2015 Cabinet Luncheon

December 17, 2015

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And now for today’s commentary—

I recently hosted the Cabinet Secretaries luncheon, which dates back to 1981 – the first year of the Ronald Reagan Presidency. That first Christmas luncheon was hosted by Marshall Coyne at the beautiful Madison Hotel. All of President Reagan’s Cabinet was invited. We had six or eight in attendance, including Vice President Bush.

After four years of limiting the invitees to the Reagan team, we decided to invite Cabinet members who worked for other Presidents – Nixon, Ford, and Carter. We had Secretaries of Agriculture, including Secretary Earl Butz, who had worked for President Nixon, and Secretary Bob Bergland, who worked for President Carter.

Then, we decided to invite spouses also. The first year, that worked fine, with the spouses seated at their own separate table. But the next year, Elizabeth Dole came as a Secretary, and that meant her husband, Senator Bob Dole, would be seated with the spouses. That arrangement would not work. Of course, today, the tables are mixed.

Marshall Coyne, owner of the Madison Hotel, has since passed on, and the hosting responsibility was handed to me. For 20 years now, it has been my pleasure to pull together Cabinet Secretaries as far back as we can for the annual gathering. The most senior attendee that we had this year was Henry Kissinger – 92 years old. He worked for President Nixon and has advised many Presidents since then. Our total attendance was 51.

Reverend Kathleene Card, wife of Andy Card, gave the opening prayer. A delicious meal was served, and the Secretaries were asked to make predictions. We have been doing this for years.

Here are some predictions:

  1. The pollsters will be wrong. There will be a Trump on Pennsylvania Avenue, but it will only be the Trump Hotel – not Donald.
  2. This is the craziest election we have ever seen. James Madison is turning over in his grave.
  3. This group will incorporate itself as a source of renewable energy. There will be turbines on the south lawn of the White House, and we’ll sell solar panels to fund gifts at our luncheon.

There were many predictions – some serious and some just ridiculous.

Our luncheon was held at the famous Blair House right across from the White House. God willing, we will be back next year to welcome a new President.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.