A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
Ya Think? – Time Magazine has chosen President-elect Donald Trump as its “Person of the Year.” The mag says, “This is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year.” Other contenders for the title included Hillary Clinton, “the hackers”, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Crispr Pioneers and Beyonce. Trump called the title a “tremendous honor.”
Trump Brings Bank – A Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet corporation announced Tuesday it is investing $50 billion in the US and creating 50,000 new jobs. SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son made the announcement standing next to President-elect Donald Trump in the lobby of New York’s Trump Towers. The President-elect said SoftBank’s decision was spurred by his victory in November. Son said the money will be coming from a $100 billion investment fund that he is setting up with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund and other potential partners.
New Administration Picks of the Week
Dr. Ben Carson – President-elect Trump says Dr. Ben Carson is his pick to serve as Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Carson’s compelling personal story as a troubled youngster from inner-city Detroit who grew up to become a renowned neurosurgeon and the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland made him a hero to many conservative Americans during the 2016 primary campaign. Carson earned a full scholarship to Yale University and graduated in 1973 with a B.A. degree in psychology. He then enrolled in the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan, choosing to become a neurosurgeon, and at age 33 became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, earning fame for his groundbreaking work separating conjoined twins.
Scott Pruitt – President-elect Trump is reported to be adding Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to his team, heading Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency. In his capacity as Oklahoma’s chief law enforcement officer, Pruitt has been a key architect of the legal battle against the Obama administration’s climate change policies which Trump has said are overly burdensome and harmful to business.
Linda McMahon – is the President-elect’s pick to serve as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. McMahon is known for co-founding and developing, with her husband Vince, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, formerly WWF until 2002) into a smashing business success. She ran as the GOP candidate for Senate in Connecticut in 2010 against then-State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
Governor Terry Branstad – President-elect Trump is said to be tapping the longest-serving governor in American history to serve as his US ambassador to China. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has extensive ties to China and a personal friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping that dates back decades. Branstad, 70, served as governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999, and again from 2011. Branstad was one of the few and most active “establishment” Republicans to support Trump. His son, Eric, managed Trump’s general election campaign in Iowa, a key battleground state, and Trump carried it in the general election 51 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 42 percent. Assuming confirmation by the Senate, Branstad’s move to Beijing would elevate Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) to the governorship. Reynolds would become Iowa’s first female governor.
General John F. Kelly (US Marine Ret.) – According to widespread media reports, President-elect Trump has tasked this “blunt-spoken border security hawk who clashed with the Obama administration over women in combat and plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay” to lead the third-largest Cabinet agency, the US Department of Homeland Security. Kelly would oversee Trump’s proposed crackdown on illegal immigration and would be responsible for fighting terrorism, enforcing immigration laws and protecting the president. Kelly stands with Trump in wanting to aggressively address drugs, terrorism and other cross-border threats emanating from Mexico and Central and South America.
Biden His Time
It’s the usual busy week for your former US ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, who is spending his up in Canada.
It began in Toronto where the board of Porter Airlines was meeting. As always, it was wonderful to catch up with Porter President and CEO, Bob Deluce. From Toronto it was onto Ottawa where Wilkins is today and looking forward to meetings with US Ambassador Bruce Heyman and US Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Aubin, as well as our great friend David Luxton.
This evening he’s honored to be attending the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau on the occasion of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada’s capital city. The big soiree is being held at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building.
Tigers Eat Turkey
Dedicated Carolina-Canada Connections readers know what’s coming – because, like, you can read. And because you’re reading it here, you know already that Wilkins’ beloved Clemson Tigers football team won their ACC championship title game last Saturday night, besting the Hokies of Virginia Tech by a too-dang-close-for-comfort, 42-35, down in Orlando, Florida.
Celebrate good times! Susan and David Wilkins, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s wife Kathleen, Clemson President Jim Clements and his wife Beth enjoy back-to-back Clemson ACC wins!
The big win means that Clemson moved up a notch in the national college ranking finishing the regular season #2 in the country, behind only the University of Alabama – the same powerhouse that dashed Clemson’s national championship dreams last season. So the Tigers are on the prowl again for the national title and a chance to face Bama again (assuming Alabama win its bowl game against Washington which is a pretty safe bet, although an upset would so rock, just sayin’…) But before any of that can happen, the Tigers have to first face #3 ranked Ohio State December 31 in the Fiesta Bowl all the way across the country in Arizona.
Pundits are giving Ohio State the edge against Clemson. (Editor’s note: Whatever. They also said Trump would lose in a landslide.) But Ohio State doesn’t have Deshaun Watson. Clemson’s star quarterback is reeling in awards this week but the biggest one out there is the Heisman Trophy and Watson, a finalist again this year, finds out Saturday if he wins. We have our fingers crossed for this young man who is outstanding on and off the field.
As always, stay tuned…
They Said What?
- "It means a lot, especially for me growing up reading Time Magazine -- it is a very important magazine,” – President-elect Donald Trump on being named the mag’s “Person of the Year.”
- "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you do read it, you're misinformed," – Actor Denzel Washington, at his new movie premiere, where he took on the mainstream press for selling “BS” and sacrificing accuracy for speed.
- “Fake news is whatever people living in the liberal bubble determine to be believed by the right,” – Washington Free Beacon reporter Bill McMorris on FOX News discussing mainstream press focus on “fake news.”
- “I'm very critical of some of the choices he's already made of the kind of people he's appointing. Those are his choices to make. I do hope he will listen to that popular vote, to the voices out there who did object to a lot of the things he said. He does have the opportunity to bring the country together and I certainly hope that he'll do that,” -- Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook on CNN regarding Trump victory and transition.
- "Donald Trump will be 74, I'll be 77 and in better shape,” – Vice President Joe Biden on Late Night with Stephen Colbert keeping open the possibility that he will run for the White House in four years.
If you are interested in the possibility of having Ambassador Wilkins speak at an event, please contact Christy Cox at Christy.Cox@nelsonmullins.com or call 803.255.9470.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.