the political staff nearby. Her eyes suddenly locked on mine. “I don’t like talking about this sort of thing before the elections,” she said, “I’m too superstitious.” She knew such a story should not go public. And I got the message.

According to the numbers, George and Barbara Bush should not have had an enduring love story. They were married too young, separated too often and had more than their share of grief. It would spell disaster for most marriages.  But their love survived it all and became an inspiration for others.

Once in the heat of the presidential campaign I somehow ended up right in the middle.

George H.W. Bush was headed to one campaign stop while Barbara Bush was headed to another. Late that night their two planes were parked near each other on an airport tarmac in Michigan. While the three of us waited in a limousine.

“I’ll get out of here,” I said, although I didn’t know where to go.

“Stay right where you are,” Barbara snapped. “I have to leave right away.”

So I sat there quietly, while George H.W. Bush and Barbara tenderly held hands and whispered to each other like teenagers.

The Bushes hated any suggestion that they were a political dynasty. As if by stopping the talk they could stop history itself but make no mistake, the Bushes, not the Kennedys, not the family of John Adams, not the Roosevelts, the Bushes, are the real political dynasty in American history. And Barbara Bush was its fountainhead, its most dynamic source.

Barbara Bush will surely be ranked as the greatest “First Mom” in American history and will rank with Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton as one of the three greatest First Ladies. The latter two because of their resumes, but Barbara Bush because of the power of her personality and the impact she had on the country through others, beginning with her husband, children and grandchildren.


Billy Graham has died: Speaking the truth to power

February 21, 2018

Billy Graham was “the good Rasputin,” an independent religious figure who whispered into the ears of the powerful but always for the greater good rather than his own personal aggrandizement.  His emergence coincided with the rapid rise of the Evangelical Movement in America and thus his political power.

In 1950, when he met with President Harry Truman, his first president,  he was awkward and indiscreet but by the time he met with President Barrack Obama in 2010, presidents needed the picture with him far more than he needed one with them.

Politicians and Graham had a symbiotic relationship.  Both had parts to play and both sides knew it.

In 1985, I prepared a memo for Vice President George H. W. Bush on how he could build a relationship with Evangelicals. Polling data available at the time showed Billy Graham as the least controversial Evangelical in public life.  The vice president’s son, George W. Bush quizzed me at length about the memo and asked questions about another evangelical leader, Arthur Blessitt.  That summer, Billy Graham was invited to the Bush compound at Kennebunkport, Maine and a friendship developed with the family, including father and son.

Ten years later, when then Texas governor, George W. Bush began to think seriously of running for president he began talking about a spiritual awakening that had been triggered by Billy Graham’s visit to Maine.  As Bush remembered, they had walked the beach together and talked.

As the 2000 election neared, Richard Ostling a religious editor for the Associated Press called me to say that he had interviewed Dr. Graham and the evangelist had no idea of what Governor Bush was talking about.  There was no beach in Kennebunkport, it was all rocks.  And Graham remembered no such conversation.

I called Bush to warn him about the discrepancy.  “Aw, he just probably forgot,” Bush said.

And afterward a apoplectic Arthur Blessitt began publishing a blog saying that he, Blessitt, had actually prayed with George W. Bush to be “born again.”  “Where was this Billy Graham stuff coming from?”

By 2000, Governor George W. Bush was in a tight presidential race with Tennessee Senator Al Gore.  By then Billy Graham and Bush had a clear understanding.  I worked with a young staffer, Brian Jacobs, to help arrange a meeting between Bush and Graham in Jacksonville, Florida.  The meeting took place the day before the election and both men appeared before the media.  “I don’t endorse politicians,” Graham said, “But if I did it would be someone like this man right here.”  How could he deny his own convert?  The next day Bush won Florida by 537 votes and with it the White House.

Billy Graham was not perfect.  When the television scandals hit he was the target of an IRS probe for illegally retained income and an ongoing Knight-Ridder investigation.  When the Watergate tapes were released there he was apparently sympathetic to Richard Nixon’s anti Semitic ramblings.

Most people would be surprised to know that Graham was a hypochondriac who was constantly checking himself into Mayo Clinic.  I received a call from him one day, from his hospital bed, just wanting to talk about politics and the White House.  He sounded very much like he had only days to live.  That was twenty five years ago.

Like all old men, Graham needed assurance that he was still wanted and needed and important.  I called him one day and he appeared piqued.  Reagan had always asked for his input for his speech before the National Prayer Breakfast. But we hadn’t bothered to call.

“I can assure you that the president wants your input,” I said confidently.  “Why he would welcome anything you suggest.”

“Well, if you really think he would want it?”

“I can assure you Dr. Graham, he would be very grateful.”

“Well, I don’t want it to be a bother,” he added sheepishly.

“No, no, we want it, we want it.”

