Posts Tagged ‘Alex Castellanos’
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Say hello to Politico‘s newly relaunched blogger Ben Smith. Raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan by a lawyer (now judge) for a father and a writer/learning specialist mother, Smith says he’s not sure what specifically drew him to journalism other than a stint at the Jewish Forward. While there he covered a drama-filled state senate race and uncovered news of a candidate taking contributions from a Saudi prince through a shell corporation. That candidate is now New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “I’m basically kind of shy,” Smith said in a phone interview. “I think it’s true of a lot of reporters that it’s an excuse to go out and ask questions you’re interested in.” This week his blog got a makeover as he officially added media to his beat. He says he has always viewed media as part of the political beat. “It seemed like a logical effort,” he said. “I picked it up at the New York Observer that they were part of the same fabric.” Asked if he’s recognized on the street at this point,” he says “never.” Asked what he thinks it means to be successful and he sounds tough on himself. “I tend to be pretty neurotic and basically think I’m as successful as my last story,” he said. “Professional hazard.” Does Smith speak any foreign languages? “I speak a bunch of foreign languages really badly,” he said. “I studied French and I speak some Czech, Russian, Latvian and Spanish. I can read a newspaper in most of those but not conduct an interview at this point.” Does he prefer climbing a mountain or taking a long walk on a beach? “I’m more a mountain person,” he said, remaining calm as I see how many goofy questions it will take to get him riled. By the way, Ben, we’re shipping a few crates of tangerines to your house for your 2-year-old. Enjoy!
If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? I guess Coca Cola, but I don’t really drink carbonated beverages.
How often do you Google yourself? Once every few months; I have to admit it’s kind of satisfying to have clawed my way to the top of the “Ben Smith” Google rankings, which wasn’t easy. I’m competing with a musician and a handful of athletes with that name, but benefit from the fact that football, hockey, and soccer careers seem to be shorter than journalists’.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? The best worst thing an editor every said to me was in my first political reporting job, as City Hall guy for the New York Sun. In the third of fourth story after an expose, I’d gone easy on the target. The editor in chief, Seth Lipsky, said with total disgust, “You’ve got an instinct for the capillaries.”
Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I’m not sure I’m allowed, or required, to go with colleagues, but Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin are two of the best political reporters I’ve ever encountered. They both have savant-ish, gut understanding of how politics works, and the kind of honesty that compels sources and readers.
Do you have a favorite word? No.
Who would you rather have dinner with – Politico’s Jim VandeHei, Politico’s John Harris or Robert Allbritton? Tell us why. And no, they may not all attend. I’ll go with Harris. He’s the one that brung me.
Does Ben Smith have a middle name? What is it? Eli
You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? I don’t know Carney well, but we’ve always gotten along. We both have red-headed sons named Hugo.
What’s the name of your cell phone ring? I usually have it on vibrate.
How do you balance your job with being a family man? I operate under the belief, or fantasy, that my core readers arrive at work at nine and clock out at five, and I try to get most of my reporting into their reading time. I also have some office space about 10 minutes walk from my house, where I work when I can.
It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry or iPhone? No.
What word do you routinely misspell? Judgment. Really.
Find out what scares Ben Smith after the jump…And no, it’s not Jim VandeHei.
Cardona currently heads the public affairs practice at Dewey Square Group, where she founded the Latinovations practice that focuses on Latino strategic outreach on national, state and local levels. During the 2008 Democratic primary election, she was senior adviser and spokesperson to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and served on the campaign’s Hispanic outreach team. A former communications director for the Democratic National Committee, Cardona also served as a spokesperson at the U.S. Departments of Justice and Commerce during the Clinton administration.
David Frum is the editor and founder of the conservative website FrumForum.com. From 2001 to 2002, Frum served as special assistant and speechwriter to President George W. Bush. During the 2008 election season, he served as senior foreign policy advisor to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign. He is a former editor of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page and six time author.
Cardona and Frum join the CNN’s existing lineup of political contributors which includes John Avlon, Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Erick Erickson, Ari Fleischer, David Gergen, Roland Martin, Mary Matalin and Hilary Rosen.
