Tag Archives: first lady

First lady embarks on important mission in Africa

First lady Melania Trump is on a mission in Africa. Her aim is to spread her mission to help children and to protect them from various forms of exploitation.

She also can perform a public relations clean up of a mess made by her husband, Donald Trump, the president of the United States. You see, the president is still trying to live down a quote attributed to him in which he referred to African nations as “sh**hole countries.” I don’t recall him making any distinction among the nations on the continent, just that all the nations on the continent were sending unwelcome immigrants to our shores.

Well, the first lady now is embarked on a mission to promote her signature issue: child protection.

Africa is a good place to take that message.

You’ll recall the terror group Boko Haram, based in Nigeria. Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of young women, many of them children. They released some of them, but reportedly are holding others in some hiding place. No doubt they are being terrorized and intimidated by their captors.

What the first lady can do to help these young victims remains unclear, but she does occupy an important bully pulpit.  I sincerely hope she uses it to speak truth to the need to care for young people around the world.

As a guest column in the Dallas Morning News notes, Africa has the world’s largest concentration of people younger than 18. Many of them are in desperate straits. They need a powerful ally to speak to their needs. Melania Trump can offer that voice on their behalf.

Read the column by Natalie Gonella-Platts here.

Moreover, she can bring worldwide attention once again to the terrorists acts of Boko Haram and demand once more: release those young women and girls and return them to their families.

It’s not really our business, however …

Donald J. Trump’s lawyer of the moment, Rudy Giuliani, has decided to speak about the first lady’s view of one of her husband’s, um, episodes involving other women.

Giuliani said Melania Trump “believes” the president when he says he didn’t have a tryst with a pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in a hotel room back in 2006.

So, how does the former New York City mayor come to that conclusion? Do you think he asked Mrs. Trump directly? Did he ask the president himself? Or is he just making a conclusion based on nothing at all?

None of this in reality is anyone’s business. However, since one of the principals involved in this idiocy happens to be the president of the United States, it sort of morphs itself into the public domain.

I have difficulty accepting that Mrs. Trump would even answer such a question, even if it comes from the man who’s now representing her husband in his myriad battles to fend off investigations of all sorts. They include this matter involving Clifford/Daniels … allegedly.

I still circle back to the one aspect of that tryst that makes it all so very believable. It’s the payment of 130 grand in real American money that another lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels to keep her quiet. One must ask: If there was no sexual encounter, why would he have to pay the hush money?

As for whether Giuliani is relying on Donald Trump’s assertion that his (third) wife believes his denials about a one-night stand with Daniels — sigh! — I only can fall back on the many lies Trump has told since he began his political career in 2015.

If it were me — and I am so glad that it isn’t — I wouldn’t believe a single word that flies out of the president’s mouth.

Twitter overuse brings this kind of embarrassment

Donald Trump’s incessant use, overuse — and some of us have suggested misuse — of Twitter as a vehicle for his public statements produces moments such as what happened today.

The president sought to tweet a statement welcoming his wife home from the hospital after she underwent kidney surgery.

Except that he misspelled her name, referring to the first lady as “Melanie,” not Melania.

As a former Texas governor once said so (in)famously: Oops.

The president — or someone on his staff — deleted the mistake. Trump then issued the proper welcome with the proper spelling of the first lady’s name.

I have stopped criticizing Trump’s use of Twitter to make policy pronouncements, although his use of the social medium to fire Cabinet officials and others in his administration is troublesome, to say the very least.

I don’t even know if Trump himself is actually tweeting these messages or if it is being done by some intern. Whoever it is, Americans deserve at the very least to have their head of state, head of government and commander in chief being able to spell the name of his wife.

Arrgghhh!

RIP, ‘The Enforcer’

What does one say only moments after learning that one of America’s most beloved public figures has left this good Earth?

Barbara Pierce Bush has died at the age of 92. It was no surprise. She was in “failing health,” surrounded by her family. She had ordered an end to preventative health care, focusing instead on “comfort care.”

The wife of the nation’s 41st president made no pretense about the fake pearls she wore around her neck. She said they were intended to cover up her wrinkles. But everything else about her was so very real. She was known to her kids and grandkids as “The Enforcer.” She set the rules and she made them stick.

And the nation fell madly in love with this woman, a proud first lady — but more importantly a proud wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She promoted literacy. She became an advocate for research on HIV/AIDS.

She also was unafraid to disagree with her husband, President George H.W. Bush, or her son, President George W. Bush.

