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Monday, November 04, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Punctuality mattered to Romney. Christie’s lateness bugged him. Mitt also cared about fitness and was prone to poke fun at those who didn’t. ('Oh, there’s your date for tonight,' he would say to male members of his traveling crew when they spied a chunky lady on the street.) Romney marveled at Christie’s girth, his difficulties in making his way down the narrow aisle of the campaign bus. Watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, 'Guys! Look at that!' ... Early Sunday morning, July 15, Romney got on a conference call with the Boston brain trust to talk about the veepstakes. The overwhelming consensus was for Ryan. He was young, telegenic, Irish Catholic, with blue collar appeal, and he might put his state in play. He would rouse the base and sharpen the policy contrast with Obama. While the Ryan budget and Medicare plan were political cons, Romney was half pregnant with them anyway—so why not marry their most articulate defender? Two of Mitt’s closest confidants, former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and his former business partner Bob White argued that Mitt should pick the best governing partner; privately, both expressed support for Ryan. Look, Mitt, you’ve never worked in Washington, Leavitt said. Having someone who can swing a bat for you on the Hill and knows the budget inside out makes a lot of sense. But Stevens remained unconvinced about Ryan and adamantly in favor of Christie. Shielded from the crash vet and what it was turning up, Romney’s chief strategist was making a purely political argument—one that contradicted the considered judgment of virtually everyone else on whom Mitt relied for advice. Such was the potency of the Romney-Stevens bond that Mitt kept Christie in the pack. Romney was somewhat shielded from the Pufferfish vet too, but he knew it wasn’t going smoothly. Myers informed him that a significant problem had not been solved: the severe limits on political donations from the financial community that would have applied to a Romney-Christie ticket under New Jersey’s strict pay-to-play regulations which limited the amounts potential donors employed by financial services firms who did business with the state could contribute. Romney’s lawyers were still looking into the matter. Facing Obama’s formidable fundraising machine, it appeared that picking Christie could cost Romney a serious chunk of change. One possibility was that if Christie were picked as VP, Romney would no longer be able to raise money from many financial institutions for the rest of the campaign. Not great, but manageable, maybe. Another possibility was that Boston would have to return the cash it had already raised on the Street—­unacceptable. The attorneys had been exploring workarounds; none were watertight. The easiest solution would be for Christie to resign as governor if he got the nod. A few hours after the conference call, Romney phoned him to float that notion. 'Are there any circumstances in which you’d consider resigning to become the nominee?' Mitt asked. Christie asked for time to think it over. Romney said that his lawyers were still working on the pay-to-play conundrum. 'Why don’t you talk to your counsel and see what happens?' Christie said. Romney hung up the phone convinced by Christie’s reaction that resignation was not in the cards. (He was correct.)" (Time)



"Is The New Yorker responsible for Paul Ryan’s name on the 2012 Republican ticket?
According to an excerpt in Time magazine from Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s new book about the 2012 presidential election, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Mr. Ryan as his running mate after reading a profile of the congressman in The New Yorker.

On the flight home from his July trip to England, Israel and Poland, Romney inhaled a long profile of Ryan in The New Yorker, which traced the Congressman’s ascendancy to the position of de facto intellectual and ideological leader of the GOP. Impressed by what he read, he gave the piece to [consultant Stuart] Stevens, who paged through it on the plane too. What do you think now? Romney asked.
“I can’t tell you who to fall in love with,” Stevens said with a shrug.
'Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P' by Ryan Lizza ran in the August 6 issue of The New Yorker. Presumably, that was the lengthy profile (it was over 6,000 words) that ultimately decided who would be the 2012 Republican candidate for vice president. The Obama camp, which had extensively polled Mr. Romney’s Veep possibilities, was baffled by the decision." *(Observer)


"Who are we? Where did we come from, and where are we going? — Paul Gauguin I took that quote from Guy de Rothschild in his memoir, 'The Whims of Fortune' (Random House 1985) which I am slowly reading, and am enjoying as I move ahead. It appealed to me as much as it obviously appealed to him. His story reflects that and there is the possibility of wisdom in the offing.That quote resonated with me personally. Early last month, Quest magazine hosted a party with Wally Findlay Galleries to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Quest 400, a list inspired by the famous 400 list of Mrs. Astor back in the 19th century. It was an idea borne at the time out of necessity – I needed to come up with some kind of story of the month if I were going to get paid. However, it turned out to be something that obviously had legs. And it’s interesting on a couple of levels, besides. However. So Chris Meigher, the owner/publisher of Quest decided to mark the occasion. Not a bad idea; good for everybody -- anything that can last 20 years in New York media is its own champion. It was I who came up with the idea all those 20 years ago, but it was Mr. Meigher who guided its editorial and publishing shape and gave it its own legs. Wally Findlay Galleries came up with this extraordinary montage of Quest editorial history, and covered all the walls in the entire gallery with it." (NYSocialDiary)


"The heart-wrenching drama of JFK Jr.’s death was one of many private family moments Kennedy chronicled in thick, red journals reviewed by The Post. In mid-July 1999, the family was coming together at their Hyannis Port, Mass., retreat for the wedding of RFK Jr.’s sister Rory Kennedy, the youngest child of assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. RFK Jr.’s wife had visited JFK Jr. and Bessette a week earlier and Bessette told her that her husband was 'so depressed' because he was fighting with his sister, Caroline, over furniture at the Martha’s Vineyard home that once belonged to their mother and had been left to them when Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in 1994. JFK Jr. was in the process of buying out his sister’s share in the Red Gate Farm estate. Kennedy notes that 'John confided to me also about how hurt he was by Caroline’s actions.' (Last spring, Caroline Kennedy, who is about to be sworn in as the US ambassador to Japan, put part of the estate on the market for $45 million.) Kennedy also mentions JFK Jr.’s struggles with George magazine, which he co-founded, and the uproar caused when he invited Hustler publisher Larry Flynt to join his table at that year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Sen. Ted Kennedy had written nephew John a 'disappointed letter' about the decision and 'John was hurt by that because his family is so important.'
Kennedy doesn’t say anything about the marital troubles between John and Carolyn, strife that largely came to light after their deaths. 'Mary and I resolved we will go see them this weekend and spend a lot of time with them,' RFK Jr., now 59, wrote of his cousin, who was seven years his junior." (NYPost)


"According to journal entries written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (retrieved by his wife, Mary, who committed suicide last year in the midst of their divorce), the days following the plane crash that took the life of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were marked with dramatic conflict between the two families, as the Kennedys did not feel Carolyn’s burial should be treated in the same manner as that of a Kennedy. Robert writes that, three days after the crash, Kennedy family members told Carolyn’s mother, Anne Freeman, that, while John Jr. would be buried in the family plot in Brookline, Mass., they 'could do with Carolyn as they pleased.' Ultimately, this ended as a moot point, as both John and Carolyn were cremated and buried at sea. But the diaries indicate that there were some very unpleasant interactions behind-the-scenes, particularly between Ed Schlossberg, Caroline Kennedy’s husband, and Anne, as he 'bulled, bullied, bullied the shattered grieving mother,' according to the diaries. 'She says she wants to start an ‘I hate Ed’ club.' The diaries also reveal that Carolyn once confided to Mary that John Jr. and his sister Caroline had been quarreling about furniture in their Martha’s Vineyard estate which had belonged to their mother." (VanityFair)

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