Susan Eisenhower (Photo Credit: Focus Washington)

Susan Eisenhower (Photo Credit: Focus Washington)

Well-known independent voter discusses what the GOP and Dems Should Learn from Americans in the 2016 elections

13 June 2016 (Washington, DC): Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chairman Emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, sits down with Chuck Conconi on this week’s episode of Focus Washington to discuss the changing dynamics of the Republican party as well as the impact partisan politics has had on this year’s presidential race.

Susan addressed at length the ongoing leadership crisis this country faces. Although she had always been a Republican, she left the party eight years ago and became an independent. In fact, she endorsed President Obama during his initial campaign as well as his second presidential race. She claims that the party has ideologically shifted tremendously since her grandfather, President Eisenhower held office.

Susan’s grandfather, Dwight Eisenhower, represented a form of moderate Republicanism advocating for social progression while remaining fiscally conservative. Unfortunately, in today’s polarized political arena, this ideology represents neither party but instead a combination of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

“The [Republican] party’s changing, and frankly, the party has been changing for a very long time,” stated Eisenhower.

Susan alluded to this year’s presidential nominations as an example of the transitions that are taking place within both parties. “In some ways it was surprising that [Hillary] had the kind of vigorous challenge that she did, and on the same side we had what we thought was going to be an heir apparent in Jeb Bush and it was rather fascinating to watch how quickly that set of assumptions fell through. So what I think it tells me is that both parties are changing, and they’re changing for larger reasons than I think what is currently being analyzed.”

Party politics has become a major obstacle, contributing to the lack of strategic leadership in this country. She emphasized to Chuck that “strategic” alludes to an element of time involved, and strategic leadership is defined by leaders who are trying to achieve long term goals. Susan points out that party politics make it impossible to talk and think about measures for all of America. She laments that the era when our presidents had to get up and articulate a strategy for the entire country is gone.

After declining to say which side she would be taking in this race, Susan says that she sees the United States as in transition, and that she knows much more about it than she did before this election. She recognizes the feeling of frustration emanating from the people of the United States, resulting from the notion that their government system is unavailable to them. The American people want new leadership– strategic leadership—but as Susan points out, the party politics shaking up Washington today makes it difficult to put such bold leaders into office.

 

Chuck Conconi welcomed Bob Cusack on this week’s episode of Focus Washington. Cusack, Editor-in-Chief of Washington-based publication The Hill, evaluated the irregular political climate of the 2016 presidential election.

According to Cusack, the ascension of Donald Trump has transformed the identity of the Republican Party. By confronting the potential loss of House and Senate seats, “Republicans are coming to grips with reality.” Cusack predicted that Speaker Paul Ryan will endorse Trump by the Republican Convention in July. Despite his limited appeal among Hispanic and women’s groups, Trump surprised pundits by attracting a loyal base of support.

Insecurity among Republicans parallels growing divisions within the Democratic Party. Cusack noted that a contested convention will require critical negotiations between Clinton and Sanders. He predicted that Clinton will triumph over Sanders to receive the Democratic nomination. The Convention will measure Clinton’s success as she attempts to unite her traditional supporters with Sanders voters.

Cusack concluded his remarks by urging caution in predicting Convention results. Thus far, wavering support for Clinton, combined with Trump’s unforeseen political rise, has defied voters’ expectations. This time last year, confidence in particular candidates was unshakeable. To Cusack, a fragmented Republican Party and mounting opposition to Clinton define “the year of the outsider” in which no candidate is guaranteed victory.

 

Focus Washington: 2012 Election & Conventions

On September 6, 2012, in DCView, by Focus Washington

 

Qorvis‘ Chuck Conconi sits down with Ron Faucheux to discuss the 2012 election. The presidential race as close to a tie as an election can be as Republicans and Democrats focus on rallying their base and swaying undecided voters with their conventions. Democratic National Convention got off to a fast start with a lot of enthusiasm attendees while the Republican National Convention schedule had to get shuffled last minute to due to hurricane Isaac. The Democrats stand a chance to pick up some house seats, but republicans are likely to hold the majority. However control of the Senate is up for grabs.

D.C.’s sweet spring breeze has given way to the sticky and almost unbearable humidity of the summer. The summer heat seems to be almost contagious as Presidential campaigns (read smear tactics) are heating up into full swing to prepare for November’s elections. This weekend, however, the Presidential race will be designated to the backburner as D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue prepares for the true “hottest” battle of the summer. That’s right, you guessed it, the National Capital Barbeque Battle
is back. Following the 1992 Presidential Election, Bill Clinton brought to Washington his Falstaffian appetite for all things Southern. Grumblings throughout the Clinton administration regarding D.C.’s lack of good barbeque joints caused D.C. resident Allen Tubis to pioneer the first rich and flavorful National Capital Barbeque Battle in 1993. The event originated as a friendly competition where Republican and Democratic national committees could compete against each other with fire and meat to prove which side of the Mason-Dixon Line truly sported the best barbeque. The Democrats brought the fire in the competitions first two years, causing the Republicans to drop out of the event in its third year for fear of being humiliated once again. Although the political
component no longer remains, the National Capital Barbeque Battle has continued to thrive and is expecting record crowds to swarm to Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend in hopes of finding the perfect blend of barbequed flavor and spice. Attendees
should expect 90 degree weather and even hotter barbeque spice. This year’s top categories include chicken, beef brisket, pork shoulder and whole hog.

For more information regarding the National Capital Barbeque Battle visit the website at http://www.bbqdc.com/contests_new.html

 

Rich Masters appears on the premier episode of Focus Washington to discuss the Obama campaign. Focus Washington is an online television series that analyzes complex policy issues in entertaining 2-minute to 5-minute Webisodes. The program highlights unique Washington power-figures and their influence and knowledge on government processes. The series is hosted by renowned Washington journalist Chuck Conconi.

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