We often say more by saying less. In a January interview, MPR’s Gary Eichten raised the question, “Do you think he (Trump) is being blackmailed?” Eichten asked. “Yes,” I answered. My one-word answer attracted more interest and comments from listeners than all my long-winded commentaries over the years on MPR combined.
Last week, MPR’s Tom Weber read the quote back to me from a transcript of the interview and asked if I still thought Putin was blackmailing Trump. My answer was and still is, “yes.” Allow me to expand a bit on my answer and address two questions: What might the Russians have on Trump? Why does Putin want or need anything on Trump? Continue reading
In the aftermath of the first debate of the 2016 presidential campaign, I found myself with two colleagues, Barbara Frey of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, and Hicham Bou Nassif, Political Science, Carleton College on MPR in a special “in depth” edition of Kerry Miller’s “International Roundtable.” We had a problem with our assigned task: Commentary and analysis of the role of foreign policy in the debate. The reason was simple and obvious. There was little discussion of foreign policy in the first one-to-one exchange between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. She took a predictable swipe at Trump’s support for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump had an opportunity to change the image that he has no competence in foreign affairs. Well, let us say, he instead showed his propensity for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Our conversation with Kerri Miller thus had to shift gears from what did not happen in the debate to what international challenges could happen to test the next president and shape his or her administration and place in history. Here’s the link to the conversation. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/09/30/roundtable-foreign-policy Continue reading