Linda Wertheimer: Tom Mann of the Brookings Institution
joins us to talk about the changes coming in the United
States Senate. Senator Helms is not the only senator who
has made a decison to leave. South Carolina Senator Strom
Thurmond is also retiring. Tom, who else is on your short list
of Senators who might be heading for the exits?
Thomas Mann: On the Republican Side, the most likely is
Fred Thompson of Tennessee—a very popular Senator who has not raised any
money or given any indication that he’s chomping at the bit to return to
Wertheimer: I hear that he’s sort of bored with it.
I think some people are overreacting — the people who say, oh this is the end of the U.S.-China relationship as we know it. That’s not necessarily true. They could be lenient to Trump and treat Taiwan differently. We need to know a lot more and we shouldn’t pre-judge the situation but we shouldn’t trivialize it either.
I think the scratches on the oracle bone suggest that they may be more lenient with Trump than with Tsai Ing-wen. We have already seen examples of ways that Beijing is pressuring the Tsai administration because it has not complied with Beijing’s demands about the 1992 consensus.
Understanding the party system after Taiwan’s 2016 elections-Washington, DC
Mann: I think he’s been frustrated by one, his inability to make more progress,
initialy, on the campaign finance front, and now that he’s lost his chairmanship
of the Governmental Affairs Committee, since the Democrats taking over, I think
he is somewhat bored. He’s a man of many talents and he may also be
attracted to very different pursuits.
Wertheimer: There have been rumors floating around about Senator Pete
Domenici… listen to complete interview (Real Player 4 min.)