Before I was a guest on The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, I sort of “met” the host–not at the journalist watering hole Off the Record…
…not in the White House briefing room…
…not at a charity fundraiser.
I met him at the dog park.
Indeed it was my surprise to hear his name called out while at Doggie Happy Hour. When I looked around, I thought I would say hi and wondered if our pooches would get along.
…I wondered: what kind of canine does he have?
What does it reveal about both his ego and his id?
(Pomeranian versus Jack Russell versus Golden Retriever)
As I scanned the astroturf, no Chuck Todd.
Well, not THAT CT, but a four-legged furry one. In a total Hollywood for Ugly People as Washington is known because here so-called nerds can achieve the celebrity status reserved for George Clooney, someone had named his best friend…well…Chuck Todd.
I mentioned this to Chuck when I met him on the set of his MSNBC show. Politico‘s senior political writer Lois Romano and National Journal Hotline’s Editor in Chief Reid Wilson had no clue about this tidbit of insignificant Washington trivia but upon learning the 411, chuckled.
Then we got down to business: the shake up in President Obama’s national security staff, with long time aide Samantha Power replacing Susan Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Ms. Rice named National Security Advisor. Both women whose professional preparation and ambition have collected an equally cluttered constellation of supporters and detractors, were rewarded for their loyalty. That’s how politics works. So does circumventing the opposition with the appointment of Susan Rice which falls within the bounds of presidential authority, not requiring Senate confirmation (as Power will face). But she does not slide into this position. She took full body blows for the Benghazi talking points. If you tweet too much and watch too much news, then you remember that when the four Americans including an ambassador were murdered and Rice insisted a video provoked the violence, the Republican opposition that doubted this explanation focused on President Obama. Why? It was a mere few weeks before the November election and here was an opportunity to dig a significant chink in his national security armor.
President Obama won re-election and when this debate justifiably was revived to get to the bottom of the security vulnerabilities that left four Americans unprotected in a combustible environment, the spotlight moved to Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, and the change to the talking points–reviewed and scrubbed by so many, including the State Department and the CIA, including disgraced former CIA head and retired Army General David Petraeus who, according to reports, had a hand in what’s being described as CYA on a covert mission that had gone really, really bad.
Then we wrapped things up with a “shameless plus.” Do I give my Papis’ 50th wedding anniversary or Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program by L4LL, the literacy organization I run with Monica Olivera aka Mommy Maestra?
I’m a bad daughter. But it’s not documented anywhere (well, except here) because it didn’t make the video edit.
Click below to watch my participation in the Gaggle which aired on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd on June 5, 2013.