The GOP and Trump: What History Shows

August 15, 2016

The GOP and Trump: What history shows?



“You give loyalty, you get it back.” – Tommy Lasorda

History shows that the Republican leaders who support Trump now, even if he loses the election, will see their personal careers skyrocket. There will be a bright future for Rudolph Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence and George P. Bush.

Consider the awesome winds of history.

In 1924, the Democrats had a candidate who was popular and passionate to the party faithful but not to the general public. He was Al Smith, the governor of New York and he was a Catholic.

For many generations there was widespread antipathy in the nation toward Catholicism. The “Know Nothings” were essentially elected to the House of Representatives as “anti-Catholic” congressmen.  At one point there were 54 of them in congress.

One wise young politician, used Smith as his ticket back into public life. He nominated Smith for president in a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention in New York City in 1924. Smith lost his bid for the nomination but ran again in 1928.

Once again, the young politician gave the nomination speech and this time, Al Smith was chosen. But sensing that he would lose the general election, party leaders, especially across the South, abandoned their own Democratic Party nominee and Smith went down to defeat.

And what happened to the young politician who stood by him all the way?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the 32nd president of the United States.

Fast-forward to the Cow Palace in San Francisco and the Republican National Convention in 1964. Arizona Senator, Barry Goldwater is winning the nomination. But moderate Republicans are aghast.

Pennsylvania Governor, Bill Scranton, leads the “Never Goldwater” movement. Nelson Rockefeller is booed on the floor of the convention. The GOP goes with Goldwater anyway and he goes down in defeat in the general election.

While many establishment politicians sit out the fray and bid their time, not wanting to be associated with such a disaster, two others jump right in. One is a cynical, well-traveled, experienced party insider. He is a moderate but he nevertheless remains loyal to the party and works hard for Goldwater and Republican candidates across the country.

The other was a political wannabe, who seemed to be ending his career before it even started. He agrees with Goldwater and isn’t afraid to jump into a burning building.

Four years later, the experienced politician, who stayed loyal to the GOP, Richard Nixon, was elected president of the United States.

And 24 years later, the political wannabe, Ronald Reagan, became the 40th president, restored the economy, ended the Cold War and saved the world from nuclear annihilation.

History rewards loyalty.

What FOX NEWS is missing

August 13, 2016

Well, I am so sick that I finally turned off the TV.

One FOX host after another has asked the same question of his guest, what did Gilbert Chaugery get in return for his donation to the Clinton Foundation? The recently released emails show that there was correspondence between the Nigerian billionaire and the Clinton top people.  And each guest offers some inane comment about what might have happened.

Yesterday, even Peter Schweitzer couldn’t remember an answer to the question.


BUT STEVE DOOCY AND BRIAN KILMEADE ARE SITTING ON TOP OF THE STORY. As you can see for yourself in the video below.
Here’s the answer. Gilbert Chaugery gave $1.5 million to the Foundation and even more to Bill’s earlier presidential campaign. In return, Hillary Clinton refused pressure from the White House, the CIA, the Pentagon, FBI, Justice Department, to name the Boko Haram of Nigeria as a terrorist organization.
It would have spelled disaster for Mr. Chaugery and his magnificent Nigerian hotels that depend on tourism, travel from NGO’s and diplomats. HE OWNS THE BIGGEST, MOST MAGNIFICENT HOTELS IN NIGERIA.
Here is CNN reporting the story. Showing that even Barack Obama wanted them declared as terrorists.
And on Newsmax.
Here is my report on the scandal last January.
Now, will someone please correct the narrative unfolding on TV?
What did Gilbert get for his money? More money right back at him. He got TOURISTS FOR HIS HOTELS. Just connect the dots.
BTW, Hillary Clinton never declared the Boko Haram as terrorists. It finally took a new Secretary of State, John Kerry, to do that. She stayed true to the end. (One thing about those Lanisters. They always pay their debts.)

First Man: Bill Clinton in Hillary’s White House.

August 3, 2016

There have been married women heads of state, whose male spouses walked a step behind. And there was even once a president-dictator in Argentina, whose wife was more popular than he. India saw a daughter of a prime minister rise to power. But there has never been anything quite like Bill Clinton. There has never been a man who ran the most powerful nation on earth, whose wife, only a few years later, did the same thing, with him, still living, standing at her side.

