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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Donald versus Bill

President Kennedy's 1961 inauguration speech is the hallmark of these quadrennial addresses in my lifetime. His speech was so good that it inspired 14-year-old boys to aspire to become president, and now two of them have become president.

Bill Clinton in 1993.

Donald Trump on Friday.

Kennedy inspired both, but in different ways. Clinton saw the perks. The chicks. The riches. Hyannis Port.

Trump heard the words: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Over the years, Trump exceeded JFK in chicks and money. By far. And if Mar-a-Lago does not top Hyannis Port, then living in a three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue certainly does.

And Bill Clinton's tenure as president was successful. He balanced the budget -- dragged all the way by Newt Gingrich -- and to be fair, his tax hike really replaced Bush 41's tax hike. His welfare reform rocked.

But he could not keep it zipped, could he?

Not that Trump was a choir boy. How could he cheat on Ivana? How could he cheat on Marla? And yet he did.

Still, the only harm was to his company, not his country.

Now at 70, he should have all that out of his system.

Then there is the money. His presidential campaign cost him a bundle. $66 million directly in campaign money, plus the loss of a hit TV show, a Macy's fashion line, and the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageant series.

Reports are mixed as to whether this hurt business at his resorts and hotels, but one thing is sure: he will not be expanding his empire for the next four years.

And that is what economists call an opportunity cost.

Bill Clinton entered public service broke and wound up with $150 million.

Donald Trump entered public service rich and wound up losing $150 million already.

He does not need the money. He already has all the fame and fortune one man can attain. I really truly believe he wants to serve his country first, last, and always.

Is he our Nehemiah, rebuilding our wall?

We shall see how this pans out.


Please read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

It covers the nomination process only. The general election will be covered in a sequel, "Trump the Establishment."

For an autographed copy, email me at

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  1. Is it true? Do we really have a President now that has sacrificed so much of his personal wealth and pledged to devote his full attention and all of his time to actually trying to help our nation and its citizens? If his actions leading up to Inauguration Day are any indicator, we'd all better fasten our seat belts. It's gonna be a helluva ride. I can't wait! - Elric

    1. What's significant is the "New Inclusive". You don't have to pay lip service to this and that and all the other horsesh*t. It's enough to call folks "We Americans", and leave it at that.

  2. "He balanced the budget"

    No, he didn't. All the savings were in the out years.

    1. That is correct. The US national debt increased EVERY YEAR of Clinton's two terms, 1993-2001. In trillions of dollars (rounded): 4.4, 4.7, 5.0, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7. In his second term, the rate of growth of the debt slowed, nonetheless the outstanding debt still grew. When Bush became president in 2001, the annual rate of growth of the debt once again began to increase as a direct result of 9/11 and the downturn in the economy that ensued because of it Outstanding national debt by year, starting in 2001: 5.8T, 6.2T, 6.8T, 7.4T, etc.

  3. Seems to me, the biggest thing about Trump's speech was that it needed no interpretation. Middle America understood every word. Grade school kids could understand every word.

    Where Reagan was folks' "Great Communicator", Trump is President "Plain Spokesman".

  4. The effect of all those clowns marching around inside the Beltway is to amplify Trump's message to middle America outside it.