Talking Politics At The Dinner Table

As Americans head to the polls for the 2016 elections, here’s a look back at my political dinner interviews.

Although it’s generally believed that people shouldn’t talk politics or religion at the dinner table, some of the interviews I’ve done over the years have been focused heavily on political talk.

Since launching this site in 2008 I’ve met people involved in politics at the local, state, and national level including a former U.S. senator, a well-known reporter, and several others. They’ve all touted the importance of getting involved in politics. Another common theme is that each of the interviewees were downbeat on the current state of politics, but optimistic that it could still be fixed.

Here’s the political strangers who got dinner with me:

  • Dinner #25 (October 15, 2010): Bryan Weaver, a former member of a Washington, D.C., Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), talked about his unsuccessful run to unseat a long-serving member of the District’s city council
  • Dinner #38 (October 14, 2011): I met the late former New York City Mayor Ed Koch for coffee and cupcakes in his office at the law firm Bryan Cave. Our hour-plus together didn’t break any news, but he had some interesting things to say about his lengthy career
  • Dinner #53 (February 19, 2014): Back in DC for dinner with Matt Abbruzzese, who was running for a slot on an ANC — although he ended up losing the race
  • Dinner #90 (April 18, 2016): A very enjoyable evening getting dinner in Rockville, Maryland, with state Senator Cheryl Kagan. She talked a lot about politics, but also about he many other interests including an addiction to playing Scrabble
  • Dinner #91 (June 29, 2016): Famous DC correspondent Eleanor Clift — of the now-ended show The McLaughlin Group and currently writing for The Daily Beast — met me in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to talk about her life covering politics
  • Dinner #93 (September 9, 2016): Apparently this year was a bonanza for political interviews. The most recent was with former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD), now an independent who wants to try and reform the entire political process

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