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Posts Tagged ‘Lissa Muscatine’

Vital Voices Honors Women Leaders at 13th Annual Global Leadership Awards Gala


Photo credit Sharon Farmer.

Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center, Vital Voices hosted its 13th annual Global Leadership Awards, in honor of women leaders from around the world working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights. The evening’s honorees included Priti Patkar of India with the Human Rights Award; Claudia Paz y Paz of Guatemala with the Leadership in Public Life Award; Suaad Allami of Iraq with the Fern Holland Award, in honor of Fern Holland, an American lawyer killed in Iraq; Dr. Victoria Kisyombe of Tanzania with the Economic Empowerment Award; and Razan Zaitounch of Syria, with the Global Trailblazer Award.

Zaitounch’s award was presented by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and accepted by Zaitounch’s sister, as the award recipient was kidnapped in Syria during December 2013 along with her husband and two colleagues.
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The Ten Most Crowd-Pleasing Quotes at Hillary Clinton’s Talk at GW

IMG_5375On Friday night at GW’s Lisner Auditorium, Hillary Clinton sat down with her former speechwriter Lissa Muscatine, co-owner of Politics & Prose, for a conversation on the Hard Choices of her career as Secretary of State.

Much of the dialogue brought on audience displays of excitement through laughing, cheering, and clapping. Below are ten of the most crowd-pleasing quotes at at Hillary Clinton’s Friday night talk at GW.

On writing Hard Choices from her “writing room” in her home: “I would go up there early in the morning and I would make as many detours as I possibly could. It was always for something else. It was time to walk the dogs. It was time to go down and get more water…because you have to be very well hydrated…Ohh, and then of course, I read that you really should not sit for more than an hour. That became my favorite excuse.”

Recalling a drive to the camp of the King of Saudi Arabia with the country’s Foreign Minister: “The Foreign Minister was telling me how much he disliked camels. And I was saying, ‘My goodness! That’s like an Australian not liking kangaroos. That’s just so hard to imagine.’ But we were having a bit of a banter and a back and forth, and when we got to the meeting, it was a very large, formal setting, and I turned to the King and said, ‘Your Majesty, the Foreign Minister said he doesn’t like camels,’ and he said ‘What is wrong with him?’ ” Read more

Hillary Clinton Adds 3 Additional Hard Choices Interviews

hillary-clinton-hard-choicesKeeping track of Hillary Clinton’s scheduled interviews as part of her book tour for Hard Choices has so far proved harder than staying on top of this weekend’s Capital Pride festivities in DC.

In addition to her first television interview on June 9 – the eve of the book’s release by Simon & Schuster – with Diane Sawyer, a live interview with Robin Roberts for “Good Morning America, and a joint interview on June 17 from 6:45 – 7:15 pm with Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren, three new interviews have been added to the books.

CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour will moderate the only network televised town hall with the former Secretary of State on Tuesday, June 17th at 5 pm ET. The special broadcast before a live audience will take place at the Newseum and air on CNN and simulcast worldwide on CNN International and CNN en Espanol. It will also re-air on CNN that night at 9 pm ET.

NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden will also interview Clinton about the book on Tuesday, June 10. Read more

Politics & Prose Owners to Bezos: Welcome to Washington You Ruthless Outsider

If Politics & Prose owners Brad Graham and Lissa Muscatine are any indication, WaPo‘s new owner Jeff Bezos could get a pretty frosty welcome to Washington, if you can even call it a welcome. In a prickly letter that spells out just what concerns them, they cite a variety of reasons for their disdain.

Both spent stints at WaPo in their respective journalism careers before they bought the bookshop. Both have strong ties to the Graham era of WaPo. Brad was a foreign correspondent, editor and Pentagon reporter; Lissa, a reporter and editor on the Metro and Sports staffs. Both worked under Don Graham‘s leadership. “Don is someone we both admire greatly, and we can’t imagine either journalism or Washington without the Post,” they wrote in a morning newsletter.

The couple really wants to believe the decision to sell to Bezos was a good one, but they have their doubts: “In the past two years, as stewards of another local cultural institution … we’ve routinely encountered a different version of Bezos. Indeed, among many independent booksellers he is perceived as a ruthless competitor bent on disrupting traditional retailers … without regard for the civic and commercial value that local bricks-and-mortar establishments still bring to neighborhoods around the country.”

During a recent appearance by NYT‘s Mark Leibovich at the shop for This Town, Lissa got bent out of shape when Leibovich even mentioned Amazon. She did not want him uttering the word.

