What’s it like to be summoned to the White House? For Rick Enstrom, a longtime figure in Colorado Republican politics, an invitation to attend an August 1 forum about small businesses such as Enstrom Candies, the longtime Colorado enterprise he helps run, was an opportunity to get another angle on the administration of President Donald Trump — one that doesn’t have anything to do with investigations into possible collusion with Russia or the other assorted controversies that have dominated coverage by most major media outlets other than Fox News, which caught Enstrom on camera at the event.
“Unfortunately, that’s the environment the White House operates in right now,” says Enstrom, who (disclosure) happens to be a friend of yours truly. “Some of it’s earned, but I do think we’re going to see a change in demeanor” thanks to the appointment of new chief of staff General John Kelly, who attended the forum along with big names such as presidential daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, fiery counselor Kellyanne Conway, U.S. Small Business Association head (and former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO) Linda McMahon and the president himself, who offered welcoming remarks.
This isn’t Enstrom’s first brush with an American chief executive. “I got to introduce Ronald Reagan at a deal when I was a Mesa County commissioner and he was running for president,” he notes. “I was the youngest commissioner ever elected in Colorado, and I got up on the stage and locked up. I said, ‘Honest to God, I can’t think of a single thing to say. Here’s the next president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.'”
Laughing, Enstrom adds, “That was probably the best speech I ever gave” — and Reagan…
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