Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Trade Issues

Buddy Roemer elbows into a crowded GOP presidential field


Charles Elson "Buddy" Roemer III is running for the GOP nomination for president.

Outside of Louisiana -- where Shreveport-born Roemer was a four-term member of Congress in the early to mid-'80s, and the state's one-term 52nd governor back in the late '80s and early '90s -- the response of most GOP voters would probably be, "Who?"

Of course, that's the same reaction many had to the candidacy of Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, but at least he had recent appearances on C-SPAN and Fox News' "RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld" to his credit. The 67-year-old Roemer has been out of politics since attempting a gubernatorial comeback in 1995, working in finance and banking (as befits a Harvard MBA).

These days, the only excitement over a Louisiana governor running for the Republican nod would be if the statehouse's present occupant, Bobby Jindal, jumped in -- and there's no indication of that.

Roemer's announcement at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on Thursday was under the motto of "Free to Lead" -- which he is, as is everybody else in the race, since none of the announced candidates is incarcerated or a convicted felon.

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Weekly remarks: GOP's John Hoeven says trade pacts would spur new jobs; Obama salutes Father's Day

Capitol Hill

Weekly remarks by Sen. John Hoeven, as provided by Republican Party leadership

Hi, I’m Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, and I’d like to talk to you today about our nation’s fiscal challenges –- in particular, about the vital role that international trade can play to help us create jobs and reduce our deficit.

Almost exactly one hundred years ago, at the start of another century, President Theodore Roosevelt launched a U.S. Navy mission known as the Great White Fleet on a voyage around the world.

It was a show of American strength, but it was also a show of American goodwill and prosperity. That voyage would open the doors of trade with the vast, untapped markets of Asia, and help usher in what became known as the ‘American Century.’

President Roosevelt’s leadership put the world on notice that the United States of America -- with the freest, most dynamic economy the world had ever seen -- was open for business.

It’s a legacy felt to this day -- but a legacy now in jeopardy.

We’re all keenly aware of just how serious our nation’s current fiscal situation is. No....

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Donald Trump in Vegas: 'Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people'

Donald Trump in Las Vegas Donald Trump dealt a series of F-bombs during a speech Thursday night in Las Vegas where he condemned the president specifically and policymakers as a whole.

"Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people," the billionaire told an audience of approximately 1,000 people at the Treasure Island hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip hosted by several Republican women's groups.

The real estate mogul and television producer continued his battle cry of taking oil from countries after we have defeated them in battle.

"In the old days, when you won the war, it was yours," Trump said, earning applause from the crowd. "When we win a war … we leave with nothing."

Regarding Asia, Trump said they should be honoring the United States with tributes as well.

"I'd say to South Korea, 'All those televisions you sell us, all the billions you make — we're going to protect you and make sure you're in good shape, but you're going to pay for it,'" he proclaimed. "You know something, they would do it in two minutes."

And China? Trump says there's no benefit trying to be a good neighbor environmentally if halfway around the world the most-favored nation is mucking up the air.

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With Obama in Brazil and Biden fundraising, U.S. voters give them record low approval on the economy

the Obamas visit the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio 3-20-11

A new national poll finds American voters give President Obama a record low approval for his handling of the U.S. economy.

With barely 19 months left until the next presidential election, fewer than 1 in 3 American voters approve of the Obama administration's economic job.

Strange too because, even during the president's relentless drive to pass his massive healthcare legislation, the Democrat said the economy and creating jobs was his top priority. So important is the economy that Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to drive the stimulating $787-billion spending plans that were to keep unemployment below 8%, instead of around 9% and 10%.

Fourteen months ago when angry Massachusetts voters elected their first ....

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The new Obama to the Chamber of Commerce: Government regulations can be your friend

Obama Chamber speech 2-7-11

A rural Texas sheriff once confided that nothing quite focused his attention so quickly as someone shooting at him.

The same, rhetorically, goes for any president seeking a possible reelection in 638 days at an estimated cost of $1 billion. That means he needs to raise on average about $1.6 million every single day, starting actually this past morning.

So President Obama, who made so much political hay bashing the country's greedy, evil, job-cutting, bonus-sucking business cabals these past 748 days, began re-wooing the same crowd today, with a 34-minute 4,600-word explanation.

Call it Day One of Obama 2.0, as we predicted here last month.

He began by dragging out every conceivable administration aide with business involvement. This included, of course, new Chief of Staff William Daley, the investment banker, who is....

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Obama on Canada: Yeah, yeah, we're great friends. Now, about Egypt....

a house in northern Canada

Remarks and answers by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper, as provided by the White House

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everyone. Please be seated. I am very pleased to be welcoming my great friend and partner, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, back to the White House to reaffirm our extraordinary friendship and cooperation between the United States and Canada. I’d like to talk a bit about what we accomplished today, and then address the situation unfolding in Egypt.

The United States and Canada are not simply allies, not simply neighbors; we are woven together like perhaps no other two countries in the world. We’re bound together by our societies, by our economies, by our families -- which reminds me my brother-in-law’s birthday is today and I have to call him. [Laughter.]

And in our many meetings together I’ve come to value Stephen’s candor and his focus on getting results, both when it comes to our two countries and to meeting global challenges. Although I, unfortunately, have not yet had the pleasure of seeing him and his band jam to the Rolling Stones —- but I’m told the videos have become a sensation on YouTube. So I'll be checking those out after this bilateral.  [Laughter.]     

We’ve had a very successful day. Our focus has been on how we increase jobs and economic growth on....

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Obama-Hu White House summit today, but Americans not so sure about this friendly China stuff

China Flags in Washington DC 1-18-11

Big state doings at the White House today.

