FishbowlDC Interview With CQ Roll Call’s Hawkings

Say hello to CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing Editor David Hawkings. He has been the Daily Briefing Editor since November 2010. He was previously Managing Editor of CQ Weekly for six years. The number of positions he has held in the company is truly a mouthful: He has been the company’s senior editor for legislative affairs; co-editor of “Politics in America,” CQ Roll Call‘s signature reference work on members of Congress; the weekly magazine’s economics editor and its congressional affairs editor; and managing editor of the CQ Daily Monitor, the predecessor of CQ Today. A native New Yorker, Hawkings grew up on the Upper East Side. He’s a Bucknell grad and was formerly a columnist and editor at the San Antonio Light. He was also Rep. Lamar Smith‘s (R-Texas) press secretary during his campaign and freshman term in Congress. Hawkings can hardly believe that he has been a journalist for the past 30 years — but that’s where his heart is. “It’s still a calling,” he says of the journalism profession. “If done right it’s a public service. It contributes to the betterment of the democracy. I’m certainly not in it for the money.”

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Tab. Because it’s proudly retro, has a sharp edge, a biting taste and isn’t afraid to wear pink.

How often do you Google yourself? It’s part of my getting ready for every annual physical

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Why didn’t you pick another line of work? (Said to me first, and by me once or twice since.)

Who is your favorite working journalist and why?  Harry Hawkings, the older of our two sons, whose “Caps ‘Round the Clock” blog makes me grateful he wants to be a sports journalist – instead of competing with his dad in the government/political space. At 19 he’s a faster and clearer writer, and a brighter analyst, than maybe I’ll ever be.

Do you have a favorite word? “Oxymoron”

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Deep partisan divide.” But, sadly, there’s no way to avoid it these days.

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? If either invites me on his show, a nice meal afterward is on me. My dinnertime conversation, though, tries to occupy the space between hardball and flake.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? The one whose leaks could be accepted at face value.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring?  Rotary dial phone

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? My wife, Betsy, is routinely up at that hour and checks for the both of us.

What word do you routinely misspell? Most of them.

What swear word do you use most often? W.T.F. (as both a question and an affirmation)

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? Something I could do in bare feet, or maybe in sandals. And no typing. I hate typing.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) My colleague John Cranford, who writes the brilliant Political Economy column for CQ Weekly; my colleague Christina Bellantoni, Roll Call’s plugged-in associate political editor; and two guys whose online/email columns I always learn from – the GOP’s Rich Galen and the totally non-ideological Fox congressional correspondent Chad Pergram.