The nation will grieve. The president will order flags to fly at half-staff at the nation’s federal buildings. We’ll all remember Barbara Bush as the matriarch of one of the nation’s most iconic political families.

She was a great American.

Hoping that Hillary calls it a career

Hillary Rodham Clinton is beginning to resurface.

Her book is out, the one that “explains” why she lost a presidential election she should have won. I’ll stipulate that I haven’t read “What Happened.” I have every intention of doing so. I’m curious as to what this candidate who should have been elected in 2016 says about her stunning election loss.

I’ll simply fall back to a position I took not long after Donald J. Trump got elected president of the United States.

My hope for the Democratic Party is that they find a fresh face, a novice to the national political stage, a rookie to run against whomever the Republicans nominate for president in 2020.

It shouldn’t be Hillary Clinton. And if the Republican Party honchos were to ask for my opinion, I’d say they shouldn’t renominate the incumbent president. Hey, I just told ’em that very thing. Imagine that!

Hillary will lay a lot of blame on FBI Director James Comey and his strange reopening of the e-mail probe late in the campaign. She’ll blame the Russians for hacking into our electoral system. She will blame the media for the way they covered her campaign. Sure, she also is going to take a lot of the blame herself.

From where I sit out here in Flyover Country, it’s that last element that deserves the bulk of the cause for her stunning loss.

Clinton was a lousy candidate. She spent too much time down the stretch in states she had no prayer of winning and too little time in those battleground states that flipped from supporting Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 to backing Trump.

Yes, I also believe in that malady called Clinton Fatigue. We had two terms of her husband, President Bill Clinton; and along the way, we got a big dose of first lady Hillary Clinton, too. Do you recall when candidate Bill told us in 1992 if we elect him, we’d get her as well in a sort of two-for-one deal?

She ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000 as she and her husband were to leave the White House and she served her new home state of New York with competence and some level of distinction.

She challenged Sen. Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and took him to the wire. The new president’s payback was to appoint her secretary of state, a post she held for Obama’s first term.

Clinton won the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination believing the election was hers for the taking. She wasn’t alone. I was among the millions of pseudo-experts who thought she’d win in a record-setting landslide. I’ve been eating crow ever since.

Her time has come and gone. She’s yesterday’s heroine.

I do not want her to run again. She had my support once already. I’m not sure I can back her a second time.

Her book is likely to produce some interesting reading. That is it. However, the future of her political party, I believe, belongs to someone who’s going to emerge from nowhere.

Still waiting for the anti-cyberbullying campaign to begin

I don’t intend to beat up on Melania Trump, given all the grief that has fallen on her husband, the president of the United States.

My hope for the first lady is that she’s going to start delivering on her campaign pledge to call attention to cyberbullying, particularly where it involves children.

I figured that Mother’s Day was as good a day as any to mention the first lady’s pledge to put cyberbullying in front of the national consciousness. She is, after all, Mom to a young boy … although it’s highly unlikely that Barron is going to be subject to much — if any — of the behavior that drew Melania Trump’s attention during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Yes, I know about the criticism that came her way from those who said she needed to start at home, by getting Donald Trump to lay off the Twitter tirades. I was one of those critics.

In reality, her cause is a good one. It’s a noble initiative.

If only she could wrestle some of the attention away from her husband and start organizing the effort to end what she referred to correctly as a “scourge” inflicted on our young people.

What has become of Hillary the Invincible?

hillary

There once was a time — not that long ago — when Hillary Rodham Clinton was considered a shoo-in not just for her party’s presidential nomination, but for the office itself.

She was Hillary the Invincible. The 2016 Democratic presidential nomination was, to borrow that cliché, “hers to lose” — although I’ve never quite understood what phrase actually means.

Then came some nasty stuff.

The Benghazi matter doesn’t count. I do not consider the Benghazi tragedy to be a “scandal,” as some media blowhards on the right have called it.

Here’s what is more troubling in my view: the e-mail matter.

The former secretary of state revealed some months ago that she used her personal e-mail server to communicate with others about, um, State Department business. That disclosure troubled me when I heard and I troubles me even more now. Why? Because of reports that — as some have feared — messages sent out into the public domain contained classified information.

The Justice Department has now ordered Clinton to turn over her personal e-mail server to the spooks at DOJ, who’ll look over all the material that went out on it. But as the Washington Post’s Chis Cillizza notes:  “It’s impossible to see this as anything but a bad thing for her presidential prospects.”

The trustworthiness issue is beginning now to dog the former first lady/U.S. senator/secretary of state. Is she for real? Is she authentic? Can she be trusted to tell us the truth all the time?

