Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Star of David or ‘sheriff’s star’?


Gosh, I always thought I knew what the Star of David looked like.

It’s an important symbol of the Jewish faith. I saw it daily while I was touring Israel in May-June 2009. The Israelis fly their national flag proudly and, yep, it has a Star of David on it.


I must have been seeing things.

You see, a campaign ad for Donald J. Trump showed up on a tweet that showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and an image that looked for all the world like a Star of David, along with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever.”

The ad drew immediate criticism from those who complained it was anti-Semitic. Trump’s campaign took it down immediately and then said the star on the ad didn’t portray the Star of David; Trump — the Republican presidential candidate — called it a “sheriff’s star.”

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who now works for CNN, said the uproar is nothing more than “political correctness run amok.”

What … ?

Two quick points and then I’m out.

One is that the ad first appeared on a white supremacist website and we all know what many white supremacists think of Jews.

Two, Trump took the ad down right away after criticism arose about its tone and tenor.

If the ad was as innocent as Trump’s campaign says it is, why did the white supremacists run it and why was the campaign so quick to remove it?

Just asking, man.

Let Trump be nominated; let him face the music


I believe in fair fights and I believe those who win those fights fairly deserve to reap the reward … or the consequence.

Thus, it is my hope that Donald J. Trump goes on to Cleveland in two weeks and is nominated by the Republican Party to run for president of the United States.

Do I want him to win the election this fall? Not in a zillion years!

This Dump Trump/Never Trump/Anyone but Trump movement likely won’t succeed. Trump’s delegates should hold firm and fend off any challenge.

This goofball won the GOP primary battle fairly. He defeated 16 primary opponents over the course of a long slog through several dozen states. He won a solid plurality of popular votes and has secured enough pledged delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.


The amazing thing is that he did all this while insulting just about every voting demographic that isn’t white, Protestant and born in the United States. He’s done so while failing to assemble anything resembling a traditional grassroots political campaign. He has succeeded despite the efforts of the GOP “establishment” to rally behind another candidate.

So, let the guy have the nomination. Let him then march off to do battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her deep-pocketed Democratic operatives.

I’m not going to heap too many kind words on Trump. You know how I feel about him already.

The fact is, though, the guy has earned a major-party presidential nomination. How in the world he did it is beyond me. But he did.

Now, let’s allow him to reap what he has sown.

Sen. Cotton clams up on Trump


Tom Cotton is a combative freshman Republican U.S. senator from Arkansas who’s proven to be unafraid to speak his mind on just about anything … or anyone.

But when he was asked to make the case for Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States, Sen. Cotton turned strangely quiet.

It’s up to Trump, he said, to make his own case.


What gives? This is the young man — an Iraq War veteran — who recently called Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid all kinds of names while condemning his leadership in the upper legislative chamber.

This looks to me like another case of Republican officials finding it hard to articulate why they support the presumptive presidential nominee of their own party.

Cotton’s  demurring on that today exemplifies the concern that Trump should be feeling as his nomination draws near.

The way I see it, candidates need vocal and articulate surrogates to speak for them. Whether they’re running for president or county commissioner, candidates depend on the good will of others to push them forward.

Trump keeps trashing not only the Democrats who, naturally, are going oppose him but also Republicans who are reluctant to chime in with words of encouragement.

What did Trump say recently? Line up behind me or just “be quiet.”

Cotton has endorsed Trump. He’s being “quiet,” though, on explaining his reasons for the endorsement.

Trump and Perot? No comparison

Electronic Data Systems, Perot Systems PER "There will be a giant sucking sound going south." ÑPerot on the North American Free Trade Agreement during a 1992 Presidential debate Perot made billions as a businessman, founded Electronic Data Systems EDS and Perot Systems, and took 19% of the popular vote as a Presidential candidate in 1992. But, much as he chose Patsy Cline's "Crazy" as the theme song them for his White House bid, Perot may be best remembered for his colorful behavior. ¥ When two EDS employees were imprisoned in Iran in 1979 by the Shah of Iran prior to the Revolution, Perot funded and organized a successful rescue effort with all the trappings of a spy novel. ¥ In 1969, Perot tried unsuccessfully to deliver 75 tons of food and gifts to American prisoners of war being held in North Vietnam. ¥ When valued employees left his company, Perot would erase their names from any awards or plaques hanging in headquarters.

