The topics dominating the discussion about the Republican primary for president – Rick Perry’s inability to recall the details of his own campaign proposal and the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain – may be captivating, but they don’t tell us what we need to determine who is best equipped to serve in the Oval Office.
Sure, we’d like our leaders to be pillars of virtue, but there have been some very effective presidents, governors and mayors whose personal lives were not exactly role models. Likewise, Perry’s gaffe in the CNBC debate was downright embarrassing, but should our judgments on the next leader of the free world be based on a 53-second YouTube moment? There must be better ways to gauge who would be a good president. Continue reading
My op-ed on the GOP primary and the way we pick presidents in our country was published in today’s Buffalo News.
To read it, click here.
For full disclosure purposes, Joe Doria gave me my first job in government communications – as a press staffer for the N.J. Assembly Democrats when he was Assembly Speaker.
That caveat aside, it was gratifying to learn that the FBI’s July 23, 2009, raid of Doria’s home failed to turn up evidence to charge the longtime state official with any crime. And while it was a nice and unusual gesture for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to issue a letter indicating that it would not file any charges, the letter hardly rectifies an extremely unfair series of actions.
A full year and half before the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued its letter, the Star-Ledger’s Bob Braun reported that federal authorities had proceeded with the raid even though they already had learned that Doria had not accepted a bribe as had been alleged. According to Braun, a key witness had told federal authorities: “Joe Doria never saw a dime and never asked for a dime.”
Nevertheless, the FBI raided Doria’s Bayonne home and took several boxes, he immediately resigned as N.J. Community Affairs Commissioner (at the request of then-Gov. Jon Corzine), and he has lived under a cloud of sorts for over two years.
The letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office may have removed that cloud, but as another well-known New Jerseyan, former U.S. Labor Secretary Ray Donovan, said after he was exonerated of corruption charges: “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?”
It’s no secret that the manner in which news and information flows from political leaders to the citizenry has changed radically over the past few years – and Governor Christie’s post-budget day schedule provides a prime example of that change.
In years gone by, governors, presidents, even mayors would follow up their major speeches, such as budget addresses and States of the State, with a series of public events and photo ops to drive home the main points and new initiatives contained in the speech.
On the day after Tuesday’s budget address, however, Christie had only two events on his public schedule – -a 7:05 a.m. inthttps://richleeonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/a-sign-of-the-times/erview on NBC’s The Today Show, followed by a 7:30 a.m. interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
It’s not hard to argue with the Governor’s logic. Given the cutbacks that have diminished personnel and resources for New Jersey’s news outlets, Christie probably reached far more New Jerseyans by appearing on two national television programs than he would have had he conducted three or four public events. He also didn’t hurt his national reputation since the shows gave him national exposure.
Christie is not the first New Jersey governor to take advantage of the national talk shows. His predecessor, Jon Corzine, was a frequent guest on several popular programs which also allowed him to reach large numbers of New Jerseayns who were among the viewing audiences.
Barack Obama did not become President of the United States by conventional means.
And if he is re-elected to a second term in 2012, it won’t be by conventional means either.
This became apparent this week when he reached agreement with congressional Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000. Continue reading
As we celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, it’s a good time to note that Chris Christie quoted Lincoln at the end of his inauguration speech in January:
When Abraham Lincoln came to New Jersey in February of 1861, awaiting his swearing in as president of a nation on the verge of rupture, he said while visiting the people of Newark: “Without the people I cannot hope to succeed; with them I cannot fail.”
So today, the time for change has arrived. Today, change is here. And I ask not only for God’s blessing, but for your help.
Christie was not the first New Jersey Governor to Continue reading
After taking the oath of office, the first official act for presidents, governors and other elected officials is to give a speech.
Inauguration speeches, which mark the beginning of a term in office, tend to be positive, upbeat and optimistic.
Unlike the discourse that takes place during election campaigns, Continue reading