He promptly sent us suggested remarks that had the president recounting stories about “my good friend, Billy Graham.”

President George H. W. Bush did not miss a beat.  He worked every line into his speech, lauding the evangelist and cementing their relationship.

Graham sat humbly, sometimes laughing as if he were hearing the stories for the first time, sometimes red with embarrassment at the praise and always surprised that the president would be so thoughtful to say such things..

Only two people in that ballroom knew that Billy Graham, himself, had written the words.  They both got what they wanted.

One of the most telling moments I had with Dr. Billy Graham came in a private meeting with President G.H.W. Bush and four heads of state.  Within a year, one was deposed, another in jail, another had died.  Bush, himself, would not be re-elected.  But Billy Graham endured.  Many times I have thought back on that meeting.  This was one of Graham’s greatest accomplishments, public figures come and go, somehow he survived them all.


Top Ten American Presidents in History

February 19, 2018

It has been my humble privilege to meet six American presidents and seven first ladies. I’ve been able to conduct extensive interviews with five of those presidents. I served as an adviser to two of them, served on senior staff in the White House with one of them and co-authored a book with another.

My wife and I have entertained two presidents in our own home, one of them on multiple occasions and we have been in the personal homes of several others. I have traveled on Air Force One, Air Force Two, commercial aircraft, private jets, Winnebago’s, and have ridden up front, sitting next to the president on multiple occasions in those famous motorcades, zooming through the streets with sirens blazing. I even went to Disneyworld with a president and first lady and ate at the Chinese restaurant at Epcot Center.

Here is my very subjective list of the top ten greatest presidents in American history. I would like to see your list in the comments below and would love to weigh in on the discussion.

Counting backwards, here we go.

Number Ten. James K. Polk. He annexed Texas, the Southwest, the Oregon territory and actually bought the state of California from Mexico. Make no mistake, he was a tough customer who played fast and dirty to get it all done.

Number Nine. Dwight Eisenhower. During his presidency America was the richest and most powerful nation on earth.

Number Eight. Andrew Jackson. He disrupted a rigged system, fighting against a second national bank and for a while, he drained the swamp.

Number Seven. Theodore Roosevelt. A letter day Andrew Jackson, he broke up the crony capitalism that was strangling the free enterprise system of his day. He gave us the national parks. He built a modern navy and then built the Panama Canal to make it effective on two oceans. But he used a heavy hand to get it all done.

Number Six. Harry Truman. Unlike Barack Obama, Harry Truman assumed responsibility for everything he did and actually had a sign on his desk that read, “The buck stops here.” Tough and honest, he used the nuclear bomb to end World War Two and arguably saved the lives of millions more.

Number Five. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He may have presided over the largest transfer of wealth in world history.

For 100 years the British had practically ruled the world with oil, timber, gold and diamonds flowing into its treasuries. But after Hitler conquered Europe, Britain needed arms. Only America could supply the demand and FDR insisted on hard currency, gold, for every purchase. America rocketed out of the Great Depression.

Only when Britain had coughed up the last nugget from the last closet did FDR agree to loan the Brits money to buy even more.

Number Four. Thomas Jefferson. His Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States. He was a co-author of the Declaration of Independence and his ideas on liberty changed the world. Jeffersonian principles are still debated by politicians to this day.

Number Three. Abraham Lincoln. Modern revisionist historians have trouble with Lincoln’s loose interpretation of the Constitution. Other’s complain that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation left a million slaves still in bondage. But no one can deny that Lincoln saved the union and he is for all time, the great emancipator, the man who freed the slaves.

Number Two. George Washington. The Constitution did not offer detail in defining the role of the chief executive. Washington defined it by his actions. The people wanted him to be their king but he would not have it. He served two terms and then walked away from power. Nobody does that.

Number One. Ronald Reagan. One could argue that Washington made us what we are and Lincoln saved the union. But Ronald Reagan saved mankind. He ended the Cold War and freed us from the danger of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Nobody else saw it coming.

Historians said we were headed into a communist era. Media was frightened by Reagan’s bravado and provocative rhetoric. They were outraged when he referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire.” But Reagan believed in America and believed in freedom. He spoke and the Berlin Wall came down.

 

 

 

 


Hillary’s Game? Watch for another White House spousal abuse story to break.

February 8, 2018

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My sources inside Clinton world are now telling me that many weeks ago her team began working on a new plan to undo the 2016 election. It may not make her president, but if it works, it will move a step closer to ousting Donald Trump from office.

According to the plan, the Clinton team began its own background searches on members of Donald Trump’s staff. My own research leads me to believes that this effort is being helped by actors in the deep state.

Friends inside the FBI? None of my sources would say.

The idea is to isolate the president and take down, one by one, favored members of his White House staff.

