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Posts published in “Day: December 28, 2020”

Biden’s cabinet


Not that it’s a surprise, but the Biden appointments include nods to identity politics from the Left, but also “Deep State” internationalists and at least two nominees with Blaine County ties to Ketchum/Sun Valley.

We’re mostly a get-away location for these folks and you’re not likely to find them as disguised incognitoes in the Costco or Walmart isles of Twin Falls or Pocatello. Their politics are decidedly liberal and they’ve been part of Biden’s circle for years.

One is former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry who with his wife Theresa Heinz Kerry, have a home in Ketchum, one of several mansion residences. Kerry was the Democratic nominee for President in 2004 and then Secretary of State in the Obama administration. He has recently been nominated by Joe Bidden to lead the administration’s efforts on climate change.

The columnist and former governor Mike Huckabee quipped that Biden picked Kerry because he mistook him for a tree. Humm. He does look sort of craggy. But both Kerry and his wife have long been active in environmental causes, so there’s logic in the appointment, which doesn’t need Senate confirmation.

The other appointment with Blaine County ties is Antony Blinken, who is Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State and the nephew of Wood River Valley resident Alan Blinken, who ran for the US Senate against Larry Craig in 2002. Craig won the contest. Alan Blinken hosted a fundraiser for Biden in the recent campaign.

Both Alan Blinken and Donald Blinken, the nominee’s father, served as American ambassadors in the Clinton administration, Donald in Hungary and Alan in Belgium. (Idaho Press, 11/23) The Blinken family has long ties to investment banking in New York and were part of Clinton’s fundraising circle. Reminds us of the supposed exchange between writers F. Scott FitzGerald and Ernest Hemingway, in which FitzGerald muses that the rich are different from you and me. To which Hemingway replies, “Yes, they have more money.”

Antony Blinken, the nominee for Secretary of State, has a long history of working with Biden as both a staffer and foreign policy advisor in the Obama administration. But he’s not only “son of diplomats” to rise in American foreign policy.

In the 1780s, John Quincey Adams, then a teenager, accompanied his father John Adams, on diplomatic missions in Europe on behalf the American Revolution. He e He took to diplomatic service so well that President George Washington appointed him as an ambassador while in his mid-twenties, and he later served as Secretary of State as well as our sixth president.

Following that, Adams served in Congress for twenty years where he was an outspoken opponent of slavery. He successfully argued the Amistad case before the US Supreme Court in 1841, which opened legal avenues for ending slavery. He’s considered of America’s best Secretaries of State.

Blinken’s experience and wide connections in Washington, DC are likely to secure him Senate approval as Biden’s Secretary of State, despite the contentious election and its aftermath. Presidents normally are given deference in Cabinet nominees, unless the individual has significant negatives.

But other Biden cabinet nominees are likely to face close scrutiny. One of Trump’s key campaign points in 2016 and 2020 is that an entrenched Washington bureaucracy dating from both the Clinton and Obama administrations has undermined American interests at home and abroad by placing foreign interests above our own.

The new Biden cabinet includes a number of such “Deep State” internationalists, as well as carefully-picked minority and identity politics nominees. That was probably inevitable with a Biden victory; after all, he served with little distinction in Washington for decades, relying on connections and long-term friendships. And at 78 he is unlikely to go much beyond his known circle from his Clinton and Obama years.

Biden’s business ties to foreign companies and governments through his son Hunter were successfully buried by much of the press; they are now coming to light, and they put the lie to Biden’s claim he had no such connections. (Fox, 12/11).

With son Hunter asking for a key for Joe to a shared office with a Chinese operative, it’s obvious that the Bidens saw foreign money-making as a lucrative side-business for the Biden family.

The Chinese, who are masters of intrigue and influence-peddling, are likely joyous at the election now that their puppy’s father, “Big Joe,” will soon be in the White House. (Fox, 12/12) Trump was right about the Bidens family being a “Godfather” enterprise, but the press took a walk to save their guy.

Meanwhile, the BLM’s favorite socialist, Kamala Harris, waits just offstage. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Stephen Hartgen, Twin Falls, is a retired five-term Republican member of the Idaho House of Representatives, where he served as chairman of the Commerce & Human Resources Committee.  Previously, he was editor and publisher of The Times-News (1982-2005). He is the author of two new books on Southern Idaho, “Tradition & Progress: Southern Idaho’s Growth Since 1990.” and “Spirit of Place: Southern Idaho Values Across Generations.” He can be reached at