Old Men, Old Tricks
President-elect Trump’s recent kerfuffle-making call to the president of Taiwan wasn’t such a newbie gaffe after all.
Turns out that former US senator and failed presidential candidate turned lobbyist Bob Dole was behind the call in his role as a once and former power-broker.
Dole receives $25,000 a month to lead the Taiwanese charge in DC as does fellow former congressional members Dick Gephart and Tom Daschle.
Taiwan has the bases covered.
Get’s Him Out of the House?
Dole, at 93, is cashing in on his contacts and access.
I’m sure with that paltry Congressional pension he needs the money.
And, he’s happy to tell you about it.
From the Times,Â â€œItâ€™s fair to say that we had some influence,â€ he said. â€œWhen you represent a client and they make requests, youâ€™re supposed to respond.â€
Dole has apparently and quite easily made the full and complete transition from elder statesman to a lobbyist well paid to represent a country other than his own; a selling of the soul, of sorts.
The Clifford Way?
Some will recall the seedy and catastrophic downfall of Clark Clifford, quintessential insider and adviser to presidents, who in his dotage, came under the sway of some Arab investors, for a tidy sum, of course.
Clifford, an adviser to US presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter, ended his public life in disgrace after his leadership role in the BCCI scandal.
He told a reporter for the Times, “I have a choice of either seeming stupid or venal.”
Dole, not accused of any crime, nevertheless is trading on his former statesmanship as he gives the lie to Trump’s pledge to clean up Washington.
Can Trump really be serious about that clean-up if as his opener he makes a phone call on behalf of a $300,000 dollar-a-year lobbyist?
Odds are not.
Before he ever enters the White House Trump is clearly indicating that he plays by “power broker” rules where influence, rather than what is right for America, is what really counts.