Have I been asleep at the wheel or has the political punditry class been quiet about comparing this election’s billionaire businessman/candidate with the previous guy who fit that description?

Donald J. Trump is about to become — more than likely — the next Republican nominee for president. He will face a candidate named Clinton, as in Hillary.

Twenty-four years ago another billionaire businessman ran for president against the first Clinton, the one named Bill — and against the Republican president, George H.W. Bush.

Yeah, the 1992 campaign had its quirks, such as when Perot quit the race only to re-enter it later. But it wasn’t nearly as, um, quirky as this one has been so far.

H. Ross Perot ended up winning 19 percent of the popular vote as an independent candidate. Bill Clinton won the presidency with 43 percent of the total, compared to President Bush’s 38 percent. Clinton, though, won the Electoral College vote in a landslide.

I’d like to be one of the few today to say that Perot did not cost Bush the election. Bill Clinton would have won the 1992 race with or without Perot in the mix.

Are there more comparisons to make between Perot and Trump?

Sure. Both men have huge egos. Perot, though, has been married to the same woman for a very long time; Trump is married to Wife No. 3. Perot’s wealth is of the self-made variety; Trump got a y-u-u-u-g-e head start from his dad’s estate.

Here’s another point to make, one that I’d like to concentrate on for just a moment. Trump has zero public service experience; Perot has one significant public service chapter in his lengthy life saga.

In 1983, then-Texas Gov. Mark White appointed Perot to lead a blue-ribbon commission to reform the state’s public education system. Gov. White tapped Perot after the Dallas technology tycoon popped off about how Texas was more interested in producing blue-chip athletes than it was in producing blue-chip scholars.

Perot set about the task of leading the panel to produce some recommendations he hoped would improve student academic performance.

I arrived in Texas in 1984 and as luck would have it, Perot unveiled his commission’s plan for education reform about that time. He then went on a statewide barnstorming tour to pitch his idea to Texans.

He came to Beaumont and that’s where I laid eyes on him for the first time. Perot stood at the podium in a roomful of business executives and sold his formula for academic success. Take it from me, the diminutive dynamo could command a room.

Several of us in the media met later that day with Perot for a question-and-answer session at Lamar University. Believe this, too: The man was in complete command of his facts, details and the process that awaited him.

The Texas Legislature convened a special session later that year and produced House Bill 72. Its record has been mixed. HB 72 mandated standardized testing for students and other reforms.

The point here is that Perot at least delivered the goods while being challenged by the state’s top elected official.

Trump’s public record? It involves a reality TV show, lots of buildings with his name on them, beauty pageants and assorted failed business ventures.

His public service record to date has brought us a string of insults, innuendo and invective.

The similarities? They’re both rich and full of themselves.

Hillary to Bill: Thanks for nothing … honey!

Former US President Bill Clinton speaks during the 2011 Fiscal Summit by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, May 25, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

CNN is reporting that Hillary Rodham Clinton likely won’t be indicted for any criminal activity relating to the use of her personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

That is the good news — more or less — for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

The bad news? The story won’t go away. It might never go away for as long as she’s president, presuming she wins the election this fall.

Why is that? She can thank her chummy husband, the 42nd president of the United States, for that.


Bill Clinton had the very bad form to trot aboard Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s airplane in Phoenix the other day. They talked about small stuff. No mention of the e-mail probe being conducted by the FBI, the agency that Lynch oversees as AG.

Lynch and the ex-president both have expressed “regret” over the chance meeting. It looks to critics as though Bill Clinton sought privately to pressure Lynch to back off in the FBI probe of his wife.