As in the case of the election of Barack Obama, the first African American president, to understand what it means to have Bill Clinton as First Man, one has to go outside of presidential history, even outside of American history, to find adequate comparisons.

What will his duties be? What laws will bind him? What ethical limits will restrain him?

There are questions about his finances. The Clinton Foundation has amassed a multibillion dollar war chest. The money can be passed onto other charities and be used to do good things but it can also be spent on administration and travel and Clinton centric programs. For example, it can be used to hire family and friends and allies.

There are stories that during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, major donors benefited from policy decisions. Gilbert Chougary, a Nigerian billionaire who owned luxurious hotel properties in that country, gave $1.5 million to the Clinton Foundation.  And during her entire tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton refused to name the Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. Urging from the Pentagon, the CIA and the White House went on deaf ears. Even Al Qaeda condemned the Boko Haram. But it took a new secretary of state, John Kerry, to finally call them terrorists. Would American policies be for sale in a Clinton White House? And would Bill Clinton be the worldwide salesman?

First Ladies give speeches and accept donations to favorite charities in return. Would that apply to First Man? Will Bill Clinton be able to continue his lucrative speaking career? Will he speak for a company that donates heavily to his Presidential Library or to his Foundation?

Can he write a book? Other First Ladies have done so, why not a First Man? And how much of a cash advance can a friendly publishing company, owned by a friendly Wall Street conglomerate, wanting and needing government favors, legitimately offer him?

Then there are the awkward questions about his personal life. A few years ago a bestselling book detailed Bill Clinton’s ongoing relationships with young ladies outside of his marriage. Imagine for a moment if Jacqueline Kennedy or Nancy Reagan were promiscuous and took lovers during their White House years? Even given a Clinton sympathetic media, and the assurances that such liaisons would be kept private, what problems would such an arrangement pose for national security? How would the intelligence community be able to parse the needs of the nation with the necessity of their own political survival with Hillary Clinton as their boss?

Then, there is the question of geography. Where will Bill Clinton live? Will he live in the White House? Which room? First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was often estranged from her husband, had her own rooms. Her close friend and sometime companion, Lorena Hickock had her own room as well. Will any of Bill’s friends be allowed sleepovers?  Will he meet friends and business associates at the White House?

Will he be able to take a prospective donor to dinner at the White House Mess? Or let them catch a ride back to Washington or New York on Air Force One?

Will he have an entire suite of offices in the East Wing, just as a First Lady would? Or will he have a suite of offices tucked away in the Old Executive Office Building? Either way will provoke questions. If he lives separately from his wife it will very clearly be what critics have long maintained, a marriage of convenience. But if he runs his business from the White House when does it cease to be his business and become blatant corruption of power?

There is some indication that Chelsea Clinton, the daughter, will assume the more traditional role of First Lady. This is not a wholly unreasonable idea. Many daughters and daughters-in-law have assumed such a role for the president, especially in the early years of American history. But this too creates its own set of questions.  For Chelsea Clinton is married as well. Where would her “first man” live? He is a banker for Goldman Sachs, would he operate out of the White House as well, or take a leave of absence from the bank that runs America?

Hillary Clinton has said that she wants her husband to play a role in her administration. At one point on the campaign trail she said she would put him in charge of creating jobs. Would he sit in on Cabinet Meetings? First Lady, Rosalynn Carter did.

Bill Clinton is seventy years old. It is possible that he might die during eight years of Hillary Clinton in office. If so, it would be a massive funeral, a truly unique moment in American history. But what if the reverse happened? Many questions were raised about her 2012 fall and concussion and hospitalization. What if she should become incapacitated? It happened to Woodrow Wilson, and his new wife, the First Lady, became his doorkeeper and nurse mate. When critics complained that she was running the country she protested that she was doing no such thing, she was only determining who he would see and what he would read and sign. Would Bill Clinton become the doorkeeper for an incapacitated Hillary?

