Bill Haslam Joins Never-Trumper Bill Kristol and Abdul El-Sayed at Liberal DC Institute

Now that Bill Haslam has left office as Tennessee’s governor,  he has joined several Never-Trumpers as “spring fellows” instructors at American University’s Sine Institute of Politics in Washington, D.C.

The fellowship’s website says, “As an incubator for policy innovation and convener of the best minds in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the arts, and journalism, the Sine Institute is pleased to announce its inaugural class of Fellows and Distinguished Lecturer. These experts will lead discussions and study sessions with students, as well as convene and participate in campus-wide events throughout the year.”

Haslam should fit in with a cast of Never-Trumpers at the university. He said last year that Trump should not endorse any gubernatorial candidate seeking to replace him, referring to Diane Black.

Who are Haslam’s fellow “best” colleagues? Several of them are Never-Trumpers.

Abdul El-Sayed, innocuously listed by AU as a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, doctor and former executive director of the Detroit Health Department.

There is more to El-Sayed’s story.

According to an Aug. 3, 2018 story by The Intercept, El-Sayed is a Muslim American of Egyptian descent who has gained the adoration of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Last Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., endorsed El-Sayed, leveraging his considerable popularity in the state to El-Sayed’s benefit. And that weekend, democratic socialist superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined El-Sayed on the campaign trail, hitting four stops in two days and helping to fill venues up to and over capacity.

This is good news for Sanders fans in the state. El-Sayed, a doctor, Rhodes scholar, and former director of the Detroit Health Department, is poised to break a lot of glass ceilings in the state of Michigan. But the primary identity he’s running on is “progressive.”

His campaign has put together a uniquely comprehensive suite of policy proposals, including a commitment to establishing a $15 minimum wage; tuition-free college for Michiganders with family income under $150,000; aggressive criminal justice reform; and the most detailed state-level single-payer health care plan ever.

El-Sayed and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), then a candidate for Congress, were arrested in Flint in the fall of 2018 for blocking traffic as part of the Fight for $15 movement to set a high minimum wage for entry-level job, according to a story by CBS Detroit.

William “Bill” Kristol, political analyst and founder of The Weekly Standard.

The president and Kristol have long had an antagonistic relationship, as spelled out by Mediaite when The Standard folded.

Kristol said President Donald Trump “is out of control” over his support of Saudi Arabia over that government’s alleged involvement with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He also bashed the Republican party as paranoid and “blamed Fox News for bringing a fringe element into the GOP,” The Daily Caller News Foundation said.

Ruth Marcus, columnist for The Washington Post.

On July 14, 2017, she wrote:

Every week — nearly every day — brings fresh, stomach-churning evidence of President Trump’s unfitness for office. The latest may be the most revolting.

Confronted with incontrovertible proof that his son leapt at the prospect of meeting with a “Russian government attorney” offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his candidacy, the president took the position that this was political business as usual.

Karen Zacarías, playwright and founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater and Latinx Theatre Commons (“Latinx” is a gender-neutral term for Latinos or Latinas).

Showbiz Chicago says this about Latinx Theatre Commons:

In the midst of the current administration’s virulent hostility towards the Latinx community, promoting new Latinx stories and the artists who create them has become all the more urgent,” said Lisa Portes, LTC Carnaval Champion and Head of Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Wes Bush, chairman of Northrop Grumman Corp.

Haslam should fit in with a cast of Never-Trumpers at the university. He said last year that Trump should not endorse any gubernatorial candidate seeking to replace him. He was referring to Diane Black.

In other Haslam news, the former governor will likely decide in March if he will run for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), according to a story on the Star-Telegram website.

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill said, “If Haslam does run for the Senate he is clearly preparing to do so as an anti-Trump successor to former Senators Flake and Corker. He’s already auditioning for the part for the Establishment DC crowd with an off-Hill appearance at American University,” Gill said. “He will definitely get rave reviews from the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN and Buzzfeed.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.

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8 Thoughts to “Bill Haslam Joins Never-Trumper Bill Kristol and Abdul El-Sayed at Liberal DC Institute”

  1. Genevieve Cloud

    Nashvillians, please find a strong Republican to run for Lamar Alexander’s seat. Keep Haslam out. Wish Rinos were not only ones to run for office…shades of Bill Lee, Haslam, Alexander, etc, etc.

  2. […] response to Haslam joining a list of Never-Trumpers  as “spring fellows” instructors at American University’s Sine Institute of […]

  3. 83ragtop50

    Is anyone surprised? Haslam is really just a wealthy RINO.

    Me thinks Mr. Lee is of the same ilk.

    1. Pamela

      Yes Bill Lee is another traitor to his party. He’s one and done here!!

  4. Mike S.

    What is even more alarming is the Advisory Board of the Sine Institute Advisory Board. It is populated with former Obama Administration appointees. If Haslam is running for the senate he obviously believes he can run as a center-left republican.

  5. Ron W

    Constitutional conservatives should work together for one candidate in a Senate primary against Haslam should he run. Corker ended up in the Senate only because two conservatives, Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, split the vote in 2006 allowing Corker to slip in with little more than a third of the vote. Haslam was the Republican gubernatorial candidate for the same reason, with Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey and Zachary Wamp, splitting the conservative primary vote. Stop letting it happen!

  6. Sherrie Orange

    You are known by the friends you keep.

    1. Ron W

      True! Haslam has chosen like-minded friends, just as he did when he was with Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” while Knoxville Mayor.