Tag Archives: transition

Biden transition needs to function on all cylinders

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Oh, to be a fly on whatever walls surrounding the meetings that President-elect Biden is conducting as he prepares to become the next president.

The transition has begun officially. It was late getting started. Donald Trump, who lost the election to Joe Biden, dug in for too long after we learned that we had a new president waiting in the wings.

Then came the order from the General Services Administration, the agency that runs the transition: Start turning the wheels, the GSA said … undoubtedly on orders from Donald Trump.

I am heartened somewhat — but not totally — by the knowledge that President-elect Biden is a man of the Senate, that he knows how government works, that he has an enormous network of contacts throughout the legislative and executive branches of government.

Biden comes to the presidency being able to speak fluently in the language that bureaucrats speak to each other. There appears to be little on-the-job training for the new president. He served 36 years in the Senate, eight as vice president. He knows the ropes.

Contrast that with the absence of any exposure to government that Donald Trump brought to the job he inherited when he was elected in 2016. It showed from the get-go.

I do not expect the new president to make the kind of monumental hiring mistakes that Trump made. I could be wrong, of course. Indeed, I am wrong way more than I am right.

On this matter … I’ll stick with my assessment of the new president.

Trump behavior … would we allow our kids to do this?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s relentless petulance in the wake of his smashing re-election loss as president of the United States brings to mind what we have taught our children.

We teach┬á them to accept losses with a modicum of dignity and humility. We don’t want them to gloat when they win; nor do we want them to pout when they lose. Society has winners and losers. You win some, you lose some.

When you lose you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, congratulate the person who beat you and then you move on. When we played Little League baseball, we all cheered our opponent in victory and defeat with that quaint cheer when we yelled, “Two, four, six, eight … who do we appreciate?”

Donald Trump has become the Sore Loser in Chief, the antithesis of what we have taught our children, what our own parents have taught us. I have no clue how it was in the Trump household when young Donald was a boy. For all I know he is behaving today precisely the way he was taught to behave by his mother and father.

Which makes me think his folks would be proud of the way he has been undermining the democratic process. How he has endangered us by holding up the transition to a new administration and denying the president-elect access to the intelligence briefings he needs to establish a strategy for protecting Americans.

Well, the good news is out there just ahead of us. It will arrive in about, oh, 46 days when President Joe Biden takes the oath and restores adult behavior to the West Wing of the White House.

Post-election period: mind-boggling!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but this period after the latest presidential election is about as mind-boggling as anything I ever have witnessed.

And, yes, that includes the period after the 2000 election that ended up being decided by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that resulted in George W. Bush taking office as the 43rd president of the United States.

This is one takes the proverbial cake.

Donald Trump got thumped by Joe Biden. The president-elect has rolled up an impressive popular vote margin and a decent Electoral College majority to become the next president. As for Trump, well, he has managed to shower himself with embarrassment upon embarrassment with his petulant, boorish and childish refusal to recognize that he won’t be president after Jan. 20, when Joe Biden takes the oath to become President Biden.

Beyond that, he has endangered our very democracy by encouraging governors to overturn the results of the elections in their states … which they cannot do by law. Trump has denigrated the electoral process, asserting the existence of “massive” voter fraud where none exists. He has fought and lost 30-plus court battles. Meanwhile, states that Biden won are certifying the results, as are the states that Trump carried.

The way I see it, there is no way in the world that Donald Trump will attend President Biden’s inauguration. He will skulk off long before the new president takes his oath and begins the work of repairing the damage done┬á under Trump’s tenure as president.

I am left at this juncture to merely wish that the new president can finish his pre-oath-taking preparation — which should he should be able to do — and then get to work.

As for Donald John Trump … don’t let the door hit you in your backside, podnuh.

Biden setting cooler, calmer tone

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A nation that has endured one of the most contentious, nastiest and falsehood-filled presidential campaigns in history is now being treated to a transition that occurs with one of the principals doing what he must do.

The other one is stonewalling. Why? Because he is alleging voter fraud that likely doesn’t exist.

President-elect Joe Biden has selected his White House chief of staff. Ron Klain is a longtime Biden confidant with vast experience in government operations. Klain now becomes the point man who will guide the president-elect to selecting his Cabinet and his key White House aides and advisers.

The other guy is the president of the United States, Donald Trump, who lost his bid for re-election by a significant and growing margin. Trump is going out with the same raucousness he exhibited when he took office four years ago.

Yes, Trump has been quiet in terms of his relentless tweeting habit. His stonewalling on the transition, though, puts the nation in potential national security peril. Donald Trump’s team won’t share intelligence briefings with the new president’s team, disallowing them access to information it will need as it prepares to plot strategies for guarding against potential threats from hostile nations.

So we’re left with a president-elect who is proceeding with a transition the way he normally would do it with a predecessor who is willing to cooperate fully.

To be candid, the manner that President-elect Joe Biden is employing to take office is far more preferable than the manner that Donald Trump is using to surrender it.

I believe we are witnessing in real time the differences in the way these men govern.

Remain silent, Mr. POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If you put your ear to the ground and demand complete silence around you, then you’re likely to hear something quite pleasant.

That would be the absence of any yammering from the White House.

