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Forum, Dec. 26: Bennet has vision and integrity

Published: 12/31/2019 12:49:33 PM
Modified: 12/31/2019 12:49:16 PM
Bennet has vision and integrity

Granite Staters have a lot of choices in this campaign. But even in a crowded field, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet stands out for his depth of knowledge and authenticity.

As a former Republican and current independent, I’m a great example of Bennet’s ability to appeal to voters in the middle. He has won Senate races in a purple state — an excellent predictor of how he would perform in the swing states we need to beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Some candidates want to bully voters by saying that pragmatic approaches aren’t “bold” enough. But there’s nothing progressive about failing to make progress.

I don’t want my next president to break the bank. What happens when the next recession arrives and we’ve done nothing to reduce our debt? I want focus and honesty. I want someone who can manage a turnaround. Bennet has that experience and more.

As a conservationist, I am encouraged that the first plan he released addresses climate change and permanently protects 30% of America’s lands by 2030. If our next president doesn’t address climate change first, it won’t get done. If we fight over “Medicare-for-All,” we’ll waste the political capital needed to pass climate legislation. We are running out of time, and the birds and wildlife we enjoy in Grantham — and must pass along to our kids — need us to get serious now.

Bennet also has pragmatic proposals to improve health care and education. He would build on the Affordable Care Act to lower costs and increase coverage, without taking private insurance away from those who like their current plans. He has called for universal preschool, so kids from all economic backgrounds will enter the K-12 system ready to reach their full potential. He has never forgotten the families he served as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools; his agenda is designed to support families like them.

Bennet is campaigning the New Hampshire way — spending time here, listening, answering every question. He’ll serve our country with integrity and vision. I hope you’ll join me in supporting him.



The bread crumbs lead to the Kremlin

Now that we know what our president has done, we must ask why. Why has he been so driven to pursue a gambit that was sure to create a scandal and do nothing to help his chances for reelection? Did he think he needed to have an impeachment trial in order to stay in office?

Of course not. Nor did he need to put the squeeze on Ukraine. I submit that the answer is to be found in the Kremlin, and in the president’s relationship with Paul Manafort. From recent news accounts, it is evident this where the bread crumbs lead.

Before Manafort was campaign adviser to Donald Trump, he was adviser to the president of Ukraine and friendly to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Before that he was an adviser to the Kremlin, where he went to seek his fortune in the heydays of the post-Soviet era. While neither he nor Putin is in a position to ensure that Trump wins reelection, it would be safe to assume that both know things about him that could get him “unelected.” Need I mention the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow? Or his loans from Deutsche Bank, which is awash in Russian money?

Manafort now faces spending the rest of his life in prison. He wants a presidential pardon. But the president does not want to incur the political cost of giving him one, unless that cost comes down. It would if he could claim that both Manafort and the Russians were framed by evil Ukrainians friendly to Democrats and hostile toward him. This is what Trump has Rudy Giuliani working on. And why with such zeal? Because if Manafort’s hopes for a pardon fade with Trump’s fortunes, then Manafort will sing. And Putin will provide the accompaniment.

This is why Trump and his “lawyer” are working so hard to do the Kremlin’s bidding, by discrediting the Mueller investigation, the FBI investigation into Russian election interference and the Manafort conviction, and by weakening Ukraine, thereby forcing it into an agreement with Russia on the Kremlin’s terms.



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