Charlie Cook: The FishbowlDC Interview

cookint.jpgSay hello to Charlie Cook, from the Cook Political Report.

How many suits do you own? Two new , nice suits that really fit, two older ones that, well let’s just say would fit if I lost 15 pounds.

What word do you routinely misspell? If I knew, I wouldn’t misspell it. Let me ask the folks in my office and let them fill it in! Pataki, Giuliani, and Hussein

Did you see Brokeback Mountain? Yes, my wife and I decided to go see it long before I had any idea what it was about. While I was in college, I used to baby sit the young woman who played guitar and sang in the bar scene. Thought the movie was excellent, really well done.

Did you see The Da Vinci Code? I didn’t read the book until the month before the movie came out, really enjoyed both book and the movie.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? I rarely use the ring on my blackberry phone, I just leave it on vibrate all the time. I hate it when I am giving a speech and it is interupted by some jerk’s phone ringing, so I just never have mine ring.

What time did you get up this morning? At home, I usually get up at 6:15, but this morning was in Dallas for a speech that wasn’t until noon, so slept in until 8:00.

When did you last cry and why? Last summer I had to give the eulogy for a friend of 33 years, that was pretty tough. My wife and kids would be quick to point out though that it isn’t hard for me to get misty-eyed in a movie or occasionally a book.

Which of the seven deadly sins are you? I can’t name them all, so not really sure. Sometimes I get really cranky, that must fit in to one of them.

Beach, city or country? Beach definitely. Specifically, Hopetown, on Elbow Cay in the Abacos, the outer islands of the Bahamas.

Would you say you’re cute? Pretty? Hot? Beautiful? No, no, no and no.

Read the rest when you click below…(and see previous FishbowlDC interviews: Julie Mason, David Shuster, Joe Curl, Alex Pareene, Peter Beinart, Jonah Goldberg, Megyn Kendall, Ana Marie Cox, Jim Brady, Howard Mortman, Amy Argetsinger, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chuck Todd, Tom Gottlieb, Kelly Ann Collins, David von Drehle, David Lat, Mark Leibovich, Zain Verjee, David Plotz, Paul Kane, Karen Travers, Mark Halperin, Hugo Gurdon, Greg Kelly,Ken Rudin, John Dickerson, Anne Schroeder, Spencer Ackerman, Bret Baier, Bob Sellers, Greta van Susteren, Danielle Jones, Jonathan Salant, John McCalla, Pam Hess, Ryan Grim, Marc Ambinder, Marty Kady, Jack Shafer, Annie Lou Bayly, Jerry Zremski)

What color is your bathroom? Right now I think it’s white with blue trim, but my wife is about to have it ripped out and re-done, something about a leaky shower pan, but I’m not sure I believe her.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? Right now probably 100-150 a day, before the election, far more than that. My pet peeve is PR firms that indiscriminately send out press releases to journalists who don’t, never have and probably never will cover the issue that the release deals with. Some campaigns are just as bad, sending the most routine releases out that national reporters/columnists would have no interest in.

What’s your opinion of New York City? I love New York (that should be slogan), and in last few years getting over being intimidated by it.

What’s your favorite letter? Never thought of it, I guess C because my first and last names start with it.

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? I had two role models in 1984 when I started my newsletter, The Cook Political Report. The late Alan Baron was doing The Baron Report and Kevin Phillips did The American Political Report, both brilliant men. I got started writing my column when the then Editor of Roll Call, now Bob Merry, the President of Congressional Quarterly, asked me to start writing one. My favorite journalist of all time was the New York Times’ Johnny Apple.

Have you ever downloaded a podcast? If so, which one? I bought an Ipod a couple of years ago, downloaded a couple hundred songs, but don’t use it much. Never have downloaded a podcast, though intrigued by idea of downloading Meet the Press and the NBC Nightly News (can you tell which network I have a contract with?) on days when I don’t see the live broadcast.

Who’s your all-time favorite American Idol candidate? I’ve never seen the show, or for that matter, Dancing with the Stars, though I would have liked to have seen the show with Tucker Carlson. That took more guts than I have.

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? Does giving free speeches count? I’ve given probably a hundred this year, to various colleges and causes, too many my office and family would say. The most meaningful were several “Habitat for Humanity” type projects that my son David and I have done with UPS Public Affairs team from around the world, bulding kindergarten buildings or computer centers in remote places in Montana, Mexico, China (twice) and Poland.

Who is your favorite active journalist? Wow, too many to list and too fearful of leaving someone out. I’d better take the fifth amendment on that one. I started to come up with a list of three or four but came up with about 15. Let me just stick with Tim Russert and Brian Williams.

What did you have for breakfast? Usually it’s a triple venti skim latte from Starbucks. Today it was room service Belgian Waffles, bacon, orange juice and a large pot of coffee.

What’s your favorite item of clothing? That’s easy, my khaki pants.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? Never really bonded with any of them. It should be a comb but obviously isn’t, only use it once a day.

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? I would trade 10 IQ points to have a better recall of names and faces.

Better role model: GIJoe? Barbie? Never had either one, but as a guy born in the south, would have to say GIJoe.