Getting Real with Gretchen Carlson

9780525427452_large_Getting_RealAs the host of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on the Fox News Channel, Gretchen is in our homes five days a week and is at the heart of American life. Over her twenty-five years as an award-winning journalist and commentator, she has earned a reputation for speaking her mind, whether the topic is public policy or our personal choices.

In her new book, Getting Real, Gretchen speaks out about what it means to be a high-powered career woman in America today.

“When people watch me on TV they see part of my life. I wanted to let them know the real me behind the scenes. The child who was a concert violinist from the age of six. The young woman who took on the challenge to compete in the Miss America pageant. The television journalist for twenty-five years. The mother of two who, just like most women, struggles to balance work and family. The battles I’ve fought. How I’ve come back from failure and disappointment. Thanks to my upbringing, I always believed in myself and worked as hard as I could to get where I wanted to be. Nothing was ever handed to me. My hope is that when people read my story, it will inspire them to reach for their goals and not give up. The real story is this: if I can do it, you can too.”

The book, which will be officially launched June 16, can be pre-ordered at

Trail Talk: Highlights from Interview with Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina

For Episode 2 of Trail Talk, Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin spoke with presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Following are excerpts of the interview where she discusses RNC debates, Hillary Clinton, her departure from HP, and being underestimated. Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes.

MS. FISCHER MARTIN: Do you expect to be in the debates?
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: And have you talked to the RNC about that, and what do you think the criteria, if anything, should be?
MS. FIORINA: I have not had a specific conversation with the RNC about that. It’s not something they’re prepared to talk to candidates about. They need to go through that, their decision-making process. But, I know what it feels like on the ground, and I know that we are, look, I’m not a professional politician, so a lot of people don’t even know who I am yet [chuckles].
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: Right, which is going to be hard when you’re polling with 15, 16 other people in a poll, there naturally is going to be a large group of people who are polling at 1 or 2 percent.
MS. FIORINA: That’s right.
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: And, if the RNC says, “We are going to cut it off at 5 percent,” how do you make the case or what do you do if you’re not included?
MS. FIORINA: Well, it’s May and my candidacy is ten days old.
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: So you expect to be higher in the polls by August.
MS. FIORINA: Of course.

She’s a formidable woman, and she’ll be a formidable candidate. She will raise more money than anybody. She will have a great ground game, which the Democrat Party has built up over two election cycles. She’s hard working. She’s very smart.

She has peddled fiction…the story about the server in her basement; I mean nobody believes that that was anything other than a purposeful attempt to shield her communications from people she didn’t think deserved to look at them. It’s inconceivable to most people that she didn’t consider it a conflict of interest when foreign governments are providing millions of dollars to her family’s foundation and paying her husband huge speaking fees while she is serving as Secretary of State. And despite an agreement to disclose all this, she did not disclose any of it. I mean people understand that that indicates a lack of transparency and trustworthiness.

When you challenge the status quo, you make enemies. But leaders challenge the status quo. It’s their job. Managers operate within the status quo. Managers do the best they can within the existing system. And I would argue we got lots of politicians who are managers.

MS. HADDAD: Any lessons along the way you want to share?
MS. FIORINA: Well, actually I was a scared goody-two shoes, shy middle child. And [chuckles], you know, I started out as a secretary. And perhaps one of the things I’ve learned along the — I mean I’ve been underestimated all my life, starting as a secretary and ultimately becoming a chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, lots of people underestimated me along the way.

Trail Talk with Carly Fiorina

For Episode 2 of the Trail Talk Podcast, we spoke to Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina from the campaign trail.

In a crowded field of candidates, Fiorina says she fully expects to be included in the first GOP debate later this summer and she defends her role as one of the sharpest critics of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. More personally, Fiorina talks about the leadership lessons that she learned from her rocky tenure as the CEO of HP and how she grew up from a “scared goody-two shoes, shy middle child” into a confident woman.

You can download Episode 2 on iTunes or AudioBoom and subscribe to future episodes via the Washington Insider Channel on iTunes or AudioBoom. If you missed our first episode with Sen. Lindsey Graham and the creator of House of Cards, Beau Willimon you can listen here.

Follow us on Twitter @TrailTalkPod!

House of Cards Creator Beau Willimon Wants to Put an End to Sexual Assault

“With her students, she (Katie Cappiello) wrote SLUT: The Play — about a 16-year-old girl who’s sexually assaulted by three guy friends, and the backlash that follows. Slut debuted in New York in February 2013, with the same teenage girls who helped develop the project as its actresses.

“After getting attention from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Amy Poehler, Cappiello is preparing for Slut’s Washington premiere. On May 19 at the Warner Theatre, theatergoers will catch a glimpse of Beau Willimon, the creator of House of Cards and a big supporter of the project, who will be speaking alongside US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive, and others.”

Read more via Washingtonian: House of Cards Creator Beau Willimon Wants to Put an End to Sexual Assault

Taylor Swift’s Washington Concert Is Becoming a Political Fundraiser

“The Washington Post reported that several politicians are selling tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming show at Nationals Stadium in July.

