“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.”
― Margaret Thatcher
Is there anything that gets the tear ducts fuller than meeting your grandchild for the first time? Well, those of you who aren't old enough to be a grandparent can't answer that question. But I can, times two in fact because I met Cooper, to the left, and, as Chris calls her, The Divine Miss Em(ma), below, this weekend.
I can't stop smiling.
Part of the reason I can't stop smiling is that I'm so happy for my daughter who is....a mother? How did THAT happen? Well, I know how it happened, but ..well, how did I get three daughters old enough to have two children each? And, two of the other grandsons are graduating from high school this year. So, I have range -- two grandsons who are 18 and two grandchildren who are four weeks and two days old.
If you look closely, Coop has his hands in a position that looked like -- well, I don't know what they were doing, but it was, funny, or is that because he's my grandson? Emma, below, is just well, what's the right word? Oh yeah, perfect. After five grandsons, Emma is the first granddaughter. And she is delicious. I have no other point to this post -- except to say, I can't wait for the next visit.
So, Mark Sanford won his primary down in South Carolina the other day.
Let’s recap: When Sanford was serving as governor of that state, what most would consider a job with considerable and daily responsibilities, he told his staff and constituents that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail and would be out of touch for a few days. His chief of staff could not reach him, despite trying nearly a dozen times. He didn't contact his family, even though his disappearance included Father's Day. His security detail did not know where he was. People worried if he was alive.
Well, he was so alive he actually was spending a few days with his South American mistress, in Argentina. (I knew the Appalachian Trail was long, but not that long). His wife, who had run his election campaigns successfully over the years, moved out of the governor’s mansion, and eventually divorced him. He also reimbursed the state some money because he used public funds to pay his travel expenses for a previous trip to Argentina and other personal matters. Oh, and the state legislature considered impeaching him but didn’t. They did, however,
censure him. His political career seemed over including what some thought could
result in a presidential campaign someday. This all occurred four years ago.
So he gets engaged to his Argentine mistress and runs in the primary for a Congressional seat that opened when the incumbent accepted a gubernatorial appointment to the U.S. Senate. The other day, Sanford won that primary. (Don’t ask me how but it’s South Carolina and you have to live there to begin to understand that state politically). Now, he will be running against the Democratic nominee, who happens to be the sister of the popular comedian Steve Colbert. So what already was an interesting race because of Sanford’s antics gets more interesting because it’s Colbert’s sister, and you can expect the comedian to hit the campaign trail with her.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
There's a piece by the Associated Press about the Obama White House's handling of media relations. Summed up (but you can read it in full here - http://newsle.com/article/0/67931347/): This White House is leveraging social media to the max, and cutting way back on opening events to even a small press pool, which has always been the standard. Their defense: Everyone can access the White House-controlled coverage via the web and judge for themselves. The alternative arguement: It eliminates objective observation by trained folks in the media. Take yer choice on which you prefer.
Me? A little bit of both, please. Having worked in the White House Press Office, I fully understand the lure of not having the media second-guess, highlight gaffes, and more. As a citizen, I do want someone other than the ones making the news telling me what the news is (feels a little Soviet Russia to me). I can get plenty of viewpoints on cable TV or the web. I agree with my old friend Mike McCurry, President Clinton's press secretary and one of the best, who says in the article:
"I never would have dreamed of in terms of restricting access for independent news organizations.What gets lost are those revealing moments when the president's held accountable by the representatives of the public who are there in the form of the media."
It may feel good when you're on the White House press staff, but it isn't good for democracy.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2302692/How-Obama-blocking-reporters-wrapping-bubble-exercise-ultimate-control-public-image.html#ixzz2PJoArJi8
B. Jay Cooper
B. Jay is a former deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He also headed the communications offices at the Republican National Committee, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Yale University. He is a former reporter and is the retired deputy managing director of APCO Worldwide's Washington, D.C., office.