A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Some quick thoughts re Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, his unique role in D.C., his feelings about tonight's GOP debate in Las Vegas, and the 2016 presidential campaign thus far... @CharlieCookDC

The National Journal
What’s on the Line in Las Vegas - For some of the Republican wannabes, Tuesday’s debate could matter a lot.
Charlie Cook, December 14, 2015

As we get older, some of us ac­cu­mu­late pet peeves. For me, this is one: when journ­al­ists write of an up­com­ing event as tan­tamount to a turn­ing point in the his­tory of civil­iz­a­tion, or at least since the in­ven­tion of sliced bread. In polit­ics, many im­port­ant events shape elec­tions, and a suc­ces­sion of events big and small make up what we call the cam­paign. For some of the can­did­ates, Tues­day night’s Re­pub­lic­an de­bate in Las Ve­gas, sponsored by CNN and Face­book, is crit­ic­ally im­port­ant; for oth­ers, even a strong per­form­ance would likely be too little, too late. There are likely to be no ad­di­tion­al events between now and the first week of Janu­ary—noth­ing that’s planned, any­way—that can change the dy­nam­ics of this race.

Read the rest of the article at http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/126039

I first met Charlie Cook of the eponymous Cook Political Report in 1992, when I had a 5-6 month gig at Roll Call newspaper in DC in-between some interviews I was having for some fulltime jobs at trade associations and law/lobbying firms, starting in the spring before the 1992 General Election that Bill Clinton won. 

This was in the pre-Internet era when Doug Bailey's The Hotline was faxed daily to eager subscribers aroung the Beltway and the country, and their most-eagerly anticipated 'coverage' in the 15-20 pages we'd print out were whatever crazy smart or crazy cruel thing that Mary Matalin had said in defense of President Bush or against Bill Clinton and the Democrats, and she pulled no punches, much to everyone's delight and constant amazement in the office. 
(If only Twitter had existed then!)

This was back when Roll Call was co-owned by Arthur Levitt before President Clinton nominated him to be SEC Chairman, and the paper was edited by James "Jim' Glassman
Which is to say, before it was owned by The Economist, and before The Hill existed.

Charlie's then-independent Cook Political Report was then-located in the same office around the corner from DC's Union Station as us, a few blocks north of the Senate side of Capitol Hill. 
It's while there that among other things, that I first met future Washington state's U.S. Senator Patty Murray months before she won her Senate primary and before her consultant's "mom in tennis shoes" ad campaign became a bit of a national thing via CNN.

That came about because a colleague in the Washington state Senate had once, foolishly, said she was “just a mom in tennis shoes. Go home. You can’t make a difference.”
Then as well as now, sometimes, left to their own devices, your opponents create your golden opportunity.

So, naturally, given all this, we were all VERY curious what Murray would wear for her first appointment with Charlie, which we all knew in advance would be crucial to her, and if positive,would likely have a tidal wave effect on DC PACs and the Beltway Dem money crowd IF she impressed him and his staff.

Surprise! She made a point of wearing sneakers with her smart professional outfit, looking like most of the women I'd just seen on the Metro train a few minutes before, wearing some sort of Anne Klein II thing. 
Murray's now the highest-ranking woman in the Senate.

In large part because of his amiable personality and disposition towards fairness -and his remarkable lack of a large ego despite his renown- as well as his zeal for facts and analytics, and his crazy memory for arcane facts, Charlie is probably the most-universally respected person I ever met in my 15 years in DC from 1988-2003.


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