“For just $2,500, you can shake it off next to Democrats like Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) or Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). If you’d rather go Republican, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) is apparently offering a ticket for only $1,500. (A pair of tickets to Stivers’ suite runs $2,500.)”

Read more via Taylor Swift’s Washington Concert Is Becoming a Political Fundraiser

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

To honor our nation’s heroes, a diverse array of World War II aircraft flew above the skies of Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 8, 2015, the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, as part of the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover.

via “The flyover will include dozens of World War II aircraft flying in 15 historically sequenced warbird formations overhead. The formations will represent the War’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, and concluding with a missing man formation to “Taps.” Never before has such a collection of WWII aircraft been assembled at one location, to honor the large assemblage of veterans gathered at the WWII Memorial for a ceremony.”

Grasshoppers over the @WhiteHouse for the #VEDay70 celebration. #ww2flyover #VEDay

A video posted by WHC Insider (@whcinsider) on

2015 White House Correspondents Garden Brunch Coverage

‘House of Cards’ star defends WHCD as Washington’s ‘fun night’
“Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) proved to be quite the busy social butterfly. Donning a Memphis Grizzlies cap, sunglasses and a tan jacket, Cohen buzzed around an indoor buffet area and chatted up “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on the HBO show. Then it was on to Sports Illustrated model Hannah Davis, with whom a smiling Cohen was seen having an extended conversation. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was eyed politely ducking out of the way of model Chanel Iman, as the 24-year-old snapped a photo with some gal pals.”

Journos, Stars Descend on DC for WHCD Garden Brunch, Meet Jane the Virgin and House of Cards Stars
“And who’s the star everyone wants to meet? Katie Couric tells me she can’t wait to shake hands with Gina Rodriguez, Golden Globe winning star of “Jane the Virgin.” Couric, who’s been doing great reports for Yahoo News and ABC, says, “She’s hot right now. Everyone is interested in her.”

White House Correspondents’ Dinner Attracts Celebs, Politicians
“(Vice CEO Shane) Smith would also make an appearance at Tammy Haddad’s brunch the following morning, and later at the Vanity Fair/Bloomberg after party. When asked why he was in D.C., he said he was there to secure White House accreditation for Vice, which plans on opening a bigger office in the city in preparation for coverage of the 2016 elections.”

WHCD Diary: What it’s really like to attend
“WHCD day starts off with a lavish brunch at the beautiful Georgetown home of Mark & Sally Ein — if you’re lucky enough to score an invite, that is. It’s a real who’s-who of Washington rubbing elbows with many of the celebrities in town for the dinner.”

My Weekend in Washington by Constance Zimmer
“There’s always a beautiful brunch hosted by Tammy Haddad with food, drinks, great causes like Dog Tag Bakery and of course more politics. The scene at the brunch is always a mixture of hungover people from the night before blended with an air of excitement about the night to come — a more casual setting where you can get yet another chance to have some interesting conversations with people who don’t cross your path everyday, like Chris Matthews.”

White House Correspondents’ Weekend: More Mindful of Journalists, Still Fun
“The annual Garden Brunch on R Street in Georgetown benefited Dog Tag Bakery and Blue Star Families.”

The Hangover: WHCD Weekend in Review
“Best Brunch: Tammy Haddad‘s Garden Brunch”

Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan attend 101st White House Correspondents’ Dinner
“In addition to the big event on Saturday night, Cohen and Reedus also attended Capitol File’s WHCD Weekend Welcome Reception with Cecily Strong at The British Embassy and the 22nd Annual White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch on Saturday afternoon.”

Anne V Flaunts Small Baby Bump at Garden Brunch
“The 29-year-old pregnant supermodel was joined by Hannah Davis, Gillian Jacobs, Darby Stanchfield, Norman Reedus, Carla Gugino, Alfre Woodard, Kelly Rutherford, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, his husband Justin Mikita, J.C. Chasez, and House of Cards‘ Michael Kelly.”

Star-Gazing at the 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner!
“The legendary White House Correspondent’s Brunch focused on two veterans-focused non profits: Blue Star Families and Dog Tag Bakery. “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez, supermodel Chanel Iman, figure skater Tara Lipinski, *NSYNC’s J.C. Chasez, and “Community” star Gillian Jacobs were just some of the famous faces seen mingling at pre-party of all pre-parties.”

White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner: Inside the Weekend’s Biggest Media and Tech Events
“Here are a selection of some of the most creative and inspiring brunches, receptions, after-parties, and more from the weekend.”

The White House Hits Its ‘F**k It’ Phase
“Katie Couric couldn’t move an inch without yet another photo request, and had to be led by this reporter through the mob to the bar—a prominent Washington political activist admitted that support of Hillary is more dutiful than enthusiastic this time around.”

Beau Willimon on the evolution of TV and proliferation of DC-based shows

For the inaugural episode of Trail Talk, Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin spoke with Beau Willimon, screenwriter and show runner of the Netflix hit political thriller, HOUSE OF CARDS. Following are excerpts of his interview where he discusses why there are currently so many DC-based political TV shows, shares his perspective on the evolution of TV, and explains how House of Cards prevents leaks.

