Here are my observations on items in the news.
NO TO MARK CUBAN FOR PRESIDENT, as a Republican or Democrat. Appearing on Harvey Levin’s atypical celebrity interview show, ”OBJECTified,” on Fox last night, Mark Cuban indicated a desire to run for president of the United States “if I felt I had solutions to offer.” As if President Trump didn’t propose solutions on a wide-range of issues while running for the highest office.
Beginning on his inauguration day, President Trump set out to change things in his effort to make America great again, but along the way, he has learned that it takes more than the power of the presidency to change the slow movement of our democracy.
“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before, “said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at a gathering of Kentucky supporters, “I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.” McConnell has since met with the president on the GOP agenda and remarked that the two are on the same page.
Cuban, like President Trump, is a billionaire with an ego to match. He is perhaps best known for his ownership of the NBA Dallas Maverick basketball team. They used to be friends, but Cuban cooled to Trump during the campaign. I wasn’t impressed with Cuban’s brashness.
A lot can happen between now and the next presidential election in 2020. If President Trump is able to sign a tax cut and make positive gains on health insurance and the infrastructure, I believe Cuban is savvy enough to see the hand-writing on the wall.
TOP DONOR CALLS FOR TRUMP IMPEACHMENT – Tom Steyer, who contributed $91 million to Democrats in 2015-16 and became the top political donor in the process, wants the impeachment of President Trump to be a “defining issue” during the 2018 mid-term election. He sent a letter demanding Congressional Democrats pledge support to Trump’s impeachment. It will be interesting to see how many Democrat candidates will forego his campaign contribution rather than sign-on to his demand.
“HEY, VIRGINIA! You’ve got a governor to elect in three weeks,” was the headline on an October 15, 2017 piece by Marc Fisher in The Washington Post that drew my attention. While those interested in politics, like myself, view the Virginia race as a bellwether. Will it be, as Fisher poses it “an early measure of whether voters are motivated to push back against an unpopular president or double down on their drive to disrupt Washington and ‘drain the swamp’.”
Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie are not party “firebrands,” and have been referred to as rather dull candidates as “They’re campaigning in their Virginia gentlemanly way,” said Gillespie’s campaign chairman Pete Snyder.
To make predicting an outcome more difficult, Fisher reported that local and state newspapers and television stations have severely cut political reporting staffs, and campaign reporting is down.
“Virginia’s unusual practice of picking a governor the year after a presidential election has historically led to low turnouts,” according to Fisher. Outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe won after just 43 percent of voters came out to vote after the Obama-Romney vote in 2012. “Republicans have proved themselves more likely than Democrats to vote in off-year elections,” said Fisher.
The prospect of a GOP upset in the only southern state carried by Hillary Clinton is “really freaking out” Democrats, according to an October 21, 2017 Wall Street Journal editorial. That explains why Barack Obama was called upon to make a campaign appearance last week for Northam, during which he stated, “our democracy is at stake” and that Gillespie is stoking fears in a way he called “damaging and corrosive.”
Republicans, now in control of 31 state houses, would like to add Virginia to its total, where Democrats have held the state house for the past four years.
MORE ANTI-TRUMP MEDIA ANTICS – Some members of the media are counting the days since the October 4, 2017 ambush that resulted in the deaths of four Army warriors in Niger and President Trump’s lack of comment on it.
Why should he? His Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the press on Thursday that the incident is under investigation, and was understandably impatient with them, when he said, “We at the Department of Defense like to know what we are talking about before we talk. We do not have all the accurate information yet. We will release it as rapidly as we get it.”
The media would love it if the president appeared, ill-prepared to answer questions on our mission in Niger, which incidentally began under Barack Obama.
I predict that when all of the facts are known, the president will make a statement with Mattis at his side to respond to the ill-mannered press.
EXPECT A TRUMP COVER-UP story on Monday when he presents the Medal of Honor to Army Captain Gary M. Rose (Ret.) for conspicuous gallantry during the Vietnam War. I predict someone in the media will accuse President Trump of scheduling the award presentation in attempt to cover-up, or change the subject, of his conceived mishandling of condolences to the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson last week.
AND FINALLY – After listening to remarks by former president’s George W. Bush and Barack Obama this week, it wasn’t difficult for me to recognize that they still don’t understand that their “Old Washington” ideas are why voters put Donald Trump in office. The people wanted change and they believed in his goal to make America great again.