Here's Johnny - Trump trumps Bush
Not the most original headline, but I've seen worse. In fact, I've written worse. By now, most everyone knows that the Bush presidency precedent took a hike this year. Well-funded and well-respected Jeb Bush pulled his hat back out of the Republican presidential primary ring last weekend after Donald Trump set it on fire, stomped on it and accused it of being low-energy. The people who funded Jeb's campaign and "non-affiliated" super pacs are cursing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's former best bud for wasting their money, but I sorta feel for the guy. Saddled with a brother who broke the Middle East for no good reason, what could Jeb say but, "He kept us safe" and hope the American people forgot that little 9-11 episode and the "Whoopsie!" in Iraq. For those who aren't keeping score, let the record reflect that, at best, I'll score 50 percent in the presidential nominee contest. I predicted in these pages that Jeb would take on Hillary, though I didn't say whether that would be a good thing. I also had a few high-energy and somewhat harsh things to say about Mr. Trump, who may well shock the political world - and perhaps the rest of it - by winning the GOP nomination. I stand by them. Who knows, by this time next year we may be involved in Mexican War II if our friends to the south don't agree to put up and pay for a wall between the two countries. If The Donald becomes The President, I hope I'm proved wrong, and that he becomes, to borrow a phrase John Calipari used breakfast, lunch and dinner last year, "the best version of himself." We are all sinners and every day presents us the opportunity to do right by ourselves, our loved ones and our country. I'm not overly fond of a few other presidential candidates, but it takes guts and thick skin to play for all the marbles. Let's hope the winner does so by appealing to our hopes more than our fears. Brunch with Bevin Okay, I didn't have brunch with Kentucky's new governor. The KCTCS rally I wrote of on page 1 took place at 12:30 p.m., but "Lunch with Bevin" doesn't have the same ring. That said, it was my first chance to observe Bevin as governor. He is an impressive public speaker. He didn't deliver a prepared speech or note cards or even, as I do from time to time, letters written in ink on his arms to remind him what to say. Like many politicians, he sometimes uses 50 words when 10 would get the job done just fine, but all in all, I was impressed with what he had to say and how he said it. A few days later, I ran into an acquaintance I've known for more than 20 years; a former state legislator and official in the last Republican governor's administration. (We were speaking as friends, so I'll withhold his name, though he probably wouldn't mind being identified.) He told me he'd met recently with Bevin and found him to be the most knowledgeable governor of the five he'd had such meetings with - and a good man to boot. And there's this: Bevin's no-frills budget, though criticized by some for its request for $100 million in bonds for workforce development programs, doesn't do what his party's presidents have done: It doesn't ask for massive tax cuts when the government is struggling to balance its budget. No doubt some of Bevin's party members in the General Assembly wish there were such things, along with more money for their beloved road, water and sewer projects. Gov. Bevin didn't make the mess that is our teacher and state employee pension funds. He does appear intent on addressing the problem in a far more substantive fashion than have his predecessors and members of the General Assembly. Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Pastafarians should all wish him well. I certainly do. And who's to say that one day, Bevin might not throw his proverbial hat in a far larger ring. I know one thing: no one will ever accuse him of being low-energy.