If my sources are accurate, we should soon be hearing about another Trump White House staff member who is guilty of spousal abuse. This in addition to Rob Porter, White House Secretary, who resigned from his position yesterday when stories from his two ex-wives surfaced.

According to this new story, still unconfirmed and unpublished,  another member of the Trump White House staff, not Porter, will be accused of brutally beating his wife on multiple occasions and once dragging her down a flight of stairs. My source gave me the name of this White House staffer.

They also said that the FBI knew about this information when they gave security clearance to the staffer in question and that this was a very important point for the Clinton narrative.

My research suggests that there may actually be a list of these stories that the Clinton team will be rolling out, spaced for maximum impact, one at a time, to show  that there is a trend of misogyny surrounding Donald Trump.

I am told that this was behind Hillary Clinton’s comments three days ago blaming her election loss on “misogyny and sexism.” The idea will be to build toward a crescendo which will force a public discussion of the President’s own sexual history and eventually highlight accusations that will be leveled against him.

Does this mean that the Clinton team is giving up on Russian collusion?

My research says absolutely yes. While the charges of Russian collusion will linger, with the media dogs, once loosed, still pursuing, they will get little help from the Clinton team. While Clinton friends still hold out hope of entrapping the president in perjury, or developing an obstruction of justice case, the Russian story is turning against them and they are no longer helping to advance it.

Of course, there is a very real danger that a story about misogyny and sexism may also turn against the Clintons but they have allies at the Washington Post and in the media which will likely offer them cover.

I still get mail from readers of my book, GAME OF THORNS, which details the presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was surely, one of the roughest, dirtiest, most combative  political battles in American history. Readers want to know how I got so much inside information from the Clinton campaign. Well it comes from persons with good intentions, who are even now, still troubled by the ethics of their political world.

Let’s watch and see if their information is correct. We should not have to wait long.

 


Trump’s crude comments are nothing new

January 12, 2018

The national media is in an uproar over the president’s alleged comments about why we are promoting immigration from “sh*t hole countries” while shutting the door for so many immigrants from more advanced nations.

According to the media, there are two issues here. One is the president’s language, which they consider inappropriate. And second is the whole issue of who should get favored immigration advantages.

Ahem, let me offer a little perspective.

Having interviewed six presidents and hosted them in my home and traveled with them on Air Force One and on commercial aircraft and in private jets and car caravans and Winnebago’s, I can assure you that they all use that word. Including Ronald Reagan, who was otherwise a perfect gentleman.

As far as inappropriate moments in the White House are concerned, this moment by Donald Trump does not even rank.

John F. Kennedy, you will remember, asked his young staffer, Mimi Alford to give his buddy, Dave Powers a blow job, in his presence. This, in the White House swimming pool. There is Bill Clinton and his semen filled towels, which had to be picked up by the Secret Service. Both stories documented in my book GAME OF THORNS.

Five recent presidents used the N-word. Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, FDR, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Baines Johnson. In fact, we could say six, because Barack Obama used the word publicly as well. By the way, five of those six presidents are liberal Democrats.

Historian, Robert Dallek tells the story of LBJ, who advanced landmark Civil Right’s legislation. According to Dallek, the president, once told a young attorney, “son, when I appoint a n****r to the court, I want everybody to know he’s a n****r.

Nixon had a staffer make a list of Jews who worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Crude, racist and inappropriate words and actions are nothing new. They are regrettable and wrong but the White House will survive.

The second issue is the point that it is prejudicial of President Trump to tilt immigration toward more advanced nations.

In fact, Trump was decrying a policy that favors persons from poor countries and gives them an edge.

When I worked in the White House many Democratic leaders were trying to stop Soviet Jews from immigrating to the USA. And later Russian Pentecostals. The later were risking death by execution but that didn’t seem to matter.

In the decade before, many Democratic politicians tried to block the Vietnamese who were trying to escape the communist takeover. Democrats feared that these new immigrants would vote Republican when they got here. Joe Biden was among those calling to stop the influx. They even blocked the immigration of orphans, fathered by American soldiers.

In contrast with our own inflated, self image, America has a long an controversial record on immigration. FDR interned Japanese Americans during World War Two. He blocked ships of Jewish refugees from landing at ports in New York City and Miami. They were fleeing Nazi Germany but FDR feared that the refugees had been seeded with Gestapo agents trying to get into the United States. Incredibly, FDR was proven correct, although most historians still regret this decision.

At the very birth of America, John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts that required an immigrant to live up to 14 years in America before becoming a citizen. It gave power to a president to detain and deport any immigrant arriving from a so-called “hostile” nation.

The problem now, which no one wants to talk about, is that Democrats will not allow Asians or Whites into the United States because they will tend to vote Republican. And Republicans are tired of giving preference to African and Latin Americans because they will tend to vote Democratic.

This may not be the humanitarian issue that some maintain. Rather, this may simply be a partisan power struggle. So what’s new?