It is likely that President Hillary Clinton and her team will do everything within their power to diminish her husband’s role. She will have to be seen as a leader in her own right and not the reincarnation of her husband’s presidency. And that would call for Bill Clinton to be seen and not heard. But it is not his personality. When Angela Merkel was inaugurated as the first female Chancellor of Germany, the whole world was watching but her husband Joachim Sauer did not even attend. Bill Clinton will not be an American version of Dennis Thatcher, husband of English Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. And he will not be an American version of Joachim Sauer. If Hillary Clinton is elected president, Bill Clinton will be there.

Turning Point at the DNC

July 30, 2016

“It’s not what happens to you but how you react that matters.” – Epictetus

In 1988, 41 year old Arkansas Governor, Bill Clinton, was asked to give a fifteen minute speech nominating Massachusetts Governor, Michael Dukakis for president. But Clinton just wouldn’t shut up. The speech went on and on and finally elicited boo’s from the Convention floor.

Pundits said  that the young Mr. Clinton’s political career was over. They were wrong. That boring speech, at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, probably triggered the Clinton dynasty. Last week it resulted in the nomination of Hillary Clinton for president.

Today’s failure is often the petri dish of tomorrow’s success.

Jimmy Carter’s tough luck at the end of his presidential term in 1980 led to his legacy as the greatest former president in American history. His term in office was over but he had things to do.

At that same 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, when Clinton gave his boring speech, Texas State Treasurer, Ann Richards, openly taunted Vice President George H.W. Bush, the Republican nominee. She said he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. “Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

The stinging ridicule angered and humiliated the Bush family. I was working for George H.W. Bush at the time and my immediate boss was the son, George W. Bush. I remember sitting in the family box at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans. Bush, Junior, as he was called in those days, was not a happy camper. Ann Richards was number one, just ahead of columnist George Will, on the secret, unacknowledged, family hit list. George W. had her in his sites.

All that year George W. worked tirelessly to help elect his father. I traveled with him in car caravans, commercial and private jets, campers and campaign buses. But right after the election his attention turned to Texas. He had no curiosity about the White House. Will you live there? What rooms will be yours when you visit? Will you do Christmas at Camp David? Are you sure you don’t want to work there? Like Jack Ford or Chip Carter? You just go on the RNC payroll to get around the Federal Law about hiring relatives.

George W. was focused on buying the Texas Rangers and that was the first step before going after Ann Richards.

He wanted to run for governor against her in 1990. I was on the White House staff then, a special assistant to the president, and one morning I walked into the Oval Office to find First Lady Barbara Bush there with the President. She knew that George and I often talked together, so she whirled around and without even a hello she said, “You tell George not to run, his father and I don’t want him running for governor.”

There was no hiding the fact that they thought Jeb Bush had the career trajectory that would take him to the top. George, Jr. might mess things up. “Let’s face it,” Barbara joked to reporters, “Jeb is like his father. George is too much like me.”  If I had done my research on presidential parents I would have immediately known that George would be the next Bush to win on the public stage. Most presidents are “mama’s boys.”

In 1990 Ann Richards was elected governor. And in 1992, George W. Bush defeated her to exact family revenge. He would be re-elected governor and win the White House, avenging his father and winning re-election. In 1988 Ann Richards and the DNC had a good laugh at the expense of George H.W. Bush, but she launched a dynasty in the process.

Bill Clinton’s speech at the 2016 DNC was anything but boring. Clinton told a story, about his courtship, about Hillary’s early career. It was as if he had written the words, “Keep it interesting,” at the top of his speech.

There is no doubt that Bill and Hillary Clinton need this election win. In 1998 Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice. If Hillary wins the White House in 2016 it will substantially scrub their legacy for history.

In 100 years, when a ten year old memorizes the names of the presidents he will get to that easy part, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton and he will think, the impeachment of Bill Clinton had to be political or the American people would never have elected his wife as president only a few years later.

Each failure, each rejection, provokes a greater need to achieve and win acceptance. In hindsight, Elizabeth Warren could have been the 2016 Democratic nominee and probably would have had clear sailing to the White House but she didn’t have the driving need.

It’s not what happens in life, but how you react.



Hillary “Rotten” Clinton went viral on Twitter before it was shut down.

