ICGB   70-246  , 220-801   N10-006   70-461   VCP550   642-999   CISM   200-125  , CISM   70-177  , 200-120   300-320   1Z0-144   JK0-022   300-209   200-355   NSE4   1Y0-201   300-206  , 2V0-620   70-412   MB2-707   300-208  , 1Z0-060   PEGACPBA71V1   LX0-103   000-105   300-209   000-080   1Y0-201   642-732   70-177   70-410   74-678   101-400   MB2-707   MB5-705   500-260   1Z0-051   700-501   MB2-704   70-412  , 70-177   300-209   070-461   2V0-621D   3002   200-125  , CISM   70-410   810-403   220-901   300-115   350-018   000-104   1Z0-803   OG0-091   M70-101  , 200-355   74-678   70-461   210-065  , 2V0-621   200-125  , CAP  , CAS-002   200-310   N10-006   100-101   70-483   MB6-703  , CISSP   1z0-808   300-115   000-089  , 070-461   70-980   70-412   642-732   CAS-002   70-463   350-018   220-801   M70-101   CCA-500   70-461  , MB6-703   102-400   HP0-S42   102-400   74-678   640-911   210-260   SY0-401   350-080   70-243   70-980  ,

Episode 111, with guest Mark Leibovich, author of THIS TOWN

Mark Leibovich is our guest this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: July 20, 2013 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
PoliOptics airs regularly on POTUS on Saturdays at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm.
Follow us on Twitter @Polioptics
Listen to the show by clicking on the bar above.
Show also available for download on Apple iTunes by clicking here

Every week as our show opens, our theme music pots down and we come on with the (hopefully) familiar refrain:

Thanks for joining us as we pull back the curtain on the events that shape American politics and drive the images and headlines. PoliOptics – the only show of its kind on the air today and you hear it first on POTUS.

For 110 episodes prior to this one, we’ve made that claim – pulling back the curtain on the events that shape American politics. Truth be told, it’s bit of a boast. A crow. As Samuel C. Brownstein, the godfather of SAT prep books and the grandfather of Mark Leibovich, might write…a prevarication.

I can’t hide the fact that I left Washington, D.C., the burg fashioned as This Town in Mark’s new book, exactly 10 years ago, long before YouTube, Facebook and Twitter democratized and socialized it for we, the unwashed masses.

Yes, I try to pull back the curtain, as an outside observer, and I encourage our guests to be open and candid; to talk authentically and genuinely. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Speaking for myself, my insiderness is a decade old, if I ever had it in the first place. Maybe, in  a way, we’re all insiders now. In the age of Twitter, when I can live inside the feed of Jeffrey Goldberg or Leibo, I feel more connected today to the inside of Washington than I ever felt living there for 12 years in the nineties, when I worked in the White House, and the early part of the Bush 43 years, when I worked at Penn & Schoen, one of the better-known DC political consultancies.

How far inside can I really get? From my perch in New York City, despite my Twitter feed, I’m in no better position to pull back the curtain on Washington than the other 310 million people who live outside the district itself and its surrounding opulent zip-codes. And even within that zone, all but a few basis points of the local population have ever been to a party at the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln. And if you even have to ask who today owns the place at 3014 N Street in Georgetown, well, sorry, you’re not a member of The Club. And neither am I.

But Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent of the New York Times Magazine does carry that card, having plied his trade there for the Washington Post and The Times for the last sixteen years. So even if Lois Romano takes Leibo to task for violating unspoken social codes, to the extent they exist, he is one club member who, with his just-published book, truly does pull back the curtain for all of us.

Two notes of “Full Disclosure”:

  1. This is a big week for Leibo as his book is now on shelves and he’s promoting it feverishly. Many reviews and stories by Club-admitted reporters acknowledge their relationship with Mark by, in This Town-speak, admitting that they know him by his abbreviated surname “Leibo.” I admit to calling Mark Leibovich by “Leibo” (and other nicknames) for the better part of 45 years. We grew up on the same block in Waban, Mass. and have been close friends (minus the occasional donnybrook, precipitated by one of my trademark tantrums – both favored words from our past, among many others, that make it into This Town) for almost the entirety of our sentient lives. I make no bones about being one of Leibo’s biggest fans. I will go further by saying that, of my feelings for Leibo, the statement of Gore Vidal that Mark uses in This Town does not apply: “Success is not enough. One’s friends must fail.” I’m thrilled for Mark’s success.
  2. There may be some irony in me lavishing praise on Leibo and This Town and inviting him to share stories from his book for an hour on our show while, at the same time, as you look on the right hand column of this page, you will note that many of those that come under Leibo’s fairly harsh scrutiny have also appeared on this program, also receiving my lavish praise. Well, I am neither a working journalist nor a government employee nor a resident of This Town. I am, in the broad definition Leibo provides in This Town, a “former” (and a formerly low level one at that!), having served in the Clinton White House from 1993 to 1997. I can say proudly and truthfully that I like and respect everyone who has ever appeared on this program. From my perch in New York, a few hundred miles from this town, I delight in acknowledging that I can have my cake, and eat it too!
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