Everyone from the Jonas Brothers, Gayle King and Chase Crawford to FNC White House correspondent Major Garrett, Roll Call’s Jackie Kucinich and Politico’s former Michaels – Yahoo’s Michael Calderone and HuffPo’s Michael Falcone came out for Tammy Haddad’s annual White House Correspondents brunch on Saturday.
The event and the day couldn’t have been a lovelier way to celebrate causes CURE – Epilepsy and Mother’s Day Every Day. Co-hosted by Ted Greenberg, Hilary Rosen, David Adler, Jim Courtovich, Alex Castellanos, Debra Lee, Steve McMahon and Franco Nuschese, the fete was called the “best yet” by many brunch-goers.
Good morning FishbowlDC! Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.
Tweet-of-the-day: @jackieraytapper: @thenote just know i have more followers than several journalists and some pols — and i just pooped my pants.
What we know and what we’re reading this rainy Friday morning…
Massive cuts at Gazette newspapers. Check out the memo to staff here.
Roland Martin was named “Broadcaster of the Year” by Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He’ll be presented with the award by Rev. Jesse Jackson at the 10th annual “Creating Opportunity” conference in Atlanta.
Who are some of DC’s TV newsers favorite guests? Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jon Stewart are among their picks.
MSNBC will air an encore presentation of Keith Olbermann‘s program-length Special Comment on health care tonight.
CNBC’s John Harwood had an exclusive with Larry Summers yesterday for “The Kudlow Report.”
E&P: Yahoo, CNN and MSNBC still topped the chart, but in one surprising shift The Huffington Post surpassed Washingtonpost.com in unique users in the month of September, new data from Nielsen Online reveals.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will join C-SPAN’s Newsmakers webcast.
Author-in-chief? GQ‘s Barack Obama’s Work in Progress.
CJR announced its four “Encore” Fellows- the fellowships, first of its kind, “provide downsized professionals with a writing position as well as support to help them choose how best to use their experience in the years ahead. Their work will be featured in the magazine and on CJR.org over a nine-month period beginning in late October.”
NBC’s Meet the Press: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
CBS’ Face the Nation: White House senior advisor David Axelrod, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and historian Douglas Brinkley
ABC’s This Week: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and a roundtable with NYT‘s David Brooks, Arianna Huffington, 2008 Nobel Prize Winning Economist Paul Krugman, George Will and Donna Brazile
Fox News Sunday: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Minority Whip Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and a roundtable with Fox News contributors senior political analyst Brit Hume, NPR’s Mara Liasson, Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol and NPR’s Juan Williams
CNN’s State of the Union: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and White House senior advisor David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala, Republican strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos, CNN political contributor and Fellow of the Claremont Institute William Bennett and National Urban League’s Marc Morial
CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Politico‘s Roger Simon, The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Debra Saunders, USA Today‘s Christine Brennan, media commentator Callie Crossley and USA Today Live’s Lauren Ashburn
CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, University of Tehran’s Seyed Mohammad Marandi, NYU’s Nouriel Roubini, US News & World Report‘s Mort Zuckerman and “Ascent of Money” author Niall Ferguson
RELATED: Sunday Show Ratings- July 19th (via TVNewser)
Wolf Blitzer will anchor CNN’s special coverage of the confirmation hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination beginning Monday at 10am. Blitzer will be joined by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Candy Crowley, John King, Jessica Yellin, Jeffrey Toobin and CNN contributors Alex Castellanos and Maria Echaveste. Dana Bash and Brianna Keilar will report from the Hill.
And yes, King will make use of the magic wall to, according to the release, “report on Sotomayor’s relevant decisions, legal briefs and other documents from her years on the bench.”
CNN.com will also stream the confirmation hearings live in their entirety.
Sen. John Kerry, (D) Massachusetts/Obama Supporter and a panel with Brit Hume, Fox News Washington Managing Editor, Mara Liasson, National Public Radio & Fox News, Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard & Fox News, Juan Williams, National Public Radio & Fox News. And the Power Player of the Week is Dr. Cristian Samper, Director of the National Museum of Natural History.
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