NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent, shares her favorite place to go in D.C., and some details about her career.
Who helped guide your career the most?
I’ve been blessed with extraordinary mentors: Jim Snyder at Channel 9; Sid Davis, who brought me to NBC News in 1978; and of course the one and only Tim Russert, who really taught me how to cover politics.
While not born and raised here, I feel as though I’m a lifetime Washingtonian because I’ve loved politics all my life and can’t believe I’m lucky enough to live and work around the Capitol, the White House, and the monuments that make our nation’s history come alive.
THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL is both heroic in scale and deeply human, the statue’s face reflecting the gravity of our nation’s greatest moral and political crisis. I first went there as a teenager, drawn by the images I’d seen on television of the great civil rights march and Dr. King’s speech.
The story or scoop you are proudest of?
I broke the story that Dan Quayle was going to be on the ticket in 1988 and that John Edwards would be John Kerry’s running mate in 2004. Over the years it was fascinating to have so many exclusive interviews with Fidel Castro.
How do you describe your ‘reporter’s instinct’?
It’s a feeling in the gut when you just know something is happening — even before you can prove it. Usually, your instinct is right. Unfortunately, it’s not something that can easily be taught.
For its simplicity and emotional power, the Vietnam Memorial (1) feels like a sacred place, seeming to rise from the earth thanks to architect Maya Lin’s brilliant design. It perfectly conveys sacrifice, honor and loss.
I love to wander through DUMBARTON OAKS and run through BATTERY KEMBLE and ROCK CREEK PARKS . I trained for a marathon along the towpath, taking the CAPITAL CRESCENT TRAIL (2) out to Bethesda — enjoying the pleasure of seeing an occasional Great Blue Heron or turtles sunning themselves on rocks in the Canal.
Someone you wanted to meet but never did?
I’d love to question the real power in Iran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about his country’s nuclear intentions.
I love the U.S. CAPITOL for all of its history and intrigue. One of the favorite “Today Show” stories I did when I covered the Hill full-time was about the Brumidi frescoes that decorate the Rotunda and other corridors on the first floor. I became intrigued by them during long stake outs, waiting for leaders to emerge from budget negotiations.
My favorite restaurant is in that “other” Washington: the INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON (3), because that’s where my husband and I were married. In our neighborhood we are fortunate to have BLACK SALT (4) for really great, fresh seafood.
When it comes to football, there is only one answer: “Go Skins!” I love to spend Sundays at FEDEX FIELD (5). Like all Redskins fans, I’m looking forward to next season.