Nia-Malika Henderson: The FishbowlDC Interview

Say hello to Politico’s Nia-Malika Henderson, a White House reporter, focusing on First Lady Michelle Obama and other issues.

What does your morning reading list include? Mikey’s Playbook and Politico, HuffPost, The Page, The Note, First Read, NY TIMES, WashPost, WSJ, RCP, and Drudge. Try to read a few pages of whatever book I’m reading, but rarely have time and catch Morning Joe when I can.

What single person has played the biggest role or has had the biggest influence on your career? Norm Gomlak, my buro chief at the Baltimore Sun and Craig Gordon, my editor at Newsday and now Politico. Both great editors, conceptually and organizationally and both understand how a story should sound in terms of rhythm and pacing. And my mom, was a rock and roll broadcast journalist and had her own show on public television back in the 1970s.

How many suits do you own? 3

What is the name of your cell phone ring? Classic, old school ring.

How many emails do you receive a day? How many do you answer? 150 or so, 40ish

Where do you power-lunch? Cosi. It’s quick, cheap, and close to the White House.

What’s your favorite or go-to drink? I’m a Southerner so I’m always asking for sweet tea no matter where I am in relation to the Mason-Dixon line.

Who is your favorite active journalist? Gwen Ifill.

What subject line in an email grabs your attention? “Read this quickly and send it back to me”

What section of the Sunday Washington Post do you read first? A section then Date Lab in the mag.

If you ran a doctor’s office or a bank, what cable station would you have on in your waiting room or lobby? No TV. Just mags and Aretha Franklin on a constant loop.

What kind of dog should the Obamas get and what should they name their new pet? They should get a long-haired cat and name it Gladys.

Who would you most enjoy seeing parodied on SNL? Bring back Dave Chappelle and let Dave and Charlie Murphy have at it.

Leno or Letterman? Stewart or Colbert? Letterman, Colbert

Taking a cue from The Chris Matthews Show here, tell us something we don’t know… I got my start in this town working as a page for Sen. Strom Thurmond.