Cheers to Hillary Clinton, Paul LePage! Jeers to Donald Trump, Clinton, unscrupulous media!

What a week.

To try and cover the countless stories, we’ll have to do a “cheers” and “jeers” speed round. Ready? Set? Go!

Cheers to Hillary Clinton. You are the first female presidential nominee from a major party. I just hope you aren’t our first woman president.

That isn’t to say I don’t think women should be in the oval office. Jan Brewer, Nikki Haley, or Carly Fiorina would all be fine commanders-in-chief. Not because of their sex, but rather because of their executive experience and conservative perspectives. If we had an American Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel — or a Yulia Tymoshenko — that would be fine, too.

Cheers to Gov. Paul LePage. Maine ended its past fiscal year nearly $100 million higher than projected. If this pattern holds, he will leave Maine’s next governor with a stable state budget. It is better than the mess Gov. Baldacci left behind, and much better than the near insolvency Angus King left in the Blaine House for Baldacci’s team to fix.  

That stability provides the opportunity to enact real, systemic changes, such as Gov. LePage’s preliminary idea to further tighten the number of authorized government jobs. Whether in government, your home, or business, right-sizing the budget during good times prepares you to safely weather the bad times. And to do that requires planning in advance, so the breathless coverage about a leaked email seems a bit overwrought.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

And speaking of leaked emails and breathless coverage, jeers to unscrupulous media. The DNC email leak shows a reporter vetting his entire story with Democratic operatives “per agreement.” Not, “did I quote you correctly?” Not, “did I get the job title right?” The entire story. Before it was sent to his editor. And he let it be published without any disclaimer since their “agreement” was “confidential.” It’s crazy. And if any purportedly “objective” reporters do that with the RNC, please smack them upside the head.

Jeers to the Democrats for dodging questions about their emails’ substance. If Russia was the source of the email hack, then that is a pertinent point to discuss in foreign policy speeches about international espionage. Maybe we need to shoot the messenger. But the messages themselves also deserve to be addressed head-on, not obfuscated behind a wall of spin.

On the same topic, jeers to Donald Trump on calling for Russian assistance with Hillary’s emails. Americans do not need foreign political powers dabbling in our domestic politics, at least not since the French helped us kick out the redcoats. It was wrong when Jane Fonda became a puppet of the North Vietnamese communist regime. And, as Mr. Trump pointed out, it was wrong when Barack Obama attempted to put his thumb on the scale of the Brexit vote.

But jeers again to our media friends. In their rush to assail Donald Trump for his statements, they wrote stories stating he told hackers to get into Clinton’s private server today, in the present tense. A server reportedly in the custody of the FBI, so they would need to hack federal law enforcement systems or conduct a Mission: Impossible-style raid. His statement about hacking was past tense. What he said was wrong, but you don’t need to make it worse by misreporting the facts.

Cheers to Mike Pence. He nailed it with his statement on the Russian email controversy and Trump’s statement. He was willing to stand for what he believed, even if it didn’t line up with the top of his ticket. You have to respect that.

And, finally, jeers to Hillary Clinton. The DNC email hack shows exactly why storing classified information on private, internet-connected servers is a bad idea. If foreign adversaries obtained top secret materials due to her, in the words of FBI Director James Comey, “extreme carelessness,” then she has affirmatively harmed our nation. And if Trump’s call to the hacker community works, resulting in a cache of her deleted “personal” emails being posted online? Then we will know someone, somewhere has classified American information because of her recklessness.

If that comes to pass, it is just one more reason why she should not become the first female president.  

Michael Cianchette

About Michael Cianchette

Michael Cianchette was the chief counsel to Gov. Paul LePage from 2012-2013 and deputy counsel from 2011-2012. A Navy reservist, he was deployed to Afghanistan from 2013-2014 as a trainer and adviser to the Afghan National Police. He is an alumnus of the Leadership Maine program and holds a BA in economics and political science from Boston College along with a JD and an MBA from Suffolk University. He works as in-house counsel and financial manager for a number of affiliated companies in southern Maine.