Tag Archives: POTUS

Biden: born for this job?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As I watch President Biden perform certain ceremonial functions — or even simply walk to and from the Oval Office or climb the steps leading onto Air Force One — I am struck by a recurring thought.

It is that this man has wanted the job he now holds for practically as long as he has been a national public figure. That goes back a good while.

He burst on the national scene as a freshman U.S. senator from Delaware. He won election in 1972; Biden was just 29 years of age when they declared him the winner, but would turn 30 (the minimum legal age to serve as a senator) between Election Day and his swearing in.

It is a fairly open secret that he lusted for higher office from almost the very beginning. Biden had to endure intense personal tragedy before taking office in 1973. His wife and infant daughter died in a car crash; his sons, Beau and Hunter, were gravely injured. They would recover.

Biden would remarry five years later.

He ran for president in 1988. Then he tasted humiliation when he got caught plagiarizing the remarks of a British politician, using the British pol’s life story as his own. Sen. Biden bowed out. He would run again for POTUS in 2008, but then quit after being steamrolled by the eventual Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama — who then selected him to run with him as vice president. They won. They served two successful terms.

Now it’s the Joe Biden Show in the White House.

I just am filled with the strong sense that President Biden has been in a sort of training for half a century to do the job he is now doing.

My critique? He’s quite good at acting like a president. He sounds like a president. He behaves like a president.

After enduring the clumsiness, the chaos, the confusion and the cockamamie pronouncements of the president’s immediate predecessor, all this “normal” stuff seems quite, well … refreshing.

POTUS with no name

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have just made a command decision regarding this blog.

From this moment forward I no longer am going to refer to the 45th president of the United States by name. I no longer want to memorialize it.

Why? Because the sound of his name and its appearance as a printed word sicken me. I don’t want to hurl all over my computer keyboard.

That all said, future comments on matters dealing with No. 45 will be spare. I intend to move on to the goings on with the current president, Joe Biden. I also intend to discuss policy matters. When faced with referencing the immediate past POTUS I will simply seek to write around his name.

One problem arises, though. The ex-POTUS might get indicted for criminal activity. If that moment comes, well … just wish me luck as I seek to comment without mentioning him by name.

There. Now I feel better.

How does this guy run for POTUS?

(Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Hill had this to report today:  Cruz, who won reelection to the Senate in 2018, regularly spars with progressives and political enemies on Twitter and is widely expected to consider a run for president in 2024. 

“Cruz,” of course, is Ted Cruz, the junior Republican U.S. senator from Texas who has aspired to be president from the moment he took office in 2013. He tried in 2016 before losing the GOP primary to Donald Trump.

He wants to run again for president, or so many political observers apparently believe.

Ted Cruz knocks MSNBC’s Brian Williams over ‘Kremlin Cruz’ label | TheHill

I am wondering: How in the world does the Cruz Missile for the office if Donald Trump wants his old job back?

You see, Cruz morphed from a ferocious Trump critic when he ran against him in 2016 to one of his most sycophantic followers after Trump took office.

To this day Cruz does not dare repeat the things he said about Trump back then: sniveling coward, amoral man, narcissist, pathological liar. 

Here’s the deal: Cruz was right when he said those angry things about Trump.

What happens if Trump decides he can actually be nominated by the GOP in 2024? Cruz might have to put his presidential ambitions on hold until 2028. He dares not repeat the truth about the former Idiot in Chief.

Trump now part of a ‘criminal’ probe

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well now, it appears that Donald J. Trump might have a new line of crap to sling for those of his “political base” to embrace.

Hey, he can say that New York prosecutors are looking at alleged “criminal activity” inside the ex-POTUS’s sprawling business empire.

It won’t matter to the Trump fanatics out there. They seem to embrace the shenanigans upon which Trump built his organization. Now, though, the stakes well might be getting mighty hot for the former liar/imbecile/prevaricator in chief.

The Hill reports: “We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment at this time,” Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for the New York attorney general’s office, said in a statement.

New York prosecutors investigating Trump Organization in a ‘criminal capacity’ | TheHill

Trump hasn’t commented on this latest bit of news. He has chided the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into Trump’s financial matters as a “political witch hunt.” It’s a standard Trump mantra; it’s all political.

Now, it appears that the stakes are getting mighty steep.

I would love to be a fly on the wall of the room where Donald Trump might learn that he is being indicted on a felony criminal charge.

So would you like to watch Donald Trump’s reaction to such news … if it comes.

GOP testing POTUS’s patience

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Every human being who’s ever lived has limits to his or her patience.

