Holy land of the living! What a week in presidential election news. Can you feel the electricity and the tension?
Ben Carson: Chest Full of Ribbons and Story Full of Holes
Needing no further preamble, let us jump right into this Politico story about Ben Carson and his claim in his biography, “Gifted Hands,” that he had dinner with a “very prominent Viet Nam (sic) War” General William Westmoreland, and was “later offered a full scholarship to West Point.” First, who edited Carson’s book? Whoever it was chose to leave out any kind of explanation or context with regards to Gen. Westmoreland himself, and second, here in America we spell it “Vietnam!” Third, who let him get away with writing that he had a “chest full” of ribbons—from JROTC!—while marching in a parade? Good grief.
Politico did its research on Carson’s claim, and—low and behold—found that he was never offered a scholarship to the United States Military Academy at West Point, nor did he ever apply to the school. Carson’s campaign admitted the same in response to the Politico story, and one can already hear the apologists on the right, and the pitchfork-wielding elites on the left, gearing up for a good ‘ole fashioned political takedown/defense of the neurosurgeon-cum-presidential candidate. Maybe he deserves to sweat this one a little bit? He clearly fabricated that story, and thus must explain himself. And those ROTC ribbons, sheesh. We will keep you apprised of the developments. Moving on.
The Trump Show
Donald Trump has been busy this past week, spending his own money on campaign radio ads for the first time, and setting debate terms on his own terms. According to a Washington Post story, Trump is negotiating separately from the other Republican candidates to set the rules for the future Republican debates. In what could be called a scab-like move, if you are a union guy, Trump is refusing to present a united front with the other GOP candidates, and feels he can, by himself, control the environment—literally, even the air temperature—in the Republican debates. His intransigence amongst his fellow Republicans has already led to John Kasich and Chris Christie also pulling out of the group effort to control the debates, and it seems Republicans are forgetting that age-old adage about hanging together or hanging separately.
The Christie Chronicles, Part I
Speaking of Chris Christie, holy smokes! It has been a roller coaster week for the oft-cantankerous, and yet frequently jolly, former prosecutor and governor. First, Christie’s heartfelt speech to a local tavern crowd in New Hampshire, on the dangers of drug addiction and the need for compassion in the treatment of addicts, went certifiably viral—chalking up millions of views on Facebook and beyond. Really, it is a beautiful speech and accompanying sentiment, one that espouses the virtue of being pro-life for the whole life. It is worth watching.
The Christie Chronicles, Part II
On the downside, Christie did not make the cut for the next big debate on the Fox Business Network. His poll numbers were just not high enough, sadly, so missing from that main stage will be this now-viral video star and first-rate debater. Seems like something is off in this system of debating, right? Maybe “The Donald” has a point. Regardless, Christie is maintaining a brave demeanor, and says “no matter”—he will debate anywhere, anytime, with anyone. I like his chutzpah. Keep on truckin’, big man.
That Other Party
So, moving on to less interesting fare, the Democratic candidates are planning to hold a round table with Rachel Maddow soon (yawn); that’s sure to be some gripping and hard-hitting back and forth! Despite a minor skirmish between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over “shouting” (again, boring), not much is going on over there in the Clinton Show, er, I mean, Democratic Party primary contest. When you clear the decks for one candidate, DNC, you don’t get much of a show, I suppose.
Where Are You, John Kasich? (Still)
Finally, in our recurring segment, if anyone can tell me what John Kasich was up to this week, that would be great.
Campaign on, everyone!
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)