Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary –
I am on the phone today – will be back in the recording studio next week. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. And now the New Year is just ahead. Today I want to talk about the Annual Cabinet luncheon that we have been having for more than 40 years. It all started with President Reagan’s Cabinet in 1981. Vice President Bush led our team of twelve for our first Cabinet luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. For 3 or 4 years we did that in December before Christmas. Then collectively we decided to expand it to include Cabinet members from both parties that had served other Presidents before us. That increased the crowd attending and both parties loved it.
In those early days we would have a luncheon speaker. Marshall Coyne, owner of the hotel, served as the Chairman of the events. After a few more years, Mr. Coyne passed away. We were not going to give it up. I took control to lead the event. We moved the luncheon to the Blair House right beside the White House. Attendance has been strong — in the range of 50-60 people. We have had some great speakers including Justices of the Supreme Court. But in recent years, instead of a speaker we have asked each Cabinet member to make a prediction.
Some are very serious. Some are just funny. Our cabinet lunch this year was December 3rd. Over the years I have chaired this event I had some really great help. This year Former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and Secretary Elaine Chao got the predictions from each attendee. I will tell you about some of the predictions in the next week or two.
Right now, here are some predictions from 2019. Because of COVID-19 we missed 2020. That was the only miss in 40 years.
Predictions: Sec. Bob Mc Donald – Army will beat Navy. I predicted that this year and was disappointed.
Sec. Barbara Franklin – Next year is the 100th anniversary of the amendment that gave women the right to vote. We should be cheering. And they did.
Administrator Andrew Wheeler – Next year is the 50th anniversary of EPA’s founding. EPA will announce a new Conference Center named after former Ambassador William Ruckelshaus who just passed away.
Two years ago I predicted that we would get a trade agreement phase 1 deal with China. We did. I will make one more prediction today: President Biden will make a deal with Russian President Putin to avoid a Russian war to take over Ukraine. I think it can and should be done. I’ll talk about the details next week.
Until next week, this is John Block reporting from Washington, D.C. If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com.