The FishbowlDC Interview With Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard

Say hello to Taegan Goddard, founder of publisher of Political Wire. He owns and operates the site, while advertising is sold by CQ Roll Call. He grew up in Hartford, Conn. and graduated from Vassar with a major in economics followed by a public policy degree from Harvard. “I’m not even sure I’m a journalist now,” Goddard says with a brief chuckle. “I’m not even sure what journalist is. If it’s that I try to figure out what’s going and tell people, then I guess I am.” People tend to get confused by Goddard’s politics in that he has worked for a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent. He likes that he gets accused of being a Republican and a Communist. Goddard’s job doesn’t feel like work. “It’s almost what I’d do anyway,” he said. “I thoroughly love it.” Where does he work? “Absolutely everywhere,” he said. “One of the worst things is that it’s 24/7,  but one of the best is you can be anywhere.” Most of the time he’s in his study.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? No doubt about it: Coca Cola.

How often do you Google yourself? Constantly, thanks to Google Alerts.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I got in a heated argument with a New York Times editor over online journalism, which ended with me saying I looked forward to reading your newspaper on the bottom of a pet cage.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? An old boss once told me to always remember that a monkey can do 95 percent of any job.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Frank Rich is brilliant.

Do you have a favorite word? Absolutely

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin, even though she called me an idiot a few months ago. (Read here.)

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Old-fashioned telephone.

What word do you routinely misspell? Reince Priebus

What swear word do you use most often? Fuck, as a noun, verb and adjective.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Fuck

What TV show do you have to watch? With the exception of Red Sox games and C-SPAN, I rarely watch television.

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? There is nothing I enjoy less than shopping for clothes. I try to make them last as long as possible.

Whom do you prefer for daytime talk, Dr. Phil, Ellen, Oprah, Tyra or the women of The View? None of the above.

Find out who Goddard wants to play him in a movie….(Hint: Saturday Night Fever)

Pick one: Leno, Letterman or Conan? David Letterman

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Bill Clinton, because he isn’t going to stay on some deserted island very long.

Who is your mentor? My father, who introduced me to the world of politics as a child.

What and where was your first job in journalism? I created Political Wire as a hobby more than a decade ago and have never really considered it a job.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Having an op-ed published while I was a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board that nearly derailed congressional negotiations pertaining to the Fed’s independence.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? Bill Clinton, both times.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? Any interview that ends with someone hanging up the phone on you.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? I prefer to let others break the news and then tell my readers about it.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? All the time watching my kids goof around.

When and why did you last lose your temper? When people ask me if I lose my temper!

Which movie best describes your journalism career? Pulp Fiction, for its non-linear storyline.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? John Travolta, of course.

Name some jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): I spent a dozen years as the Chief Operating Officer of two investment companies in New York: Oppenheimer Capital and PIMCO Equity Advisers. I also worked as a policy adviser in government.

A question from last week’s interviewee, The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta: What is your party or clique? I’m fiercely independent and not a joiner by nature.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?