July 25, 2016
     Monday night at the Democratic National Convention delegates on the floor spontaneously drove up the Twitter search of #HillaryRottenClinton. It soon spread out of the arena in Philadelphia and across the nation, reaching 42k in a matter of minutes and was ranked number six before Sanders’ supporters claim that Twitter had apparently interfered and eliminated it as a viable hashtag.
     At this writing, Twitter is still showing it as a “trending topic.” But not the hashtag. So what gives?
     It seems that not only is DNC Chairman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz tilting the scales for Hillary Clinton, but according to some Bernie Sanders’ supporters, executives at Twitter, feeling the heat from the powerful political leader, are doing the same. Or does someone else have an explanation?
     Yesterday, we woke to the news that months ago top officials at the DNC were brainstorming on how to smear Bernie Sanders to Southern Baptist ministers in the Party. The insider emails pointed out that not only was Sanders a Jew, but that he was likely an atheist, which was apparently fair game for the DNC operatives, who were rigging the primary process in favor of Hillary Clinton.
     Just before the weekend, the choice of Senator Tim Kaine as Clinton’s running mate, had infuriated Sanders’ supporters who had hoped for someone who might champion their goals. Kaine is seen as the darling of the Wall Street 1% which plays into fears of rank and file Bernie Sanders supporters.
     So what is it that Bernie Sanders die hard’s believe?  And what can Hillary do to win them over?
     Many of the young people I spoke with see the American economy as co-opted by a new oligarchy. They spread the blame around to both Republicans and Democrats but most say it began in earnest with George W. Bush and the War in Iraq when billions of dollars were spent – off the books – resulting in a massive windfall for a few lucky corporations and, of course, the bankers who financed them. Meanwhile, the economy collapsed for everybody else.
     But the Democrats don’t get off very easy either. Bernie supporters point to a University of California Berkeley study that shows the poor got poorer and the rich got richer under President Barack Obama.
     According to the narrative of Bernie supporters, Obama stimulus legislation, that lawmakers admittedly did not read, provided massive exemptions from environmental regulations and other regulations for chosen big companies, all in the name of creating jobs, while small businesses had to keep them. The Federal Reserve made massive interest fee loans to some companies and nothing to others.
     And corporate welfare, that is, direct money to companies from the taxpayers, soon towered above welfare to the poor and needy.
     Both the Democrat and Republican political parties got money direct from the government pipeline to a few chosen, favored companies who in turn donated heavily back to the respective lawmakers.
     According to Sander supporters, corruption in America has reached epic proportions. American now resembles a government on the subcontinent or in Latin America. And Hillary Clinton, who has telegraphed her willingness to be bought by apparently accepting donations to her Foundation in return for favors, is the epitome of that corruption.
     The disheartened Sanders supporters declare that the American Dream is over. Supply and demand no longer work in a manipulated marketplace that is artificially controlled and its outcome predetermined by insiders who bet on what they know will happen.
     Frustrated, heartbroken, weary, Bernie Sanders supporters inside the stifling Convention arena in Philadelphia tried to express themselves on Twitter, only to feel that this door too had been closed to them.
     Perhaps it will all be unraveled tomorrow. Or perhaps they are asking to much. The Clintons, like the Lannisters from Game of Thrones, always pay their debts and there are too many people in corporate American who know that.

Cruz, Ailes, Trump and the lost art of forgiveness

July 21, 2016

There was something tragic about the self destruction of Senator Ted Cruz. We watched with bated breath as he walked slowly and deliberately to the edge of the cliff on Wednesday night.

He was giving his speech to the Republican National Convention. All of us were expecting him to shame the boos by finally, at the dramatic end, announce his endorsement of his party’s nominee.

Hadn’t he promised as much in the debates? Didn’t he, as a constitutional lawyer, understand what would happen to the nation if activist Justices were appointed to the Supreme Court?

Didn’t he remember the wise, patient Richard Nixon, who in 1964, alone among establishment Republicans, defended the young GOP children who had nominated Barry Goldwater, and thus was joyfully elected president himself four years later? A path that this time Newt Gingrich has been able to carve out for himself.

So there was Ted Cruz, standing on the precipice, peaceful, in a lonely world of his own making, oblivious to the shouting mob all around him. And then suddenly, without fanfare, he ended his speech and leaped into the chasm. No endorsement. He had ended his political career. It was a very private moment in full view of thousands.