“I would say that really over the past 15 years or so, the American public seems to be more politically conscious than it was in the decade or two prior to that, and that’s largely because of 9/11, of the War on Terror, number of wars overseas, an election in 2000 that was highly disputed. Politics became a big part of everyone’s life because there were real stakes, attached to it, in ways that there hadn’t been to the same degree in years previous and maybe that heightened political consciousness has led to a deeper interest in these sort of stories.”

“I don’t think you can really draw a distinction between Internet television and other forms of television at this point. I would say you can’t even really draw a distinction between television and film. You have so many types of distribution, so many different types of networks and broadcasters. Formal differences between film and TV are falling away in terms of the way that they’re filmed, the sort of talent that TV is drawing to it. You’ve got a bunch of limited series which seems to be the new fad now. They used to be called miniseries. There might be four or six episodes, which are essentially just long movies.

“I think that what’s most exciting is that you have a technological and a cultural paradigmatic shift happening at the same time and they’re intertwined. Netflix has expanded at a speed that you really haven’t seen in Hollywood before, at least not for a very long time. It was only three-and-a-half years ago that Netflix got into the game, and now they have dozens of shows that they are launching and are in development, major franchises, a huge diverse slate. Other competitors are getting into the game in a serious way like Amazon, Hulu. I don’t think that Netflix or Amazon, for instance, is going to replace all of the hundreds of networks that we have on cable but I do think that those networks may adapt to the new environment. HBO is a good example. They now have their own streaming service, specific to their network. And I think things are just changing very fast. It’s difficult to predict what it will be. I think what it is now, in ten years will probably seem antiquated to what it will be, and we can’t even imagine what it will be. I think the only thing we can count on that it’s going to continue to evolve at a very fast pace.”

WILLIMON: There’s plenty of leaks in Washington but we’re pretty good at “House of Cards” keeping leaks from happening, and I’m certainly not going to be the one who breaks ranks.
HADDAD: Do you lock up that writers’ room at night?
WILLIMON: Oh, yeah, we do lock it up.
MARTIN: Do you have your own e-mail server?
WILLIMON: There are a lot of security precautions. I mean, we don’t know how well we can protect ourselves from PRISM, but they haven’t let the cat out of the bag yet so…
MARTIN: You haven’t done anything to upset the North Koreans, then, too. Right?
WILLIMON: Well, see, like you’re trying to ask sneaky questions. You’re thinking that in a dispositive way of however I answer that might say something about Season 4, so, no comment.

Listen to the full podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes.

Ellen Tauscher receives Commander’s Cross of the Legion of Merit

A reception and award presentation was held in honor of the Honorable Ellen O’Kane Tauscher on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at the residence of German Ambassador Wittig. The Ambassador thanked Ms. Tauscher for her long, successful work in U.S.-German relations, adding that the world needs more “Tauscherism,” a more moderated approach for successful outcomes.

Tauscher gave a history lesson on the arrival of Irish and German immigrants to the U.S. and tickled the crowd by talking about how Germany got it right with Angela Merkel and how wonderful it will be with another woman leader of a country, President Hillary Clinton.

Guests included House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, General Jim Jones, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Hilary Rosen, Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe, Franco Nuschese, and members of the Tauscher family.

Trail Talk: Beau Willimon on Power in Washington and Hillary’s Candidacy

For the inaugural episode of Trail Talk, Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin spoke with Beau Willimon, screenwriter and show runner of the Netflix hit political thriller, HOUSE OF CARDS. Following are excerpts of his interview where he discusses the power game in Washington, D.C. and shares his impressions of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign rollout.

“I think one major truth about politics is that no form of power is absolute. Even if you become the president of the United States, the most powerful man or woman in the Free World, that power comes with limitations, with constraints, with pressures. You may, even if you’re elected, and Francis Underwood wasn’t, you may have a mandate but you still have to work with Congress; you still have to rely on allies; you still have to contend with enemies, and the popular will can shift on a dime. So any president faces these sort of dilemmas, even if they’ve, you know, assumed office with a great deal of popular support behind them. We’ve seen that a number of times in the past few decades, and how quickly that good will can shift.”

“I’m a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I worked a little bit on her first Senate campaign. A lot of my friends have worked for both the Clintons and all of those that worked for Hillary Clinton adore her. I was a big supporter of hers in 2008. She was my senator. I also loved Barack Obama a lot, and I thought for the first time in ages we had an embarrassment of riches in the Democratic Party, where either one of the two major candidates would have made for a good president.

“I’m very biased, you know. I am rooting for Hillary Clinton. I had thought she’d make a good president then and I still believe she’d make a good president now.

“In terms of the rollout itself, I thought it was well done. I really respect the fact that she’s taking nothing for granted, that she’s going to go out and pound the pavement and shake the hands and kiss the babies in New Hampshire and Iowa, if that’s what it takes out there, and, I think there’s a degree of confidence in her campaign but also a degree of humility. And that combination, in the right balance is what we look for in our candidate.”

Listen to the full podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes.