“Jo Mannies” Sounds Like “Jo Mama”

Hotline recently profiled St. Louis Post-Dispatch chief political writer Jo Mannies. Some notable bits:

What’s your most embarrassing on-the-job moment? (Or as embarrassing as you’d like to reveal?)

Right after the 1996 Democratic convention, I was part of the huge entourage traveling by bus through the Midwest with Clinton and Gore. My laptop blew up at the first stop and the cell phones didn’t work. After the last midnight event in Paducah, a Clinton staffer on my bus escorted me into the hotel — where I unexpectedly found myself a few feet from the president. The Secret Service told me to freeze, Clinton turned around to greet me, and all I could think to ask during our split-second encounter was his thoughts on the weather. After he left, the press corps stationed on a nearby balcony engulfed me to demand a recap — and all made clear that I’d blown it. (This was well before any of us knew about Monica, I might add.) The next morning, we were told that he’d ordered some air strikes in Iraq…

What is the first section of the newspaper you read?

After the front page, I check out wherever my story that day is slated to appear — so I can grouse about the placement and reprimand myself for what I forgot to include.

And finally, we’re ending this feature with a question posed by the last interviewee. This is from Bloomberg’s Roger Simon: Q: It is Nov. 5, 2008. What’s your lede?

“It was the best of times, the worst of times.” Then I’d go on to say for whom. As an older-than-dirt reporter I know better than to predict results two weeks before an election, much less two and a half years before one.