Suppose the reports are correct, that the FBI will find nothing criminal on which to hang an indictment. I can hear the conspiracy theorists now — led by Republican candidate Donald J. Trump — saying the fix is in.

No, the story won’t die if the FBI decides to close the books on the e-mail controversy without an indictment.

It will drag on and on and on.

Kind of like the way Benghazi has gone.

And Whitewater … and Lewinsky … and whatever else Hillary and Bill Clinton have done that they might now regret.

Here’s a fantasy for the political ages


Someone once told me that if you reveal your dreams they won’t come true.

I don’t really and truly believe that, but it sounds logical. I wonder, though, if the same thing applies to fantasies that race through one’s mind.

Well, in this political season — and given that I’m something of a political junkie — I’ve been having this recurring fantasy about Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Will it come true if I disclose it here? Aww, what the hey. I’ll do it anyway and hope for the best, whatever that turns out to be.

The fantasy goes something like this:

Trump is going to limp into the GOP convention in a couple of weeks. He’ll have named his vice-presidential running mate. They will have made a few campaign stops together, hoisting each other’s arms in the air and proclaiming their desire to beat the daylights out of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

Then it dawns on Trump: His poll numbers stink. He can’t keep any senior campaign staffers. No one with any standing wants to speak at his convention. Many of the party luminaries are staying away. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus cannot stand him. Neither can House Speaker Paul Ryan. Or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

He’s out of money. The big donors are keeping their hands on their wallets. Hillary Clinton has tons of cash in the bank and she’s savaging this guy like he’s never been savaged in his life.

Trump is facing the prospect of losing big this fall.

Then he decides, why do I want to plunder what’s left of my reputation?

He bails out. He quits.

He says, “I’ve had enough of this betrayal. I’ve tried to take the Republican Party into a new direction, but the ‘special interests’ are having none of it. And I get it: They run the show.”

Once you stop laughing at this scenario, I shall remind you that this campaign — particularly on the Republican side — has defied every logical theory imaginable. Trump never should have been a serious candidate, let alone the frontrunner and now presumptive nominee. But here he is — on the cusp of a major-party presidential nomination.

He brings not a scintilla of public service experience to this campaign.

What’s more, Trump is about to get trounced by a woman, of all people, in the race for the presidency. We know pretty well — yes? — what he thinks of women.

Will any of this happen? Oh, probably not.

Then again …

So much for principle, yes, Mr. Speaker?


I guess you could have predicted this switcheroo.

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich has performed a 180-degree flip on free trade. He now agrees with the Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.

Free trade is a bad thing, Trump says. It steals jobs from American workers and ships them out to places like China and Mexico, he says.

Gingrich, though, was one of the architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which opened the door wide to free trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Then the party’s presumed nominee came calling with a possible vice-presidential selection in mind.

Now it’s the former speaker who says he agrees with Trump on trade.

This kind of switch isn’t new, of course. Politicians do it all the time.

My favorite switch involved one of my favorite Republicans, a man I admire very much. George H.W. Bush once was considered a tried-and-true pro-choice Republican on abortion. Then the party’s nominee tapped him on the shoulder in 1980 and said, in effect, “If you want to run on our ticket, you have to become a pro-life guy on abortion.”

Bush did and he joined Ronald Reagan on the GOP’s winning 1980 ticket.


Trump has accused U.S. political and business leaders of “stupidity” in allowing free trade to pilfer U.S. jobs. Does that include Gingrich?

I guess not.

It’s interesting nevertheless because Gingrich always has struck me as a politician dedicated to core principles and to partisan orthodoxy. Free trade is part of the Republican mantra, while Trump’s view of GOP trade policy has angered many within the party’s establishment mainstream.

Go figure.

Let’s be sure to check in with Gingrich if Trump picks someone else to run with him.

Mike Pence becomes new VP favorite


Mike Pence has stormed out of Indiana to become the latest possible selection for Donald J. Trump’s presidential ticket.

