Donald Trump names Ken Blackwell as head of his domestic transition team

Ken Blackwell: Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council
Ken Blackwell: Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council

OK, so some of my readers may not know who Ken Blackwell is, but long story short, this would be like naming Ted Cruz as Solicitor General or naming Thomas Sowell as head of the Congressional Budget Office. Ken Blackwell has a reputation as a social conservative who is also a fiscal conservative. Don’t worry, I have things about him for you to read, but first the announcement, which was tweeted by the Family Research Council (!) where Blackwell is a Senior Fellow.

Associated Press:

The Ohio Republican selected by president-elect Donald Trump to lead his domestic transition is an outspoken conservative with a history as a party maverick.

Ken Blackwell prevailed in an intra-party feud in 2006 to become Ohio’s first black nominee for governor. He also took on fellow Republicans in the state Legislature while serving in statewide office.

As state elections chief, Blackwell played a pivotal role in administering the hotly-contested 2004 presidential election while serving as Republican George W. Bush’s honorary campaign co-chair. Democrats alleged in political attacks and lawsuits that Blackwell supported vote-suppressing policies favoring Bush, who won Ohio and the election. Blackwell prevailed in court.

Blackwell is on the boards of the National Rifle Association and Club for Growth. He’s also a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

Oh my goodness, you can’t appoint someone from the Family Research Council. This is the organization that gay rights activists really hate – remember the attack by gay activist Floyd Lee Corkins? That was the FRC he tried to shoot up! Wow, this is my second favorite think tank.

Here is his fact sheet from the FRC:

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council.  He is a national bestselling author of three books: Rebuilding America: A Prescription For Creating Strong Families, Building The Wealth Of Working People, And Ending Welfare; The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency; and Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.

He serves on the Board of Directors of various high-profile organizations including the Timothy Plan, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the United States Air Force Academy Foundation, the Club for Growth, Grove City College, the National Rifle Association, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the National World War II Museum, and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Advisors, of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

Mr. Blackwell has had a vast political career. He was mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He was a delegate to the White House Summit on Retirement Savings in 1998 and 2002. During the 1990s, he served on the congressionally appointed National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform and the board of the International Republican Institute. He was Co-Chairman of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board from 1999-2001.

He has received many awards and honors for his work in the public sector. These accolades include the U.S. Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for his work in the field of human rights which he received from both the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2004, the American Conservative Union honored Mr. Blackwell with the John M. Ashbrook Award for his steadfast conservative leadership.

Ken’s commentaries have been published in major newspapers and websites: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and Investor’s Business Daily.  In addition, he has been interviewed by many media outlets including CBS’sFace the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, and Fox News Sunday.

His continuing education has included executive programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. Mr. Blackwell has also received honorary doctoral degrees from ten institutions of higher education. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Xavier University in Ohio, where he later served as a vice president and member of its faculty. In 1992, he received Xavier’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted into Xavier’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

I do have something that I can give you right away. A while back the Heritage Foundation made this public policy booklet that featured essays by social conservatives writing on fiscal issues, and fiscal conservatives writing on social issues. The idea was fusionism – that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives need each other. I am a fusionist. Well, Ken Blackwell is a prominent social conservative, and he wrote a chapter on “The Rule of Law” – exactly the thing that was lacking in the corrupt Obama administration.

Here is the PDF of the booklet’s table of contents AND the chapter by Ken Blackwell!!!! How did I get this so fast? I used my Wintery powers, of course.

Also, I have a copy of the full PDF. I would really recommend to everyone that they read this so that they can get a thumbnail picture of what social and fiscal conservatives believe. Each of the essays is only 3-5 pages long, so it’s not a lot to read. These are the things that I wish that every evangelical Christian understood about public policy. Really, everyone should understand what conservatives really believe, whether you agree with these positions, or not.

If you have wonderful things about Ken Blackwell to share, leave them in the comments. This is just incredible – I would have believed that Ted Cruz would have named Ken Blackwell to such a post, but never, ever Donald Trump in a million years. I expect Trump to nominate a bunch of moderates like Giuliani, but Blackwell is more like me – very conservative, and passionate about conservative ideas and policies. I think there will be a lot of picks that I disagree with, but this is one I really agree with.

18 thoughts on “Donald Trump names Ken Blackwell as head of his domestic transition team”

  1. This is so good, I am flabbergasted. I am feeling some hope again, after 12 years of despondency. Maybe our nation can recover. Obama’s doubling our debt to over 20 billion might be irreversible.


  2. Trump is a businessman with a certain goal. He will appoint people who will attain that goal. That is what anyone who was not on the Trump Train could not understand — practical principles. He is the only one that can restore freedom (which means less government, inter alia.)


  3. Woops, you are right.

    As an aside, I was listening to Mark Levine last night, and he was harping on and on (understandably) that Chris Christie was going to be heading the transition. That sounded horrible, as Mark’s sources stated that Christie was bringing in Bush and Romney retreads.


    1. Trump should not let Christie too close as he has been too happy with federal aid (remember his hugging Obama?)

      This choice is great — while race should be (hopefully, will become) irrelevant to selections, he cannot be accused of racism in transition actions and he will be a great conservative model for black leaders.


  4. He isn’t white.

    Not that that matters, but I wonder if he will be considered diverse enough to quell cries of racism. I’ve been told that recently some gay males are being told that they don’t count as LGBTQxyz because their politics aren’t properly leftist. Is this guy going to be sufficiently non-WASP to be considered diverse?


    1. My concern with this whole debacle was watching many Christians actively defending sinful behaviour which they criticised past Presidents and candidates for. Having said that, I genuinely sympathise with folks who didn’t try to defend Trump’s behaviour and acted out of a desperate desire to stop Clinton; I can empathise with that decision. I just hope and pray that Trump’s appointments continue to be wise for you guys.


  5. I’m pleasantly surprised by Blackwell and Myron Ebell selections. But this “only one” talk is nonsense. Trump wasn’t even close to being the best candidate. Better than Hillary, sure, but that’s a low bar. Pray for more positive surprises.


  6. I’m with “AndyTGD” who said “….I genuinely sympathise with folks who didn’t try to defend Trump’s behaviour and acted out of a desperate desire to stop Clinton”. The need to stop Hillary was so overwhelming that I would have voted for almost anyone in order to topple her (which is, in many ways, what I did). That said, I could never understand the boosterism, especially from Christians, of the man.

    I saw the list of folks on his transition team, as well as potential cabinet selections: what a mixed bag. Mostly the biggestTrump supporters/donors, many from Goldman Sachs. Also, many of them are flaming liberal progressives, which is a very bad omen. Ironically, he also includes (I suspect Pence is behind this) a number of excellent individuals such as Marsha Blackburn, and Ben Carson.


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