China's President Hu Jintao is still in town, and President Obama is laying on all the ceremonial trappings for the head of America's largest creditor nation. They're even bringing out Joe Biden's wife, Jill, to greet him.

And another one of those expensive-gowned Obama state dinners tonight for the Chinese leader. Will the Salahis try again? And will dignitaries be hungry again a half-hour after they eat?

There's a phony official welcoming ceremony set for the White House this morning; the presidents had dinner and spent most of the evening together there Tuesday. All kinds of meetings all day among diplomats and business people, including a prestigious private meeting between the two presidents in the Oval Office with a media visit. Whoo, big stuff, symbolically speaking. (And yes, Joe will be allowed into that one too.)

Obama watchers will recall that Britain's then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown wasn't important ....

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Social media wrap: Schwarzenegger pumps up Russia's Silicon Valley 'gold mine'

Great things happen “when one and one become three,” California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a delegation of Moscow business leaders on Monday. 

He wasn’t talking about California’s recent budget deal, but Russia’s “Silicon Valley” of Skolkovo, which he also called a “gold mine” during a four-day trade mission to the former superpower. 

Speaking about Russia’s entrepreneurialism, business climate and technological nous, Schwarzenegger was giddy as a schoolgirl on his first visit to Moscow in 20 years, judging by the stream of tweets and pictures he posted to his Twitter account, including one of the governor and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lifting weights. 

Medvedev, a stern and austere tweeter as the Ticket has previously noted, matched ...

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Social media wrap: Cameron and Bloomberg: British bulldog meets New York hot dog


British Prime Minister David Cameron’s stiff upper lip cut the mustard with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday as the two chowed down on some of the city’s famous street hot dogs.

It was a whistlestop tour of NYC for Cameron, who in days previous had been given some royal treatment by President Obama in a prestigious Oval Office meeting and a subsequent grilling by four senators who are exploring links between gulf oil spill company BP and the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi.

In New York, Cameron also had a “meeting of minds” with U.N. leader Ban Ki-Moon – which comes on the back of his “violent agreement” with Obama -- and then finished off with a powwow with Wall Street’s elite tier of banking executives. (Cameron posted on Facebook that he’s changing British foreign policy to more directly promote the interests of British companies abroad -- presumably including BP.)

Bloomberg, meanwhile, posted a pic of the two polishing off some street food:

"Enjoyed a perfect NYC lunch today: A street hot dog with UK Prime Minister David Cameron" David_cameron_ban_ki_moon

Cameron – or an aide – feverishly tweeted interviews and pictures and video of the U.K. premier’s visit, which is intended to welcome Cameron’s arrival on the international stage. Bloomberg later laid on a celeb-filled bash for Cameron whose guests included Whoopi Goldberg, Katie Couric, Diane von Furstenberg, Newt Gingrich and Rupert Murdoch.

It’s not all been plain sailing for Cameron on his first visit Stateside in an official capacity. He drew the ire of the Brits by saying that the U.K. was a “junior partner” in the Allied partnership that defeated Nazi Germany, and on the home front, his partner in government, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, drew flak in Parliament for suggesting that the Iraq war was illegal. Both gaffes spurred a slew of clarifications. 

Cameron also refused to order a review into the Megrahi case despite American pressure – although during his presser with Obama he did condemn Megrahi’s release on health grounds last year from a Scottish prison -- while the Scottish government said in a letter to the U.S. that BP had not lobbied them for Megrahi’s release.

The issue remains a biting one for U.S. senators including Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (who tweeted her intention to grill Cameron) who have organized hearings scheduled for next week on a so-called “deal in the desert” allegedly struck between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Libya’s President Moammar Kadafi. Cameron so far has not sought to blame the previous U.K. administration for any such apparent wranglings.

In his 10 weeks since taking the Conservatives back into power in the U.K. after 13 years in the wilderness – albeit in a coalition government with unlikely partners the Liberal Democrats -- Cameron has launched austerity measures that contrast painfully with Obama’s stimulus plans, showing that the U.S.-U.K. “special relationship” is still largely in a state of flux after deteriorating markedly under Cameron’s predecessor, Gordon Brown. Cameron even flew to the U.S. on a commercial flight, apparently saving the British taxpayer more than $300,000. (A third of a million dollars buys a whole lot of tea, apparently.)  

He may be eating hot dogs with Bloomberg and chowing down with America’s elite, but this British bulldog so far has shown he’s no Yankee-poodle.

-- Craig Howie

Photo (top): David Cameron, left, and Michael Bloomberg. Credit: Getty Images.

Photo (inset): David Cameron and Ban-Ki-Moon. Credit: Getty Images

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Social media wrap: The Great (polling) Divide: Arizona immigration vs politicians' approval ratings


A gulf wider than any border-protection measure has emerged between low approval ratings for our nation’s political ruling class and rising support for Arizona’s response to illegal immigration.

A new poll tweeted by Rasmussen Reports on Wednesday finds that while 26% of respondents said they are embarrassed by Arizona and its behavior, about 62% said they are not. But 59% said they are embarrassed by the nation’s “political class” and its behavior, while 23% said they are not.

By a 3-to-1 margin, the poll results conclude, respondents see the political class as a greater threat to the nation than laws such as the one passed recently in Arizona. Just 31% said the U.S. is heading in the right direction, Rasmussen tweeted later. 

That’s a tough poll to swallow for the Democratic Party and, in particular, the current administration, which has sued to prevent – or delay significantly -- Arizona from enacting legislation that many see as....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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