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Carolina-Canada Connections

November 20, 2018

Carolina-Canada Connections — Vol. 10, No. 11

Special Thanksgiving Holiday Issue

On behalf of all of us here on Team Wilkins, we wish all of you a Thanksgiving filled with joy and peace. 

We are grateful for you!

Wilkins Watch

Bilat for Breakfast – The first DC snowfall could have dealt a mild disaster for event planning purposes as the white stuff fell heavy and hard last Thursday morning and threatened our long planned bilat breakfast talk. 

Despite the storm, DC movers and shakers gathered for breakfast at our Nelson Mullins DC digs to get the download on the state of the US-Canada bilat in the wake of the 2018 midterm election from Politico’s elite Canada team.

While the snow did have a mild effect on attendance it had a better impact on ambiance.  After all, what could be better than talking about the US-Canada relationship while watching the white stuff blanket Capitol Hill.  (Editor’s note:  Seriously, we couldn’t have planned that better!)   

Politico’s Luiza Ch. Savage, Alex Panetta, Lauren Gardner, as well as Senior Politics Editor Charlie Mahtesian, offered their insights on what to expect on critical issues – especially trade and the USMCA – with a split Congress and House Democrats laser focused on thwarting President Trump heading into the 2020 presidential election.    

The Politico panel listens to former US ambassador to Canada David Wilkins make introductions.

A “Capitol Hill” view on a snowy day from our Nelson Mullins DC offices. 

Wilkins was delighted to note that Luiza Savage and Alex Panetta were two of the very first journalists to interview him when he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the post in Canada in 2005. 

Wilkins Walkway   

Clemson University has named a plaza at its new tennis facility in honor of who else?  David Wilkins! 

The multi-million dollar facility was officially dedicated in a ceremony on November 2.  The David H. Wilkins Plaza is part of the first-class tennis complex for Clemson University’s men’s and women’s tennis programs. 

Pictures in front of the Plaza!  David, Susan, Whit, James, Clary and Stephanie Wilkins all celebrate the new David H. Wilkins Plaza at the Clemson University tennis complex.   

Wilkins’ grandson Whit observes a sign of the times!

Clary and Whit join their granddad “Big Dave” in celebrating the new Clemson tennis facility earlier this month. 

Back in the day, Wilkins attended Clemson on a full tennis scholarship and was captain of the team.  

They Said What

  • “It's a rainbow wave…the new Democratic Party is younger, browner, cooler," –CNN pundit and former Obama staffer Van Jones on election night after Democrats won back the US House of Representatives.   
     
  • “I can't wait to get back to work and make sure we put men and women on the judiciary who actually follow the law. The law means nothing to liberal Democrats -- it is all about the outcome. They're not going to win. They didn't destroy Kavanaugh, and they're not going to screw Rick Scott...Look at Brett Kavanaugh, they tried to deny him a place on the court by being deceitful, withholding information from the committee, changing the legal standard...What are they doing in Broward County? They're taking Florida law and turning it upside down to get a result. This liberal activist lawyer, the Clinton lawyer, went to Florida with the purpose of winning the election,” –Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on the Florida recount.
       
  • "I acknowledge that former of Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.  But to watch an elected official, who claims to represent the people in the state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people's democratic right to vote has been truly appalling…So let's be clear, this is not a speech of concession because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that,” –Democrat candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams admitting that her Republican opponent won the race but refusing to concede nonetheless.  (Kemp’s victory was officially certified on Saturday.)
     
  • "You can't buy Texas.  That's the message for Francis O' Rourke. You cannot buy Texas ...Texas is not for sale. Take your money and go back to California. Take your money and go back to New York. This is Texas,” –Rafael Cruz, the father of Senator Ted Cruz, after his son was announced the winner on election night following a bruising campaign against Democrat “Beto” O’Rourke who was the beneficiary of the most expensive Senate race in US history.
     
  • “I get it, you wanted an Indian woman, but Elizabeth Warren failed her DNA test.  Actually, when the president found out that I was Indian American, he asked me if I was from the same tribe as Elizabeth Warren,” –US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, whose parents emigrated from Punjab, India, joking last month while giving the keynote speech at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a fundraiser for impoverished children, in NYC.

Last Take

Clemson on Cruise Control – Since our last newsletter, there’s been a whole lotta winning for Wilkins’ favorite football team.

In fact, headed into US Thanksgiving this week, the Clemson University Tigers are a neat 11-0 and ranked #2 in the country behind (who else? Who cares?  Does it need to be said again and again and again?) Alabama.   

But we digress.

Clemson has already clinched its ACC Atlantic Division Title – sending the Tigers to their fourth ACC Championship game next month in as many years by beating Boston College a few weeks ago. 

But the wild part about this season’s wins have been some of the scores.  Last month Clemson smashed Wake Forest 63-3; NC State 41-7; Louisville 77-16, and Florida State 59-10 to name a few.

This past Saturday was Military Appreciation Day at Clemson and the always special day was made that much better when Major Robert Wilkins’ South Carolina National Guard unit was beamed in on the jumbotrons from their posting in Germany to offer the pledge of allegiance to the mass capacity crowd at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium.  It was a proud moment for David and Susan as well as for Robert’s brother James, and Robert’s wife Stephanie and their twins, Whit and Clary.

James, Stephanie, Clary, Susan, David and Whit Wilkins cheer on their favorite serviceman – Robert Wilkins – at last Saturday’s Clemson home gate versus Duke.  (Clemson won 35-6 just sayin’…)

This coming Saturday, it’s college football rivalry day across the U.S.  It doesn’t get uglier (ur, we mean more spirited) than the annual 100+ year old slugfest between the Clemson Tigers and the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. 

With Clemson ranked one of the two best teams in the country and Carolina, well, not, prognosticators are not expecting the Gamecocks to best the Tigers. (Editor’s note:  But hey, crazier, things have happened so no one should count their chickens before they hatch!)

We are adding this here just because it’s a cool snap taken at a Clemson home game last month.  It features a bevy of bigshots including SC Governor Henry McMaster; Senator Tim Scott; US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, your former US ambassador to Canada David Wilkins; Senator Lindsey Graham; Congressman Jeff Duncan and Clemson President Jim Clements

On December 1, Clemson faces Pittsburg for the ACC Title game in Charlotte.  Stay tuned…