Yes, I am having doubts about all of that, right along with a lot of other Americans.

The Democratic field already has three other candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination. I’m waiting to hear whether a fourth non-Clinton will jump in … that would be Vice President Joe Biden, about whom much has been written during his lengthy career in government.

He’s become the target of late-night comedians’ jokes because of his occasional gaffes. No one, though, doubts his authenticity or his motives for seeking a career in public service.

Whether he runs, though, likely might depend on how much damage gets done to Hillary Clinton’s once-seemingly invincible image.

 

Is HRC 'likable enough' to get elected?

A young U.S. senator, Barack Obama, uttered arguably one of the signature lines of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary campaign when he told fellow Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.”

I’m betting that Clinton didn’t appreciate the “compliment.”

Now, eight years later, she’s launching another bid for the presidency.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/04/12/clinton-campaigns-challenge-make-her-likeable/

And as the Wall Street Journal reports, her task is to make her “likable enough” to get elected president of the United States next year.

As the WSJ reported: “She needs to try to humanize herself, because in some ways she’s kind of become a cardboard cutout figure,” said Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University.

So, the campaign begins anew for the former first lady, senator and secretary of state.

Many in the media refer to her simply as “Hillary.” Just a mention of that name and you know to whom the reference is being made. Does the first-name familiarity make her likable? Hardly. I continue to believe she needs to translate likability into authenticity.

She remains a political powerhouse. The strength, though, doesn’t always connect with voters in a tangible manner. Clinton at times appears evasive, which hardly lends itself to likability.

I will be among millions of voters looking for signs that she’s capable of understanding the problems, worries and concerns of average American citizens. If she does, she’ll prove she’s for real, that she’s authentic.

And likable.

HRC set to launch bid; now the fun really begins

You may take this to the bank.

The moment Hillary Rodham Clinton declares her candidacy for the presidency is when the campaign for the White House becomes really and truly a blast.

Clinton is set to announce her candidacy on Sunday. She’ll make known what almost every political junkie on Planet Earth has known all along. She wants to make history by becoming the first woman president of the world’s greatest power.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/exclusive-hillary-clinton-to-launch-presidential-campaign-on-sunday-en-route-to-iowa-%e2%80%93-source/ar-AAaFyvT

Why the “blast” factor?

Because the growing horde of Republican candidates are going to set their sights on Clinton. They are going to virtually ignore each other. They’re going to be talking to their party’s base voters, trying to persuade them that only they — and no one else — can defeat the Democratic nominee in November 2016.

As for Clinton’s possible Democratic primary rivals, a couple of them are beginning to show themselves in public. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has talked openly about running. Just this seek, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a one-time Republican who’s turned Democrat, announced plans to form an exploratory committee to help him decide whether to run.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mass.? She says she isn’t running for the White House, but she has yet to make that statement that she won’t run change her mind between today and, say, the day after tomorrow.

Many on the left and far left yearn for an alternative to Clinton. Meanwhile, many on the right and far right think the former U.S. senator, secretary of state and first lady is as evil as her husband, the former president and the current president.

Oh, boy. This campaign is going to be worth watching.

Go for it, Hillary!

 

In a word, the Hillary email story is about 'trust'

You can sum up the difficulty that is building around Hillary Rodham Clinton’s probable presidential campaign in a single five-letter word: trust.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/hillary-clinton-press-conference-115989.html?hp=b3_r1#.VQaz71J0yt8

Can she be trusted to tell us the truth all the time?

The Politico story attached here talks about the history she and her husband, the former 42nd president, Bill Clinton, had in using the English language to wiggle their way out of difficulty.

President Clinton sought to tell Americans that he “did not have sexual relations” with the young White House intern. It turned out that likely did have what almost anyone describe as a sexual relationship with her — but not in the way he defined it.

Does anyone recall how the president defined the word “is”?

Hillary Clinton’s email mess, on its face, likely isn’t a huge story. It’s becoming one, though, because of her own seemingly slippery use of language to define what she did and when she did it.

The Politico essay refers to her talking about “not saving” email communications. What happened to the word “delete”? Did she delete the messages, send them to the trash bin on purpose?

It’s that kind of imprecise language that seems to be getting the former secretary of state/U.S. senator/first lady into a bit of a jam as she ramps up her 2016 presidential campaign.

Hillary Clinton once seemed like the inevitable 45th president of the United States. She remains the prohibitive favorite to become the Democrats’ next nominee for the office.

That aura of White House inevitability, however, suddenly is needs some major repair.

Straight talk would help build some much-needed trust.