press secretary

Mike McCurry – Finding Religion and Humor

by Bernie Swain
Mike McCurry was Bill Clinton’s Press Secretary, at a time when that position was much different. Here he details how humor is a unifying force and finding religion helps him fight for the common good. My family has always had a deep commitment to politics and public service. We talked about the issues of the day around the dinner table. I never saw the government as the enemy; I saw it as an ally. There was no cynicism in our … Continue reading "Mike McCurry – Finding Religion and Humor"

public service

Leon Panetta – “Dodging Nuts and Greatest Influences”

by Bernie Swain
As an American statesman, Leon Panetta has served in various public service roles—Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA and White House Chief of Staff to name a few. Here he explains how his Italian immigrant parents, and a few other factors, had an everlasting influence on his life. I’m the son of Italian immigrants who, like millions of others, made their way to the United States in the early 1930s. My parents, who came from Calabria, Italy. They spoke … Continue reading "Leon Panetta – “Dodging Nuts and Greatest Influences”"

lessons from old country

Donna Shalala – Lessons from the Old Country

by Bernie Swain
I was a Kennedy Kid.  I was a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio when John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960. JFK was young and charismatic, energetic and idealistic. In his inauguration speech in January 1961, he famously said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I felt as if he was speaking directly to me, and I took his challenge to heart. Peace … Continue reading "Donna Shalala – Lessons from the Old Country"

chief of staff reagan

James Baker III – Did I Make Them Proud?

by Bernie Swain
James Baker III is an American statesman and attorney. He served as White House Chief of Staff and the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, and as U.S. Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush. He is the best of what we want in a public statesman. He is the man who made Washington work. He is what Donald Trump can use now. I’m a product of Texas. … Continue reading "James Baker III – Did I Make Them Proud?"

Brian Mulroney – From Humble Beginnings

by Bernie Swain
A Canadian politician, Brian Mulroney, came from humble beginnings and a father that valued education. Brian was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993. As Prime Minister he brought about major economic reform. Early Family My father, Benedict Martin Mulroney, was from a small village outside Quebec City. He worked as an electrician. My mother, Mary Irene O’Shea, was from a neighboring village. Both were descendants of the first wave of Irish immigrants … Continue reading "Brian Mulroney – From Humble Beginnings"