This Town: Mark Leibovich on the insider's game called Washington

In his book, This Town, chief national correspondent for the New York Times Mark Leibovich gives readers a glimpse into the inner workings of Washington, D.C.


The author of a clever, cutting, and candid exposé on Washington describes a capital where celebrity edges out policy, and the voter is a bit of a nuisance.

"They believe, and I believe, that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. That's what drew our forebears here. It's how the daughter of a factory worker is CEO of America's largest automaker; how the son of a barkeeper is Speaker of the House."

U.S. President Barack Obama in his State of the Union Address

Republican House speaker John Boehner, the son of the barkeeper, gave a delighted thumbs up at the mention of his roots by President Obama at the State of the Union address earlier this year.

Still, for Mark Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times magazine, that was a telling moment in a city where political hostilities can melt into opportunistic alliances without warning and where the competition among politicians, lobbyists and journalists is often less about politics and more about celebrity. And it's never about the voter.

Mark Leibovich is the author of This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral -- Plus Plenty of Valet Parking -- in America's Gilded Capital. We spoke with him from Washington. This interview originally aired on February 5th, 2014.

What do you think? Do you agree with Mark Leibovich's commentary?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley.

Comments are closed.