The Mirror

DC gives GOP strategist sharp stomach pains, but he survives

Betsy Rothstein
Betsy Rothstein
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      Betsy Rothstein

      Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Betsy has been covering and torturing Washington media for the past three years. Early on she studied journalism in England, interviewing punk rockers in Piccadilly Square who stole her notebook and ripped it up. After graduating from Union College with a B.A. in Spanish, she began her journalism career in Cambridge, Mass., working for a Cuban newspaper where she conducted man-on-the-street interviews. She asked Latinos about their love lives. “Do Latinos make better lovers or what?” She soon moved out west to Denver, where she worked for two rival Hispanic weeklies for one year each. Next stop: J-school at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a master’s degree. In the years following grad school she worked at the Boca Raton News as a business reporter followed by a brief stint as a press secretary for former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.). She spent the next decade on Capitol Hill covering hard news, features and gossip for The Hill Newspaper. In 2009 she quit and moved to Portland, Ore. and wrote about the many long-haired men there who distinctly resemble Jesus. They weren’t all kind (one was fat and confrontational) but she got her story. Prior to joining TheDC, Betsy was the editor of FishbowlDC, a Washington media gossip blog.

Washington, D.C. can have a magnificently strange effect on people.

Four weeks ago, Jason Roe — a San Diego GOP campaign strategist who’s running Kevin Faulconer‘s San Diego mayoral race and frequents our fine city on business — was in Washington drinking and eating peanuts and popcorn. No joke, he was more focused on drinking than eating one night. Upon returning home to California, he began experiencing sharp stomach pains.

Initially, the doctors suspected appendicitis. But it was diverticulitis, a hereditary condition he didn’t know he had. He was diagnosed with a punctured polyp and it wasn’t pretty. Doctors put him on an all-liquid diet, and six days in the hospital later, he’d dropped 15 pounds.

“Fortunately, I didn’t need emergency surgery which would have required removal of part of my intestine and up to six months with a shit bag,” Roe said over breakfast this morning at Open City, where he dined on coffee and fruit — the fruit is part of his healthy diet, but he’s supposed to be cutting down on the coffee as well as popcorn and peanuts that set off his condition like a firecracker. “My tailored shirts don’t accommodate shit bags,” he deadpanned, while wearing an immaculate black and white pinstripe suit.

He reasoned, “It was unusual that I was eating nuts to begin with.”