After spending much of the newsletter detailing the pitfalls of Bezos, calling him a “bully” and Washington outsider who will continue to live in Seattle, they coldly welcome him to Washington. With a letter like this, no doubt Bezos will be sure to show up to Politics & Prose with bells on – or more likely, never.

“Now that Bezos will be a DC business owner, we’d like to extend our own welcome to him. We even hope that he might find time when in town to visit Politics & Prose and be reminded of the benefits afforded by local bookstores—the joy of browsing shelves, the help provided by expert staff, the pleasures of attending author events, and above all, the shared sense of community.


This Town Hits Politics & Prose: ‘I HOPE THIS ENDS AT 8!’

By 6:15 p.m. the folding chairs at Politics & Prose were nearly filled as the mostly elderly crowd got situated for the Leibo Show. Two seats contained “reserved” signs, so we were convinced they had to be for NYT‘s Mark Leibovich‘s parents or someone equally important. Holy f–king shit! Was Tammy Haddad coming? Eventually an older couple arrived and sat down. They weren’t Leibo’s parents at all – just random psychology professors who placed the makeshift signs and went next door to eat. Very sneaky.

On Tuesday night, the crowd came to hear Leibovich read from his newly released book, This Town — the dumb thing that Politico has only written about 18 times.

To be sure, the scene felt less This Town and more Seinfeld, the Del Boca Vista episodes.

“How much did you have to pay for that front row seat?” an older gentleman asked a male friend he hadn’t seen in awhile. “Well,” replied the balding acquaintance, “my wife had to knock some people over.”

Later on, an elderly woman with silky bright white hair and a cane used her outside voice to gripe to the person next to her, “I HOPE THIS ENDS AT 8!” The Q & A was still going on at 8:06 p.m. Still annoyed, she added, “I’LL STICK IT OUT BUT I THINK SHE’S LETTING IT GO ON TOO LONG.”

Aside from this woman, if Leibovich was looking for love amid some of the harsher critiques he has received lately, accusing him of social treason and such, this was the place to be. Jim Butcher of the “reserved seat” fame gave the book two thumbs up. “I laughed so much!” he said. “I hope it was meant to be funny. We watch Morning Joe and they all show up on there. It’s one of the funnier books I’ve read in awhile and I read only serious books.”

Soon enough, the author waltzed in. He’s hard to miss – tall, with a shiny bald head, one sharp-edged ear and wearing a blue subtly checked blazer, dark T-shirt and jeans. A momentary hush fell over the aging crowd.

“Brad and I had to fight over who would introduce him,” said Lissa Muscatine, one of the store’s owners, who went on about how neither she, her husband nor Politics & Prose were mentioned in This Town. “As ex-WaPo reporters, far be it for us to be so petty — really, it’s kind of a good news bad news thing to be mentioned in this book.” She tried to articulate the mixed feelings people have about it, saying, “You laugh and then you scream.” This Town, she says, “is what Mark has chronicled so devastatingly and brilliantly.” Still, she cracked that the new beer and wine sold at the shop may make the talk more interesting.

Leibovich stepped up to the podium. “I’m not such a bad guy,” he said, looking down sheepishly. Then he proceeded to majorly suck-up to the owners, telling everyone to buy their books here. Which they did. Some 75 books sold that night, 200 in the past two weeks, making it their top seller for the moment. He mentioned Amazon briefly and then tried to press the verbal delete key when that was met with minor hostility. “This is not me trying to curry favor with the owners,” he said earnestly. “This is our family bookstore. I say this has someone who truly loves the store.” On a touching note: One of Leibo’s daughters posed with the book at the store. He hesitated to call Lissa, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, a source or a friend or even a “friend source” and instead said, “Lissa has always been offering valuable guidance to me.”

With the niceties complete, he dove into real the reason they were all there: This Town. Read more

Washington’s Most Famous Bookstore Finds New Owners

WaPo is reporting that Politics & Prose will soon have new owners — two WaPo reporters.

Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade co-founded the famed bookstore 27 years ago, but decided to put it up for sale when Cohen discovered she had cancer. Cohen died in October. Since then, Meade and Cohen’s husband David had considered a number of serious bids.

The new owners will be two former (and married) WaPo reporters, Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine. Since they left journalism, Graham has written two books and Muscatine has worked as an aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

One of the competing bidders on the bookstore was a group composed of Franklin Foer formerly of TNR, the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, and literary agent Rafe Sagalyn.

Graham told WaPo: “[Politics and Prose] is an integral part of the Washington community, a community that Lissa and I have served for much of our careers already as journalists, authors and, in Lissa’s case, a senior government staff member. It is a very special culture here, a culture we want to see survive.”

The deal, said to be close to $2 million, is expected to close in 45 days.