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Carolina-Canada Connections

October 14, 2019

Carolina-Canada Connections — Vol. 10, No. 18

A monthly outreach to our friends in Canada

Wilkins Does Washington    

Your former US Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, was in Washington on October 8 discussing these unparalleled political days at the CAN/AM Border Trade Alliance conference.

Wilkins talks policy and politics at CAN/AM trade conference in early October.   

Wilkins offered the keynote address to the group, providing his perspective on how politics impacts all policy – especially with critical elections in both Canada and the US looming. Of course, the focus was on the USMCA trade deal and chances for passage by the US House of Representatives in such a politically-charged environment. 

Discussing bilateral business in Washington, DC.

Wilkins was delighted to catch up with a number of good friends including Nova Scotia Senator Michael MacDonald and as always, the President and CEO of CAN/AM, Jim Phillips

Bilateral Buddies:  Wilkins and CAN/AM’s Jim Phillips. 

From Bilateral to Bipartisan

Closer to home, Wilkins was delighted to participate in an event honoring Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough namesake and partner Dick Riley, a former US Secretary of Education and South Carolina governor. 

On October 3, the Riley Institute at Furman University celebrated 20 years of “leadership knowledge and impact.” A big crowd gathered together to celebrate Riley’s commitment to education and legacy at Furman University.  

In his remarks about Riley, Wilkins spoke of their family ties that go back almost 80 years. As young attorneys, Riley’s dad and Wilkins’ dad worked in a one-room law office together, placing a curtain between them during client visits.

Decades later, their sons, David Wilkins and Dick Riley, would go on to work together on a very special annual dinner that kicks off the South Carolina General Assembly every January. The Riley Institute’s Wilkins Legislative and Civic Awards Dinner is attended by political, community, and business leaders, and promotes citizenship, public service, and bipartisan governing.

The night concluded with an unveiling of a bust of Riley. The bust will be located on the Furman campus (in South Carolina’s Upstate) outside its political science building.

Starting Out With Speaker

The careers of a number of South Carolina business, policy, legal and political professionals launched from the time they spent working in the office of House Speaker David Wilkins. Astute CCC readers know Wilkins served as speaker of the South Carolina House for 11 years before he was tapped by President George W. Bush to be his US ambassador to Canada in 2005. 

In 1994, Wilkins was the first Republican elected to serve speaker of the SC House since the days of Reconstruction. He would go on to be one of the longest serving state speakers at the time he stepped down.

A group of “Wilkins workers” who staffed his office along that 11-year journey got together on September 12 to reminisce, reconnect and regurgitate the best stories along with spot-on Wilkins impressions!

They were all young once!  Former staffers and office interns join David and Susan Wilkins for a Speaker’s Office reunion celebration. 

Caroline Schroder Croft joins Nelson Mullins own Clara Koon – both Wilkins’ office alums – at the reunion celebration. 

They Said What?

  • “And after the failed attempt to “get Trump” via the Mueller inquiry (and a laugh at people who don’t believe the special counsel’s probe is understood that way), fair-minded Americans will indeed note and refuse to forget that Democrats cheated when they could not persuade,” – columnist and radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in a Washington Post opinion column on what he describes as the Democrats’ impeachment “Kangaroo Court” inquiry. 
  • “You know, it truly is remarkable how obsessed he remains with me. But this latest tweet is so typical of him. Nothing has been more examined and looked at than my e-mails. We all know that. So he's either lying or delusional, or both. There was no subpoena, as he says in a tweet this morning. So maybe there does need to be a rematch. Obviously, I can beat him again,” – 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in an interview on PBS regarding President Trump and his tweets on her controversial emails as Obama’s secretary of state.
  • "I don't think this is a whistleblower, not at all.  I think this is an anonymous source for the Democratic staff in the House of Representatives…You can't hide this person's identity just to save him from embarrassment or trouble of being recognized.  It's just not appropriate. If this is a whistleblower, he needs to come forward in public, testify in open session and blow that whistle,” – Former CIA official and whistleblower John Kiriakou on Fox News regarding the so-called Ukraine whistleblower. 
  • “From his constant declarations of “proof of collusion” to his denials of any knowledge of the whistleblower before Congress was notified, Adam Schiff has a history of not only of lying, but of being caught doing so. Yet he has been chosen by Nancy Pelosi to be the face of impeachment: a dishonest man chosen to make a dishonest case to the American people. It’s like OJ Simpson being asked to give the keynote address at a marriage counseling seminar,” – Townhall columnist Derek Hunter writing on House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff.
  • “If I didn’t see Donald Trump’s name on the tweet I would of thought it would have been Obama’s rational for getting out of Iraq. So here’s what’s going to happen. It’s going to lead to ISIS reemergence. Nothing better for ISIS than to create a conflict between the Kurds and Turkey. The Kurds will now align with Assad because they have nobody to count on because we abandoned them. So this is a big win for Iran and Assad, and a big win for ISIS,” – Republican Senator Lindsey Graham criticizing President Trump on his Syria policy during an interview.     

Last Take: Moe Clemson Wins!

The reigning National Champions, the Clemson Tigers football team, are so far undefeated this season (though they came dang close to losing to North Carolina, but enough about that.)

The point is, the Tigers are still racking up the Ws, and on September 9, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was in Death Valley to catch what most think was the most important game on Clemson’s schedule – the match-up with Texas A&M. 

Straight Outta Saskatchewan!  Premier Moe’s son Carter, David Wilkins, and Premier Moe in Clemson, SC. 

The heat could not keep Tiger fans away as a capacity crowd of 81,500 people piled into Memorial Stadium to watch No. 1 Clemson take on No. 12 Texas A&M in the unique non-conference match up.  (Editor’s note:  Clemson is now sitting at #3 in the polls – see, dang close, North Carolina above.)

Also, at that game, were avid Aggie fans and our great friends, Tom and Claire Huffaker

Clemson dominated the contest winning by a final score of 24-10.  Simply put, Clemson handled its business, is now 6-0, and continues to pursue “moe” wins!