You see, Donald John Trump is a lame-duck president who has remained quiet as the world watches President-elect Joseph Biden Jr. begin preparing for the biggest job on Earth.

Why is this worth mentioning? Because I am sick, tired and disgusted beyond measure with the incessant bitching, griping and insult from Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

I grew weary early on with his daily appearances in the White House press room in which he would misstate the pandemic crisis that continues to kill Americans every single day.

He’s not doing that these days. Trump is busying himself with lawsuits that alleged “widespread voter fraud” in states he lost to Biden. The litigation will go nowhere. Then the 45th president will be on┬á his way back to Mar-a-Lago, turning the White House over to No. 46, who can begin to repair the damage that Trump has brought to the presidency.

For now I intend to relish the silence from Donald Trump.

A ‘sucker’ is revealed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

OK, it’s time for an admission.

I admit to being a sucker for what I had hoped would be a realization from Donald Trump — had circumstances dictated it — that he would bow out of the presidency with relative silence.

Not with class, dignity, decorum and grace, mind you. I thought he would simply say that “Joe Biden won; I lost. I will accept that and go on my way.” That’s all he had to say.

Donald Trump hasn’t said even that.

Oh, no. He is filing lawsuits left and right in states all across the country. He hasn’t called Biden to congratulate him. As a friend reminded me today, Trump hasn’t yet allowed the new president access to national security briefings, which is essential for a smooth transition from one presidency to the next one.

The peaceful transfer of power is likely to occur. I don’t expect there to be gunshots at the White House or on Capitol Hill when Trump leaves office on Jan. 20. What I had hoped for would be a semblance of the kind of traditional ceremony one sees in these moments.

You know what I mean. The Trumps welcoming the Bidens to the White House. The obligatory photo op meeting in the Oval Office. The two men saying publicly how they plan to cooperate. Trump pledging a seamless transition; Biden promising to ask his predecessor for advice as needs arise. The handshakes, the smiles … or what they refer to in newspaper circles as “grip and grin” photos.

We are getting none of that.

I didn’t expect Trump to offer the traditional concession speech. All I thought we might get would be a gritted-teeth admission that he lost.

My goodness, we have gotten none of it!

The impact of this hideous behavior from the lame-duck president could be devastating on our democracy. Nations around the world are going to look at us with even more skepticism as they watch the outgoing president challenge openly the very fabric of our democratic system of government.

My inclination to look for the good in individuals, even those who don’t necessarily deserve it, has been decimated by the behavior of a man about whom I should have known better.

I am ashamed of myself.

Boorishness lives among GOP

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Boorishness is alive and well — dammit, anyway! — among Republican political leaders.

A Democrat has won an election for president. Do you think there would be any prominent Republican member of Congress who would deign to wish President-elect Joe Biden well as he begins to form a new government? Might there be a tide of good wishes coming from the “loyal opposition”?

One would think. Except that we’re now exiting the Era of Trump, the Sore Loser in Chief whose own brand of boorishness apparently has been spread to others in Capitol Hill.

OK, there are exceptions. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have extended their good wishes; so has Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. George W. Bush, the only living former GOP president, did so, too.

Donald Trump continues his futile attempt to sow discord among the GOP faithful by challenging the election results. He says he won’t concede. His pals in the Senate, led by Lindsey Graham, say a concession would doom the GOP to losses at the presidential election level forever. Good grief!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to say congrats; so has House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. A host of other GOP pols have endorsed Trump’s bogus assertions about widespread fraud and illegality.

President-elect Biden is left, therefore, to proceed apace with his own task of forming a government and getting to work.

We are witnessing yet another national disgrace courtesy of the clown who, thankfully, is about to exit the political stage.

Good … riddance!

Get ready for chaos at the top

Donald J. Trump ran the most unconventional presidential campaign in history.

He is now running the most unconventional presidential transition in most folks’ memory.

Does this all portend the most unconventional presidency, one fraught with chaos and, as Politico reports, “empty desks”?

Let’s all hold on.


The president-elect takes office at noon on Friday. His predecessor will no longer be The Man. That title passes quietly, peacefully and seamlessly (one should hope) to Trump.

But is he ready? There appears to be growing concern that he isn’t. The Trump administration will take office without most of its Cabinet heads confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Indeed, some of them might not be confirmed over questions ranging from lack of knowledge of public education policy, stock purchases of companies that benefit from legislation pursued by a Cabinet nominee and another appointee’s close personal friendship with Vladimir Putin.

National security posts are unfilled. The world is dangerous, jittery and fraught with peril on many fronts. The Trump team hasn’t yet prepared to take its post.

I don’t know about you, but I long have appreciated how previous presidents have assumed power. I have admired the preparation they have completed. Democrats and┬áRepublicans alike all have done their homework. They all have moved cleanly and swiftly to fill key posts. The transition from one administration to another — George W. Bush to Barack Obama, Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton — all have been testaments to the fundamental concept of “peaceful transfer of power” that is so American in nature and scope.

When Democrats hand power over to Republicans — and vice versa — it’s all gone mostly hitch-free.

That feeling is missing in action as Barack Obama prepares to hand the immense power of the presidency to Donald J. Trump.