In about a week, Twitter will unlock the US President’s @POTUS account and turn it over to Joe Biden. What will he say?
Twitter kicked Donald Trump off its platform last week. His personal @realDonaldTrump account went first, @POTUS soon after. Biden gets @POTUS with a fresh start.
Biden will have 240 characters to get his message across. That is the length of the first two paragraphs of this post. But Biden shouldn’t need that much in his first tweet. In fact, he could get by with only one character:
Any other ideas about what he should tweet?
You almost have to feel sorry for Condé Nast. The publisher of popular high end magazines has been in the middle of diversity controversies since last spring. Then one of their titles does a story on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and it’s not really a success. This week another title featured VP-elect Kamala Harris and it went even worse.
To be fair, the AOC debacle wasn’t really Condé Nast’s fault. The October issue of their Vanity Fair magazine ran her photo on the cover. She looked good and was dressed to the nines. The problem was she should have been dressed to the fives or sixes instead – a better fit to AOC’s persona as a gritty street-fighting politician.
Agreeing to be on the cover of a high end magazine looking like a limo liberal a few weeks before the election wasn’t a really smart move on AOC’s part. The internet was not happy. She took the primary hits but Condé Nast suffered collateral damage.
You would have thought the publisher would avoid politicians at that point. But the opportunity to put Harris on the February cover of their Vogue title was apparently too big of a scoop to pass up.
Harris approved the clothes and photos, but of course, it still went south. Vogue chose the ‘wrong’ photo for the cover. Harris was dressed to the sixes and should have been dressed to the nines. And her complexion looked bleached. “And, and, and,” bleated the internet.
Here’s what Condé Nast should do. Turn their focus to the front line covid workers. The nurses and doctors working insane shifts to cope with the holiday surges. They show up in medical scrubs, work their tails off, and collapse home in PJs or sweats. They don’t get a chance to dress normal, never mind dress up.
Condé Nast can fix this. It can send teams out to medical centers all over the country. Offer the covid heros an opportunity to take a break from their work and look and feel beautiful again. Dress them. Photograph them. Put them on their magazine covers for a month but keep the program going at least until covid is over.
Leave the clothes, make-up, etc. with the health workers. Emily Blunt won’t mind.
During his presidency, Donald Trump was a picture of perfect health, other than a quick Covid bout. If the overweight seventy year old had anything wrong with him, we didn’t know about it. To be fair, the President’s health could be considered a state secret, so fine.
Once he’s out of office, he will face a slew of indictments and lawsuits. Trump’s response to legal challenges has always been the same: deny, obstruct and delay (and when all of that fails, surrender quietly).
Health issues are a time-worn tactic to delaying legal proceedings. It will be interesting to see how many ailments Trump comes up with once he has to go to court.
It isn’t going to take much to identify the Proud Boys and other people that invaded the US Capitol buildings yesterday. Few of them wore masks, there was plenty of camera footage and most of them probably put selfies on social media.
No, the question is not going to be who did it. The question is going to be whether Donald Trump pardons them on his way out the door. On the one hand, these folks are the ‘foot soldiers’ of his political movement. He pardoned the ‘generals’ – Roger Stone and Paul Manafort – so it would look bad if he abandoned his regular troops. Who would go into battle for him again?
On the other hand, Trump cannot pardon folks without knowing their names. So if law enforcement really wants to go after the invaders, they would be wise to keep their names secret until Jan 20 when Joe Biden takes over.
Unless, of course, Trump is impeached or relieved of his duties before then.
A few days ago, someone finally asked Brad Raffensperger what everyone wants to know: “Would you vote for Donald Trump again?”
As Georgia’s Secretary of State, Raffensperger has been assailed and bullied by Trump for not finding a bogus reason to tilt the election in his favor. Still, he avoided answering the question, stating simply that “I support Republicans — I always have and I probably always will.”
Raffensperger’s circumspection might have been to avoid any appearance of influencing the runoff elections for Georgia’s senators. But that voting is over. Someone ought to put it to Raffensperger again, especially considering the Trump-supported activities in Washington this afternoon.
The question should be a bit different, though.
“Do you really still think Donald Trump is the kind of person that should be President?”
Have you noticed how Ted Cruz is now the de-facto face of the senators against democracy? A week ago it was only Senator Josh Hawley who was against the ceremonial certification of the presidential election results. Then a number of other senators signed on and all of the sudden the news is all Cruz.
The Donald Trump years must have been hard for Cruz. Other than Trump, there is no Republican politician more narcissistic and ready to recklessly blow stuff up than Cruz. And one could argue that Trump is not really a Republican, which leaves Cruz in first place. He was Trump’s strongest competitor in the 2016 primaries.
One explanation for Cruz muscling his way into the media spotlight is that he wants to get Trump’s base behind him when he runs for Senate again in 4 years. The more Cruz-like explanation is that he figures Trump is toast and wants to inherit his mantle when he runs for president in 2024.
Cruz probably figures that after Trump leaves office his legal troubles are going to pile on. The pile will be so deep that even Trump will be damaged goods, maybe even a convicted felon. Cruz is preparing to assume the role of bomb-thrower-in-chief.
Either way, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Is America’s Secret Service getting better at keeping secrets? During Barack Obama’s time the president’s security detail kept the scandals coming: strip clubs, prostitutes, drinking themselves into a stupor. The last incident happened a few months into Donald Trump’s presidency. Then they completely stopped.
One school of thought is that the Secret Service cleaned up its act. Changed its culture. Got rid of the overly macho agents who made bad choices.
Anyone that has experience with turning an institution’s culture around might be a bit skeptical of this. Especially if it is a quasi military institution like the Secret Service. They might just think that the agents simply got better at keeping their secrets.
If the second alternative is true, it might have been pretty handy for Trump. Here’s a guy who fancied himself as a ladies man his whole life. Being married didn’t stop him from wanting and having other women. Do we really think that he was able to turn his personal culture around on a dime when he moved into the White House? And stay faithful to his often absent wife for 4 long years?
Maybe he and the Secret Service came to an arrangement. Maybe he cut a deal with them. “Take care of me like you took care of John Kennedy – not the Dallas part but the secret staircase Marilyn Monroe part. In exchange, I’ll look the other way when you guys have your fun. As long as you get smart about it.”
We will probably never know. For now.
[UPDATE DEC 31, 2020] Joe Biden is reportedly replacing some of Trump’s Secret Service agents. Maybe he knows something we don’t.
Did anyone start a pool? The question was not whether Donald Trump would pardon Charles Kushner, but when it would happen. This was noted a few months into Donald Trump’s presidency – just sayin’.
Jared Kushner may be Jewish, but one can assume that he and his father will enjoy this Christmas present anyway.