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Top 10 Things I Learned from “This Town” by Mark Leibovich

Lyla Grey Email

I am not a natural blonde. I go to a salon every other month to have the roots of my genetic inheritance bleached away. It is a lengthy process. During a recent visit, out of unimaginable boredom, I picked up This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America’s Gilded Capital by Mark Leibovich.

Here is what I learned…

  1. Billary despised Tim Russert. The feeling was mutual.
  2. James Carville used to say “if Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two.” Hillary asked him to stop.
  3. By all accounts, Tammy Haddad is one of the most shamelessly self-absorbed narcissists in Washington. She could have fooled me with that hair…

  4. Then-San Francisco Examiner columnist Chris Matthews begged his way onto shows like The McLaughlin Group– which, regretfully, he parlayed into Hardball and a $5 million per year salary.
  5. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are treated like rockstars in Washington D.C. The same cannot be said of Fox & Friends’ hosts, even though they regularly draw twice the number of viewers.
  6. In Washington D.C., losing doesn’t mean what you think it means.
  7. As voters, we see vanquished incumbents as losers. But lobbying firms see them as access to Congress– and pay them accordingly. Case in point: Fmr. Minority Leader Tom Daschle. What seemed like a humiliating defeat to John Thune in 2004 turned out to be a multi-million dollar promotion.
  8. Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s incompetent campaign manager— now earns a seven-figure income as a “consultant”– despite not having a single electoral victory of note on his resume.
  9. When someone is running for the highest public office on Earth, it seems reasonable to ask that they provide a copy of their tax returns. In Washington D.C., such a request elicits 12 weeks of vicious, and mind-numbingly repetitive, back-and-forth.
  10. Mark Leibovich has many talents. Brevity isn’t necessarily one of them.

It’s good. Read it.

Lyla Grey

Majored in Literature. Apparently, an employment-irrelevant field. Aside from poetry, passions include kittens, autistic children, and Michael Jackson.