My strong sense is that the today’s Republican Party leadership is testing the wellspring of patience that rests within President Biden.

If only the GOP honchos would wean themselves of the Big Lie being fed to them by Donald J. Trump and his minions about the 2020 election. If only the Republican hierarchy would divest its interest in seeking to overturn a free and fair election. If only they would act as American patriots instead of lunatic wackos.

Trump sits on the sidelines these days. He isn’t silent. He keeps yammering about the phony vote fraud that has prompted the “audit” of Arizona’s election returns. He continues to suggest the election was stolen. He never provides a scintilla of proof for any of the outrageous lies he keeps repeating.

Yet the GOP congressional leadership keeps gobbling it up. It presents itself as being responsible stewards of our federal government. They aren’t. They are responsible only to the former Imbecile in Chief. Damn few of them can say a single critical word about the Big Lie.

Meanwhile, we have a president who wants to enact some big programs. We are fighting a pandemic. We are trying to recover economically from the havoc it has brought. President Biden cannot get the GOP to sign on to what should be a bipartisan effort. Why is that? Because too many of the loyal opposition’s leadership is too wedded to the Big Lie.

The president’s patience surely has its limits.

‘President’ returns to this blog

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It clearly is no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I am thrilled to be able to speak of the president of the United States the way I normally speak of that individual.

That is, I have restored the use of the term “President” directly in front of the name of the person who holds the title.

As in “President Joe Biden.”

I have written previously of my boycotting of that terminology during the presidential tenure of Donald J. Trump. I refused for four years to attach the title “President” directly in front of Trump’s name; indeed, I will continue to follow that dictum even in Trump’s blessedly forced retirement from political life after the 2020 election.

My desire was to see a return to normal dignity and decorum in the nation’s highest office. It returned when President Biden took his oath on Jan. 20.

Trump’s conduct after the election was even worse than the four years prior to it. He incited the insurrection on Jan. 6 and got impeached a second time by the House of Reps. Indeed, he still hasn’t formally acknowledged that Joe Biden is the duly elected president.

That’s in the past now. Perhaps soon it all will be forgotten. I welcome that day.

For now I will just relish the notion of being able to comment on presidential activities by referencing President Biden the way I have (almost) always referenced presidents of the United States. Yes, even those for whom I didn’t cast my vote.

Along came Donald Trump to relegate that title to the back of the lowest shelf I could find.

President Biden will make mistakes. He’s made a couple already. His behavior while serving as our head of state/commander in chief, I am certain, will be fitting that of our president.

Ike would be angry

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

EISENHOWER STATE PARK, Texas — There are times when our retirement journey intersects with current events.

It happened when we returned to a place near the birthplace of one of this nation’s greatest statesmen, military heroes … and politicians.

Dwight David Eisenhower was born just down the road from where we parked our fifth wheel. You recall the nation’s 34th president, yes? He graduated from West Point, served in the Army where along the way he took command of Allied forces in Europe during World War II and helped defeat the 20th century’s most despotic tyrant. He retired from the Army and then decided he would run for public office: the presidency.

He won election in 1952 and re-election in 1956. President Eisenhower wasn’t a natural politician, but he declared himself to be a Republican because he believed in the party’s basic principles.

He would be infuriated today at the behavior of the party he left behind. The party has become an organization he likely wouldn’t recognize. It has become the playground of one man, Donald Trump, who in a strange found his way to the presidency in a somewhat parallel path as the great man, Dwight Eisenhower. Trump hadn’t sought public office, either, before launching his presidential bid.

The similarity ends there.

Ike did things, such as launch an interstate highway construction program that revolutionized our way of life. Trump? Well, he hurled invective at his foes, at the media and finally at the government he took an oath to protect.

Our retirement journey is meant to remove us from from the hassles and headaches of the headlines. Sometimes, though, there can be no escape … such as when we venture to a park named after one of America’s greatest Republicans.

Yep, I do like Ike.

Trump stain will last a good while

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump will be remembered ultimately as a failed president, one who damaged the institutions of our democracy and someone who came dangerously close to destroying the fabric of our republic.

He called himself a “consequential” president. He was all of that. And more.

Thus, his imprint will be difficult to erase from what he left behind.

I say all this because his rhetoric still resonates with so many Americans. Many millions of them voted to return him for a second term as president. Many millions more, though, voted to elect Joe Biden as president in 2020. I was among the latter category of voters, as if you didn’t know it already.

