November 21, 2016

"For all his well-honed sheepishness, Priebus’s 'just a kid from Kenosha, Wisc.' shtick belies a penchant for main stages, big-ticket rooms and high-level company."

"No shortage of Reince Priebus photos hang on the walls of the R.N.C.’s headquarters on Capitol Hill. He can be a little star-struck. He travels far and often to appear with candidates and party dignitaries at events where his presence is not necessarily required. Priebus was giddy when I spoke to him last spring as he prepared to attend a party for Time’s '100 most influential people' at Lincoln Center. We were on the phone, him walking through the lobby of the J.W. Marriott after a packed day of fund-raising. He sounded almost out of breath, less from exhaustion than what seemed like pure excitement. He told me how stoked he was to meet the golfer Jordan Spieth and the pro-wrestler-turned-actor the Rock. 'Those are my top two,' Priebus said, especially the Rock. 'I was a big pro-wrestling fan back in the day,” he added, noting his childhood admiration for Hulk Hogan and Mad Dog Vachon.' 'Growing up in Kenosha, Wisc., being named to the Top 100 list is a pretty cool thing,' Priebus told me. At this point, I reminded him that no national party chairman would ever be named to the Top 100 except in extraordinary circumstances like these — and these were not particularly enviable ones."

From "Reince Priebus, Normalizer in Chief/As Trump’s new chief of staff, the lifelong G.O.P. loyalist will have to guide an outsider president and his band of radicals through a city they’ve pledged to upend" — by Mark Liebovich in the NYT.

ADDED: This post brought email from a former student who became an associate in 2000 at the law firm where Priebus worked. I published her email in a new post, here.

22 comments:

David Begley said...

Mad Dog Vachon was big in Omaha too.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Now that's an unbiased article!!

Sebastian said...

"no national party chairman would ever be named to the Top 100 except in extraordinary circumstances like these — and these were not particularly enviable ones." Making it to the to the White House is not "enviable"? Good to know progs don't feel envy.

Ann Althouse said...

Is this the fake news I keep hearing about?

David said...

So he's a star struck hick? Good. I like having someone who does is not (or does not pretend to be) blasé about all this.

Gahrie said...

Are we supposed to believe that:

Ron Brown
Michele Steele
Lee Atwater
George Bush
Bob Dole
Donna Brazile
DWS
Tim Kaine
Howard Dean
Chris Dodd
Terry McAuliffe

have never been on that list?


Ann Althouse said...

"So he's a star struck hick? Good. I like having someone who does is not (or does not pretend to be) blasé about all this."

What's the evidence that he's a star-struck hick? That he loved pro wrestling when he was a child?

The election of Trump shows the downside of looking down on the people of the heartland.

robother said...

Excuse me, NYT reporter, while I hone my sheepishness.

EDH said...

This may explain Trump's early appeal to Priebus.

"His blatant disregard for rules and his unorthodox tactics earned him the name 'Mad Dog'."

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

At this point, I reminded him that no national party chairman would ever be named to the Top 100 except in extraordinary circumstances like these — and these were not particularly enviable ones.

read: "At this point I asserted my own views into the conversation so I could report them later to you, my readers."

Priebus, I think, knows how to use being underestimated.

I can't read the Times until December, so I don't know what else there is to the story, but Priebus deserves his spot.

Oh, look. It's Karl Rove.

hombre said...

"It’s the big fact of American life now, isn’t it? That we are patronized by our inferiors." - Peggy Noonan, WSJ.

When God put this thought on Noonan's mind He was thinking about the nimrods at the NYT - among others, of course. Democrats on the outside will give us many opportunities to remember and recite the phrase.

Amadeus 48 said...

You know who has acted starstruck in the White House? Barack Hussein Obama

Curious George said...

I'll bet most people on any "Top" list came from a "Kenosha."

Nigel Tufnel said...

I'll bet most people on any "Top" list came from a "Kenosha."

Like Gus Polinski:

"Allow me to introduce myself, Gus Polinski How are you? Polka King of the Midwest? The Kenosha Kickers? No? That's okay I thought you might have recognized-- ...Anyways I had a few hits a few years ago. That's why I... Polka, Polka, Polka?(singing) Polka, polka, polka... No? Twin Lakes Polka... Domavougi Polka A.K.A. Kiss me polka...polka twist?"

John Candy, Home Alone

Ann Althouse said...

Orson Welles was from Kenosha.

Also, from Wikipedia's list of people from Kenosha:

Lionel Hampton, vibraphonist and bandleader
Margaret Landon, author of Anna and the King of Siam (The King and I)
Irving Wallace, author (The Chapman Report)
Don Ameche, actor, Academy Award-winner (Cocoon, Trading Places)
Mark Ruffalo, actor (The Avengers, Now You See Me, Shutter Island, Zodiac)
Joseph Zimmermann, inventor of the answering machine

Bill Peschel said...

Mark Liebovich is also the NY Times reporter who ran quotes he gathered from an interview with Hillary Clinton by the DNC. They told him to drop the ones about Sarah Palin, eating moose meat, and HRC wondering why everyone's so het up about gay rights but not women's rights.

Liebovich, like a subservient lap dog, obeyed his master's orders.

The Times does not see anything wrong about this.

Do you think he ran Priebus's quotes by Trump?

mikee said...

As long as we are led by this article, and I do mean led, to understand that having a GOP elite leader as Trump's CoS heralds the end of Trump's deplorable idea that the GOP elite must be replaced with principals and actions to support those principals, the hack writer will have fulfilled his constant twin goals of promoting the Democrats and damaging the Republicans.

JAORE said...

Priebus can not, even by the loose standards of the NYT, be labeled a racist/homophobe/yada yada yada. So he must be portrayed as an unsophisticated rube.

(He's pretty nice. We'll let him leave the room before we break out the derisive laughter.)

SukieTawdry said...

I don't know if I'd call it "fake" news. Even Liebovich is entitled to a point of view. It is a puff piece for sure, though, and a not very interesting one. New Yorkers are compelled to mock, even if only ever so slightly, fly-over country. It's in their DNA or something. But like I said, Wisconsin is ascendent.

Bad Lieutenant said...

HRC wondering why everyone's so het up about gay rights but not women's rights.


Probably the best thing she's ever said! Does anyone disagree that the LGBTXYZPDQ tail wagging the Democratic dog cost them big time?

Rusty said...

Yes. But can you do 'The Kenosha' , kid?

Ramblers used to be made in Kenosha. The AMC Javalin was an underappreciated muscle car.