11 December 2016 - Coming & Going in Washington, D.C.

I don’t know who said it the first time but it has been said often over the years . . . In the United States we pick a President every four years and then we spend the next four years picking on the President. I think that is very true, regardless of party, Republican or Democrat.

I want to talk briefly about the big winner on election day, it wasn’t Donald Trump, it was the moving companies in Washington, D.C. After eight years of the current administration there will be a huge exodus, a lot of people moving out, but at the same time, a lot of people moving in. Moving companies in our nation’s Capitol will have a very good Christmas this year.

I also want to talk about one of the appointments announced recently by President-elect Trump. As of December 10th, we still have no idea who will be appointed to serve as Secretary of Agriculture, but a few days ago one of the names on my “possible Secretary list” came off the list when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad was appointed to serve as U.S. ambassador to China. I like that appointment and here’s why.

The Governor of Iowa and the President of China, Xi Jinping, have a personal relationship going back 30 years. They first met in 1985 when Jinping visited Iowa on an agricultural research trip. He returned 27 years later and re-connected with many of the people he met on his first visit, including Governor Branstad. The 70-year old Iowa Governor has visited China six times on trade missions, most recently in November.

I think Governor Branstad knew he was on the Secretary list. After the announcement of his China appointment, he said - “The President-elect understands my unique relationship to China and has asked me to serve in a way I had not previously considered.”

The appointment was well-received by Republicans, and even among Democrats including this quote . . . “He’s tenacious, and trust me, with the Chinese, you need to be tenacious.” That statement came
from a former Iowa Demcratic Governor, Tom Vilsack now winding down his eight years as Secretary of Agriculture.

Dale Moore, Director for Public Poiicy at the American Farm Bureau said “Governor Branstad is somebody who clearly understands agriculture representing U.S. interests.”

I think Terry Branstad is an excellent choice to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.