How do you approach your role as White House Correspondent? When I’m thinking about how to pose a question, I first try to anticipate the scripted response – and then find a way to get around it. It doesn’t always work out. Many times, officials simply refuse to answer — often by delivering a response to something that was not asked, then insisting the answer was given. I then have to decide if I’m going to chase down an answer that won’t come or move on to another topic. It’s always a game-time decision, and you always have to do your homework.
Pinnacle moment for you so far in your current role? I like to fully immerse myself in every assignment I take on, so last year I ran for the Board of the White House Correspondents Association and was grateful to be elected by my peers to a three-year term. The WHCA represents hundreds of members from print, TV, radio and online news, and the Board’s role is to advocate for access to the President and coordinate coverage with the administration. It’s a very demanding volunteer job, but one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had yet.
What is it like covering President Biden’s administration And 2024 campaign?
I’ll be frank: this President is pretty averse to media interaction. Past presidents would come to the briefing room, regularly sit for interviews, substantially engage with reporters at events – not President Biden, or most of his senior staff. It places an outsized need for source building beyond the White House – whether at other federal agencies or on Capitol Hill.
What are you most looking forward to diving into as we get closer to the election? Debates can make or break a candidate’s track, and there are always winners and losers, surprises and drama. Although we won’t see President Biden on the stage until we’re past the primaries, it will be fascinating to watch the GOP field shake out — and when the final ticket is decided, the general will make for even more must-see TV.
What are the issues / policy areas that aren’t getting enough coverage in your mind? Militarization of space and counterspace threats.
China especially is aiming to erode US influence across military, technological, economic, and diplomatic spheres. Russia, Iran, North Korea, and India are also seeking to position themselves as leading space powers.The stakes for national security are sobering – and the topic hasn’t been reported much.
Tips for competing in this field? I’m a stickler for details and never cut corners, so I always consider it a compliment when I’m trusted to break down a dense or nuanced topic and deliver it in a way people can understand.
Do you have a daily motto? It’s better to be right than it is to be first.We live in an age that is saturated with media, and often that includes misinformation, spin, and partisanship. As journalists, we can’t be lazy with the facts. Sometimes that means you don’t get to break the story – but it’s far more difficult to repair a broken reputation. I also never write for a targeted audience. My job is to report the truth, not police it.
Who are your journalistic heroes? Ever since I interned for Norah O’Donnell in college, she has graciously shared the inside track to navigating this historically male- dominated field. But on a daily basis, Dana Perino is at the top of my list. I’ll often reach out to a group of FOX anchors to brainstorm questions if I’m heading into a major event – and I can count on her for a brilliant response every single time, no matter the hour.
My Top Spots:
- The Library of Congress has tons of history to marvel at, and they also host lectures, workshops, exhibits, concerts, and film screenings – not to mention the weekly happy hour.
- My favorite place in the area to decompress is Transformational Acupuncture in Dupont Circle.
- If you’re in search of a White House official, go to Tatte! (1090 I St NW).
- Veronica Beard makes the best blazers and suits (1254 Wisconsin Ave NW).