My heart broke, not for Donald Trump, who may still win anyway, but for Ted Cruz. It is not easy to watch a man take his own political life.

Ted Cruz must have imagined writers talking the next day about how Donald Trump had created his bed and now had to lie in it. Trump had fiercely and effectively branded Cruz as “Lyin Ted” and it hurt. Trump now had to live with the consequences of his actions.

There is a scene in my book The Raising of a President, where Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and his wife Rose, are on a train to Washington, D.C. They are on their way to a White House meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Kennedy is going to publicly denounce the president and refuse to endorse him for re-election. He is rehearsing with Rose all of the reasons, and all of the cruel and false games that the President has played against him.

Rose listens patiently and then says, “Joe, the people aren’t going to understand that. They will just see that you didn’t endorse him, that’s all they will see. You are the only one who will be hurt.”

Where was Rose Kennedy Wednesday night?

Forgiveness is a lost art. I’m keenly aware of that since I have made my fair share of mistakes. But sometimes forgiveness is also, remarkably, a solution. It is not a sign of weakness, no one would have seen Ted Cruz as weak had he endorsed Donald Trump.

No one saw Donald Trump as weak, when he forgave speechwriter Meredith McIver for her mistakes in preparing Melania Trump’s speech.

Which brings us to Roger Ailes, the embattled genius who just resigned from Fox News. He was accused of sexual harassment by an employee and his media competitors were quick to beat the drums. Of course they wanted him to go. They couldn’t beat him in business, they couldn’t beat him at broadcasting.

Let’s make it clear, the charges against Roger Ailes were not about any unwelcome physical actions. Rather, the accusations, unproven at this point, said that he used earthy and sexually aggressive language. And as the boss, the words were intimidating and inappropriate.

Sexy is part of the secret to success at Fox News. It is a network that not only reports sides of an issue that no other network dares touch, but it presents it with attractive, dazzling personalities who look good.

Roger Ailes had built a network on forgiveness. Some of his stars may have been perfect, in looks and in character, but many were not. Just Google a Fox name, any name, and add lawsuit and you will see.

There are Fox anchors and guests that have been drunk, arrested, plagiarized and many have been tossed out on the trash heap by other networks, for being too old or too fat. If they had talent, Roger Ailes would find them and forgive them and pull them from the trash heap to polish them off and turn on the lights and make them productive again.

I have a solution for that awkward Ted Cruz moment. Forgive him.

And that should have been the solution for the Roger Ailes crisis. The Murdoch’s should have done what Ailes himself would do to any other talented person in his place. Forgive him.

The only way Roger Ailes should have ever left Fox News was in a box, dead at the age of 100, on the 4th of July.

Truman couldn’t stop Kennedy, Bush can’t stop Trump.

July 20, 2016

He was a new kind of politician.

He totally turned the presidential nominating process on its head, collecting more votes than any other candidate before him.

He had his own money. Lots of it.

Party insiders were horrified.

A former president invited in members of the media to announce that he wasn’t even going to attend the National Convention.

Pundits said that the political party was hopelessly divided and that the nominee would not win the national election.

That was 1960.

The former president who boycotted the Convention was Harry S. Truman. He is considered by historians as one of America’s greatest presidents. That year he resigned from the Missouri delegation and held a press conference attacking the likely nominee.

The nominee was Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

He won the election anyway and became president of the United States.

So much for the power of former presidents.

Elections are about the future.

And politics is organic, always changing and adapting.

The national media is making a big deal out of the fact that the former Bush presidents aren’t attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. They are saying that this is unprecedented and proves that there are deep divisions within the Party.

The truth is that neither Bush president was present at the Romney Convention in 2012 in Tampa. And neither Bush president was present at the McCain Convention in 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their absence is not new.

A successful Convention is about going forward, not going backward. Truman could not stop the advance of time. He could not stop John Kennedy. And two Bush presidents cannot stop the changes within the Republican Party. Nor can they stop Donald Trump.

Go to this video: Doug Wead on Mornings with Maria Bartiroma (July 20, 2016)

See below, former President, Harry Truman, boycotts Democratic National Convention in 1960.