Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, has a way with words. She also has an incredibly difficult and demanding job, trying to explain the actions of a President and administration that often defies explanations.
I know how tough it is to be in a position where it is expected that you can constantly “polish a turd” without somehow seeing your credibility sink into the crapper. For many years I was the primarily spokesperson for a large American corporation. And trust me. Plenty of turds, cultivated by management, managed to float to my desk in search of a proper destination.
Fortunately, unlike Sanders, I didn’t have to clean up the mess daily, or in front of the national media on TV.
So in many ways I give her credit for her quick — if somewhat laughable — explanation for Chief of Staff John Kelly’s response to President Trump’s tongue lashing to our NATO allies and to Germany in particular this week.
Here’s from USA Today:
John Kelly was annoyed he couldn’t get a “full breakfast” in Brussels on Wednesday.
At least that was the explanation from White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders when asked about the apparently agitated body language displayed by President Donald Trump’s chief of staff during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Sanders told The Washington Post that Kelly “was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.”
A number of news outlets, including the Post, speculated that Kelly’s body language was related to the remarks Trump was making at the time about Germany being “totally controlled by Russia.”
I don’t know. It looked to me like Kelly had just chewed on a shit sandwich. Maybe next time someone could at least offer up a German pretzel.
Or an omelette.
I’m Rob Jewell and I live and write in Woodland Park, Colorado, the City Above the Clouds.
I've been fortunate. I worked for 29 years at BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio. I started editing employee publications and ended as vice president of corporate communications. Then I started a public relations consulting company before becoming a full-time faculty member in the School of Journalism at Kent State University. I taught courses in writing, public relations and mass communication ethics. And I supervised a student-run public relations firm, called Flash Communications. During my tenure at Kent State I was honored to receive the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award.
During most of this time I've been a dedicated runner. OK, jogger, if you take speed into consideration. But while my times are not much to write about, I was and am committed. For almost 30 years I ran at least 1,000 miles each year. (Except for one year when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis. So much for tennis.)
Being on the road most mornings at 5 a.m. gave me some time to think. It also led to some amazing friendships that now span more than three decades.
And my longtime love affair with running helped me shape my first novel, Then We Ran, which is available wherever electronic books are sold.
And just so you don't think that all I did was work and run, I have other interests as well, many centering on family.
My wife, Mary, was a successful and highly regarded career teacher in the Akron public schools. She now devotes her time and energy to a host of social and athletic activities in Woodland Park.
My son, Brian, teaches at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs where he is also the head soccer coach.
And my daughter, Jessica, has completed her doctorate at Kent State University where she is also an administrator with the Wick Poetry Center. I've done a lot of writing during my career -- but Jessica is the real writer in the family. I'll try not to make too many errors in this blog. I'm sure she'll be watching.
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