A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
- Official Washington, along with much of the nation, was rocked this week by news of the unexpected passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday. Justice Scalia, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and had served on the Supreme Court since 1986, was 79-years-old and considered a brilliant jurist by many Americans. Even though both the House and Senate are out of session this week for Presidents' Day recess, many Senators have weighed in on whether or not a potential replacement nominated by President Barack Obama will be confirmed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) immediately said that the “vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Meanwhile, President Obama, who as a Senator attempted to filibuster President George Bush's Supreme Court pick, plans on sending a nomination to the Senate, a move which is supported by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has said he will “wait until the nominee is made” before making any decision on a confirmation hearing in his Committee.
Back With Bush
In-the-know Carolina-Canada Connections readers are well aware that South Carolina is now the center of the US political universe with its first-in-the-South GOP primary vote for the 2016 presidential election coming up this Saturday. (South Carolina Democrats vote February 27.)
That means all the presidential wannabes have been making the Palmetto State their second home and keeping South Carolinians like your former US ambassador to Canada very busy.
David Wilkins is back on the Bush team and proud to be supporting Jeb Bush's campaign for president. Last Friday, he and Susan Wilkins welcomed Jeb and members of the Bush family to their Greenville home.
On Saturday morning, Wilkins and the Bush campaign hit the world famous (at least to every politician who has ever set foot in South Carolina) Tommy’s Country Ham House.
Here's some of what the Greenville News had to report on it under the headline, "Exclusive interview: Bush: 'I think we are going to do fine'":
Austin Jenkins was expecting to see presidential candidates Saturday, but he wasn’t expecting to bump into one at breakfast, especially one he likes.
The 23-year-old student originally from Brevard, North Carolina, stopped for a meal at Tommy’s Country Ham House near downtown Greenville on his way to Jeb Bush and John Kasich rallies in the Golden Strip.
As it turned out, Jenkins didn’t have to wait to see Bush.
The former Florida governor and son and brother of presidents had also decided to eat breakfast at Tommy’s, a traditional campaign stop for candidates competing in South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential preference primary.
At the table with Bush were his children and grandchildren, including his oldest son, George Prescott Bush, land commissioner of Texas.
“I can’t believe it,” Jenkins said after shaking the presidential candidate’s hand. “We knew a lot of the candidates came here, and we’ve eaten here before, and love it.”…
Also with Bush at Tommy’s was Greenville lawyer David Wilkins, a former speaker of the South Carolina House who was appointed U.S. ambassador to Canada by Bush’s brother, former president George W. Bush.
“South Carolina has proven time and again it’s Bush country, and I think we’re going to prove it again,” Wilkins said…
Fortified by a big Tommy's porktastic breakfast, it was onto various campaign rallies and events.
David Wilkins introduces Jeb Bush at a rally in Fountain Inn, South Carolina
GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush with South Carolina supporters including David Wilkins
On Saturday night, of course, was the raucous South Carolina GOP debate, and on Monday, President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush hit the South Carolina stump in support of Jeb. Wilkins was honored to join the former First Couple in Columbia and fly down with them to attend a 3,500-people strong rally in North Charleston. Other dignitaries who attended the big rally included Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Mark Sanford.
The Ws have it! President George W. Bush and David Wilkins in North Charleston this week.
Lady in Red. Laura Bush and David Wilkins stump for Jeb in South Carolina
Wilkins is spending the day tomorrow on the campaign trail with the Bush family – including a very special visitor – former First Lady and First Mother Barbara Bush! They'll be campaigning for Jeb in the South Carolina Upstate – and we'll have all the details for you in the next edition of your CCC. Stay tuned…
The Politics of Energy
Prior to his hitting the campaign trail with the Bush family, your former US ambassador to Canada was talking energy and the value of Canadian oil at an event sponsored by the DC-based media dynamo, Politico.
Wilkins was a panel member participating in the Politico Caucus: Energy and the Election event held at the historic College of Charleston in Charleston, SC last Thursday.
David Wilkins defends the merits of Canadian oil and the Keystone XL pipeline project during a Politico panel in historic Charleston.
The Heartland Institute's Marita Noon covered the event and had this to say about Wilkins' defense of getting our oil from Canada in her February 16 article:
David Wilkins, a former U.S. Ambassador to Canada who has worked on issues such as energy, national security, and the environment, said that voters are “not going to let the environment trump the economy.” He believes there will be a reapplication for the Keystone pipeline and that eventually it will be built. Another insider, Democrat Inez Tenenbaum, disagreed, saying: “people don’t want to be energy dependent.” To which Wilkins quipped: “All the more reason to get oil from our friends.”
They Said What?
- "In terms of the political battle that we're seeing play out right now, the White House is saying the Republicans have no business obstructing a nominee the president puts forward. But I'm asking if the president, as a Senator, participating in a filibuster against a duly elected president's nominee to the Supreme Court. Did the president not lay the groundwork for the Republicans obstructing him on this?" -- MSNBC host Steve Kornacki on then-Senator Obama's filibustering of a Bush Supreme Court nominee versus his demands for a confirmation hearing now that he's president.
- “The s--t will hit the fan. No doubt about it.” – Longtime Clinton friend as quoted by The Hill on what will happen if Hillary Clinton suffers a loss to avowed socialist Bernie Sanders this Saturday in the Nevada Caucuses.
- "He has a very, very highly developed Lizard Brain. He has a feral intelligence. He reminds me of the Emperor Caligula who got his greatest pleasure from destroying his opponents and humiliating them, and he is brilliant at that. But he doesn't know anything about policy, Joe," – Time columnist Joe Klein on MSNBC's Morning Joe regarding his feelings on Donald Trump.
- "I certainly did! And I took his money for my foundation, and used it better than he's using it now, I guarantee you," – Bill Clinton confronting a pro-Donald Trump protester at a Florida rally for Hillary Clinton who interrupted the former president with shouts that Clinton had taken money from Trump.
- "I suspect that if these same deputies walked into a restaurant, and without provocation shot and killed an innocent man, you and your staff would quickly whisk their family away to Washington for a future speech to make an example of police officers nationwide…Mr. President, your silence about these events SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!!...PS: I’ll be standing outside in the cold next week with my deputies for the funerals of the Harford Co deputies; I’ll save you a spot next to me!" – Carroll County Maryland Sheriff James T. DeWees in an open Facebook letter to the president that has gone viral lamenting Obama's silence on the deaths of eight police officers killed in the line of duty in the United States over the past eight days.
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.