City Club Luncheon With John Boehner
Our second event for Friday was a luncheon at the City Club wherein the guest speaker was former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner who is now retired from Congress and and is a member of the team at Squire Patton Boggs where he is an advisor on international business development.
Congressman Boehner started off by recalling his own roots and how they helped him later in life. He grew up in a family of 12 children and helped out a lot at the family business which was a bar owned by his father. In both instances, he was taught to "disagree without being disagreeable" with the bar's patrons (an absolute must) and with his collection of siblings (which is always helpful). He indicated that this was a vital key to his success as a public office holder; one cannot have one's way all of the time thus finding common ground and respecting one's opponents are vital ingredients to successful working relationships. Above all even if they are at opposite ends of the politcal spectrum, colleagues must trust each other and keep their word at all times.
Concerning the present political climate not only in the U.S. but all over the world, Congressman Boehner indicated that an ever-dominant media presence in our daily lives (one can get news from all perspectives from all kinds of outlets all day every day) coupled with not-too-good economic conditions which have caused the middle class to feel increasingly alienated seemed to be the main reasons that maverick outsiders like President-Elect Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders who both promised a "revolution" did so well in the primaries of their political parties.
Taking things a step further, Congressman Boehner predicted that the upcoming presidency of Mr. Trump will be like nothing that we have never seen before because the President-elect is not a conventional politician who, even though he is a republican, has no strong ties to either party. In short, Congressman Boehner claimed to have known the Presiident-Elect for many years and firmly believes that Mr. Trump is not an ideologue; instead the "Art of the Deal" is his mantra.
Based on the wisdom of his experience, Congressman Boehner believed that issues like tax reform and infrastructure repair will have to be dealt with near future. Also the Congressman said that immigration reform "will not go away and must be dealt with" and floored quite a few people when he predicted that PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP WILL ULTIMATELY PROVE TO BE "THE IMMIGRANT'S BEST FRIEND!"
(Frankly we have wondered about this too. Anything is possible-after all, as we have written on other occasions, former President Richard Nixon, who was a virulent anti-communist in the 1950's, did a lot to improve U.S./China and U.S. Russian relationships in the late 1960's and early 1970's.)
Congressman Boehner really believed that if President-Elect Trump works to calm people's fears between now and in his first few months in office and is able to work in a bipartisan manner he will be able to accomplish some truly "big" things. "Don't listen to the noise," he said, "just see what gets done."
Unfortunately, so many people wanted to ask Congressman Boehner a question that he didn't get to ours but before the program started we asked him if he would talk about immigration reform and he replied that he would touch upon it and, yes, he was true to his word exactly as he said a successful politician must be.
On this day, this program at the City Club was "The Richard W. and Patricia R. Pogue Endowed Forum" and we said "hello" on behalf of Ms. Wong to our good friends. Another person that we said "hello" to was former Ohio legislator Patrick Sweeney who posed for a photo with Ms. Noelle Celeste.
We also had the joy of talking for a few minutes with Ms. Rebecca A. Morgan of ConsultingWorks, Inc. about how important it is that a person really feel connected to his/her job the way that Congressman Boehner and Bishop Roger Gries (who spoke yesterday at the First Friday Club) undoubtedly are.
We also spoke to a couple of people about immigration issues. One person had a family member who is contemplating becoming a dual citizen (U.S. and another country) in solidarity with his/her fiance. Another person used to work for a corporation (many years ago) where it was her job to sort out visa matters for international employees. "I'm sure things have gotten a lot more complicated.
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC