The FishbowlDC Interview With Politico’s Irascible Morning Money Man Ben White

Say hello to Politico‘s Ben White, who writes the “Morning Money” column covering the nexus of finance and public policy. Before Politico, he covered Wall Street for the NYT. Other publications he has worked for include WaPo and the Financial Times. He lives in New York City. As some of you may have noticed, Ben has something of a temper problem. Of course not remotely to the degree of Politico Pro Editor Tim Grieve, who was recently voted FishbowlDC’s “Worst Temper in Washington” in our Summer Superlatives. But Ben has his moments, like a recent rash of irritation he felt during a trip to Washington at the Madison Hotel where he had made a reservation. When he arrived, they wouldn’t honor his reservation. Suffice it to say, Ben wasn’t pleased and felt Twitter shaming might do the trick. One other important thing about him? He appears to have a man crush on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as you’ll see below. In all sincerity, the finance reporter has a self-deprecating wit we’ve grown to appreciate in recent weeks, so we wanted to find out a little more about what makes him tick, or rather, what ticks him off.

Have a look.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be?  Soda Stream version of diet coke. I drink so much of it I have to make my own.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Worst thing I’ve said: “Do you have any idea at all how financial markets actually work?” The answer: “No, I really don’t.”

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I don’t have one favorite. I love tons of reporters. Right now I’m in special awe of Maggie Haberman for her tenacity and productivity. It’s astounding and frankly I think she must be on steroids.

Do you have a favorite word? I have three. Jacob and Rafi, my two boys, and Jenna, my love.

Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, FNC’s Juan Williams or NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Tell us why. Blitzer. Because everywhere he goes is the Situation Room and that’s where I want to be. And his silvery beard mesmerizes me and has all the answers.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had while on the campaign trail and who was it with? My favorite was Karen from Arkansas with the huge hair and sequined blue dress who was most looking forward to her delegation’s party for Bill Clinton.

The population is dying out and you are required to save civilization as we know it. You have a romantic evening ahead of you (to save the planet) and you have three possible dates. Pick one. 1. Wolf Blitzer, Juan Williams or Candy Crowley. Just joking. Your real three options: 1. Lindsay Lohan 2. A much younger Madeleine Albright or 3. Chelsea Clinton. If I can’t have Blitzer, I’d go with Madeleine Albright because her story is so incredible and she is so breathtakingly smart.

Tell us a funny story from the road. Can be long or short. In 2000, my man job seemed to be carrying legendary Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory’s bags around New Hampshire. I think its my best memory from the trail and probably the most useful thing I’ve done in journalism.

What’s the most revolting thing you’ve eaten in your campaign travels? And the best? I ate most of my dinners in Tampa from a vending machine. But best meal was also there, original Cuban sandwich at Colombia Restaurant in Ybor City with former Sen. Mel Martinez.

What annoys you most about campaign coverage? And what gratifies you about it? … 

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