Sunday, April 29, 2018

Scribes…. we can do better.

Leadership that moves man towards betterment is always aspirational. It is not only the foundation of religion but of all human endeavors.

Those of us who lived through World War II so well remember the inspiration of our leaders, Roosevelt and Churchill. Students of American history can recite the Gettysburg Address. And we all recognize that our human struggle for equal acceptance and opportunity is based on the words of Martin Luther King.

The Women’s March of January 2017 raised expectations of a younger generation and brought to all of us a new sense of duty in the world of Trump.

But much of last night’s Correspondence Dinner featuring comedian Michelle Wolf was a step backward. We, the public, had a right to expect the best in humor and satire reflecting appropriate standards. Instead, a divided nation received mean-spirited digs and unadulterated filth masquerading as humor.

There can be no doubt that there is anger towards President Trump and that is totally understandable. However, the answer cannot be to replicate the unacceptable but rather to reach upward as Michelle Obama has advised and take the high road. Let’s showcase the best in America.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Barbara Bush – the First Lady of America

Today we said goodbye to Barbara Bush. In this age of the scripted message, her candor and humor was refreshing.

How well I remember the Presidential campaign of 1992 when Barbara Bush came to Minnesota to promote her husband’s candidacy. After several appearances marked by a high level of candor and wit, we found ourselves in an unoccupied room and enjoyed in a memorable conversation. Almost before we started, she blurted, “Oh, sometimes I wish George would lose.” We both laughed. She was simply expressing an honest thought felt by every political spouse.

Looking back, I was struck by two elements of her being. The first was her remarkable ability to make people feel at ease. She was so comfortable in her own skin that it radiated a comfort to others. There was no pretense. You got what you saw and that was truly wonderful.

The second aspect was her interest in you. She never boasted about herself or her family. Rather, the conversation was about you and your thoughts. The older I become, the more I realize the rarity of that quality.

During our chat, I shared with her my thoughts on historical transitions. She was clearly interested. That evening, I received a call from the President wanting to know more about these transitions. Clearly, they were a sharing and caring couple.

Barbara Bush set a standard for us regarding truth and our obligation to the future. The best way for us to demonstrate our affection for this splendid lady is to put the truth and the wellbeing of others before self.

Thank you, Barbara….

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Richard Painter – A Quick Draw

Part of growing up is learning to be very selective when engaging in combat. Hugh Hewitt, a national conservative talk show host, learned his lesson. Monday night (April 2), Hewitt, not only defended the rather limited ethics of EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, but also went on to suggest that Richard Painter, his adversary on the show, was in Minnesota because he could not cut it in Washington. Painter, who served President George W. Bush as chief counsel in charge of ethics and is currently a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, quickly shot back with “Excuse me! I am fed up with people being attacked in Minnesota, in my state! We are sick and tired of K Street Lobbyists who look down on us!”

Wow! There are very few hamlets in America who look to Washington for advice on how to govern.

And who better to voice that message than our own Richard Painter. His independent and articulate voice will be a highlight in the Senate contest to fill Al Franken’s seat. Anyone who takes Painter lightly may suffer the same fate as Hugh Hewitt.

Pragmatic Leadership Over Ideology

Walz and Flanagan – Our Best Bet My endorsement of Tim Walz for governor certainly comes as no surprise. Ever since ...