Trump’s followers continue to cast doubt on President Biden’s election, fueled by Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that he lost fair and square to someone who outsmarted and outcampaigned him.

The near-destruction of our government, of course, occurred on Jan. 6 with the insurrection provoked by Trump.

I cannot yet identify what will be the overarching legacy that historians will determine is Trump’s most, um, significant imprint.

It might be the riot on Jan. 6; it could be the terrible spike in race-related hate crimes that occurred on his watch; it might be the fraying of alliances around the world with nations that used to depend on the U.S.’s power and influence.

My personal “favorite” ought to be the mishandling of the pandemic that exploded on the world in late 2019. Trump lied about the misery that awaited us, despite knowing that the pandemic would do the damage it has done … and is still doing!

To be sure, Trump will tout the three justices he selected to the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t begrudge the fact that Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett sit on the court. Elections do have consequences and the 2016 election installed a president who sought to shift the court dramatically to the right. It remains to be seen, though, just how far right the court will tilt over time.

Donald Trump is gone from the White House. My sense — and certainly my hope — is that he never darkens the door of my house ever again. He is not forgotten. Wiping away the stain left by a consequential presidency will take time.

Social media ‘war’ to end?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The thought occurs to me that President Biden’s election in 2020 has produced an anticipated but highly underreported positive effect.

During the term of Donald J. Trump, there appeared — anecdotally, at least — to be a serious spike in destroyed friendships and other relationships among longtime friends and significant others.

I lost a few friends during the past four years over intense political differences. I am not proud of whatever I might have contributed to those falling-outs.

Trump is gone from the White House. Probably forever. Joe Biden’s term has begun and I am going to suggest right here that we might see a serious leveling off of the kind of animus we witnessed or heard about during Trump’s term as president.

That is a good thing. Don’t you think?

President Biden is a student of the school that suggests that political adversaries need not be enemies. Trump didn’t operate at that level. He seemingly has few political friends beyond the cultists who pledge that goofy fealty to the man. But, oh brother, he has developed more than his fair share of political enemies. Trump also has dished out the enemy label as well.

Biden rolls differently. He cultivated a reputation as a U.S. senator who was able to reach across to Republicans. He brought those decades of Senate experience to the White House as vice president in the Obama administration.

My strong sense is that as president, Joe Biden will soothe the roiling waters that have swamped friendships and spoiled many family dinners across the land. I cannot presume that would be his strategy. It’s just an effect of the kind of leadership skill he has demonstrated over his many years in public service.

Do I expect a restoration of my lost friendships? I am not holding my breath. I do expect there to be a diminution of the friendship fracturing moving ahead during the presidency of Joe Biden.

Biden builds a presidency … and burnishes legacy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Watching Joseph R. Biden Jr. build his presidency is like watching someone come of age in real time.

You see, I’ve been acutely aware of this individual almost since the time I became involved actively in a political campaign on the other side of our vast nation. Biden got elected to the U.S. Senate in Delaware in 1972; while he was celebrating that victory, my friends and I were licking our wounds out west in Oregon while our presidential candidate, George McGovern, was suffering a monstrous landslide defeat at the hands of President Richard Nixon.

Yes, I watched the young senator go through the personal agony of losing his wife and infant daughter in a car crash before he would take office. I watched him assume his senatorial duties and then grow into the job he inherited.

Over the years I became aware of the leadership roles he assumed as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I watched him pontificate incessantly at times during committee hearings. I winced on occasion as he would bloviate past the time allotted to him.

Then I watched him run for president in 1988, only to crash and burn when he was caught copying remarks from a British politician and using them while trying to tell his own life story. The guy I supported that year for the Democratic nomination, Michael Dukakis, would suffer a landslide loss to Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Sigh …

He ran again for president in 2008 and then got thumped by the eventual nominee, Barack H. Obama … who then selected Biden to run with him as vice president.

And now he has won the highest office, grabbed the brass ring.

Hey, I am sitting now in the middle of what they call Flyover Country. I live in Texas, one of the most reliably Republican states in America. My pride in watching Joe Biden ascend to the highest office hasn’t abated one little bit.

It’s almost as if I am watching someone I “grew up with” along the way. I was barely old enough to vote when Joe Biden won his first federal office in 1972; heck, he wasn’t even old enough to assume his Senate seat until he turned 30 two weeks after that election.

Time has marched on. I am proud of Joe Biden, of his tenacity and of the courage he has exhibited while picking himself up after falling short of his aspirations. I believe the setbacks — and, yes, the tragedy — he has endured have prepared Joe Biden well for the challenges that lie ahead.