The Republican presumptive nominee is now “vetting” Pence, the two-term Indiana governor and former House member as a possible vice-presidential selection.

The chatter this morning is quite interesting. According to those in the know, Pence would bring Washington experience, executive government experience, good standing with the evangelical base of the GOP, and strong conservative political credentials … allegedly.

Pence would be a solid pick … for any other presidential nominee in the party.

But not this one, from where I sit.

I’m trying to imagine a Vice President Pence scolding a President Trump about his insistence that we toss out free-trade policies. I’m trying to conjure up the image of these two haggling in private over whether it really is wise to ban Muslims from entering the country solely because of their religious faith.

Would the GOP’s presidential nominee actually listen to anything his VP running mate — whoever he is — has to say about anything?

I believe Trump’s stated declaration that he’s his own man and that he intends to “go it alone” if need be is what likely might be scaring off potential running mates.

Sure, reports indicate Trump’s “team,” such as it is, is vetting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the No. 2 spot. Think about what either of those two gents bring to the ticket: Christie is wildly unpopular in his home state; meanwhile, Gingrich is lugging around his own “family values” baggage based on his three marriages and the affair he was having with a staffer while he was screaming for Bill Clinton’s impeachment based on an affair the then-president was having with a White House intern.

Now it’s Pence’s turn to be examined by the political punditry.

This is more fun than I ever imagined.

Hey, at least Gov. Pence looks good on TV.

Is Trump’s campaign unraveling


So, where do we stand on the eve of the Republican National Convention that is set to nominate Donald J. Trump for president?

* The presumptive nominee has about 1/40th of the money on hand that his Democratic opponent has.

* He is losing senior staff members.

* Trump’s “short list” of prospective vice-presidential picks hasn’t been winnowed much from anything resembling a long list.

* Key congressional Republicans are still declining to sing the nominee’s virtues.

* The five previous Republican presidential nominees are not going to attend the convention.

Hmmm. How’s it going for the nominee? Not good.

I’m having difficulty grasping how this major-party presidential nominee is going to keep his campaign from unraveling.

Who’s going to give the keynote speech at the GOP convention? That’s the speech that’s supposed to set the tone for the campaign to follow. These assignments usually go to up-and-coming political stars. Sometimes a shining-light governor gets to deliver the speech.

Who’s lining up for that task in Cleveland?

With so few actual GOP luminaries even committing to being present at the convention, I am left to wonder: How in the world is this event going to unfold?

The guy with the toughest job of all surely has to be House Speaker Paul Ryan, the convention chairman who has to figure out a way to manage the mayhem that seems set to ensue.

Ryan cannot even bring himself to speak with any sort of enthusiasm about the nominee he has “endorsed.” And to my ears, his “endorsement” is one of those you hear from politicians giving it through gritted teeth.

I’ve seen the polling that puts Trump within striking distance of Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’ve seen the surveys that suggest Clinton has a much broader path toward election than Trump, but with Trump still being able to trumpet some success.

But the GOP nominee has little campaign money, virtually no organization, no apparent strategy to win those so-called “battleground states.”

Trump has promised an unconventional campaign for the presidency.

Boy howdy! He’s delivering on that promise.

In spades.

Incoherence on trade policy …


Donald J. Trump’s campaign rally today in Bangor, Maine featured a remarkably incoherent riff on trade policy.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was ranting about trade agreements. He opposes free trade. Or does he?

He launched into a strange and utterly nonsensical series of descriptions of what constitutes a “good” trade agreement.

He began his trade tirade by saying he was “all for free trade.” Then he said he was opposed to it. Huh? What … ?

He didn’t care if it was “horrible.” He didn’t care if it was “fair.” He didn’t care if it was “great.”

Trump then said something about negotiating trade agreements differently than the way they’ve been negotiated previously.

Horrible, fair, great, bad? Donald Trump doesn’t care about any of those aspects of a trade agreement.

I need help understanding how any of that makes sense.

And this guy wants to be president of the United States of America?