It’s being widely reported that President-elect Donald Trump will appoint Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to a cabinet position as Secretary of Commerce. This is a bit odd since the Ricketts and the Trumps have a history as long as the Hatfields and McCoys……..
In politics, a politician has one basic goal. And that’s to be friends with everyone. And the old adage, “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer” becomes a way to achieve that goal. Make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is a Politician with a capital P. So in one sense, it should come as no surprise that he would consider Todd Ricketts to be a member of the team that will be closest to him and run the White House for the next four years.
And there is no reason to question the qualifications of Ricketts to represent the business interests of the country. After all, he and his family just brought the city of Chicago and Cub fans its first Championship in more than a century.
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The Story Gets Intriguing
But here’s the intriguing part of the story. Because this part of the story is like that of a husband who cheats on his wife and then his wife becomes best friends with the woman he had the affair with. Doesn’t make any sense? I know, but this is politics. Here’s a Tweet Trump sent out.
“I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending against me. They’d better be careful because they have a lot to hide”
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2016
As the election drew closer, Tom Ricketts was asked about it at the World Series:
“It’s a little surreal when Donald Trump threatens your mom,” Ricketts said. “The fact is, whether it’s my mom or my dad on his Ending Spending stuff or my sister on marriage equality or my brothers and what they do or what we do with the team, we’re pretty much an open book.
“We stand up for what we believe in. We support the causes that we think are important. That’s what America should be. That’s who we are.”
Yes Tom, it is a little “surreal. And even baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had to jump into the fray defending the family from Trump’s assault.
“The Ricketts have been great owners. I’m gonna see Mr. Ricketts tomorrow — a prearranged meeting. I’m very comfortable with the idea that the Ricketts have been great trustees for baseball and Chicago and will continue to be.”
But here’s the real story. Trump is playing the game that every President has played. He’s taking the Ricketts family, very rich and powerful in their own right, and elevating them from the filthy gutter he threw them in back in February. Because now, they get to bask in the glory of a family member being considered for a position alongside the President of the United States. And Trump is doing exactly the same thing when he floats the names Mitt Romney and Rudy Giulani out there for Secretary of State.
In Politics, The Perception Of Reality Is Everything
And it doesn’t matter that the president is Donald Trump. It only matters that it’s “The President” who’s talking about you. Because in politics, perception is everything. And truth is often simply what you say it is.
People say it’s a dirty business, and maybe it is. But you’ve got to say one thing is true about the men and women who engage in this business. They all play by the same rules.
And regardless of his campaign promises to “drain the swamp” (in Washington), it’s possible that even the almighty Donald J Trump has met his match in Washington, and he’s proving it by doing things that all Presidents have done by putting the name “Ricketts” out there, this time in a good light.
Because in the end, Todd Ricketts has about as much chance of becoming Secretary of Commerce as you or I do.