Fox News media commentator and ex-Mitt Romney press aide Richard Grenell is someone who takes hold of a subject and gnaws on it, unwilling to let it go until it’s bloody, gnarled and beyond recognition. Journalists who engage with him on Twitter often regret doing so. But behind the scenes and the glare is an entirely different Richard Grenell. Facts about him in no particular order: He lives in Los Angeles. He grew up an evangelical Christian. He hung out with Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington when Arianna was a conservative. Career highlights: He’s been a spokesman for politicians for more than two decades. He and Fox News “The Five” host Dana Perino worked in San Diego politics together. He’s a former U.N. spokesman and worked for big city mayors outside of D.C., lawmakers on Capitol Hill, governors, presidents, and campaigns. He left the Romney campaign as his foreign policy spokesman in a swirl of controversy — he’s openly gay and supports gay marriage, his tweets could be acerbic, all factors that allegedly caused friction within the campaign. Another version is that the Romney campaign begged him to stay but wanted him to stay quiet. But when is Grenell ever quiet? He ultimately resigned. Personal: He survived cancer. His nephews and nieces are his favorite people to be around. His pooch is the state dog of Texas – a Blue Lacy (an example of one pictured here). Former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) has given him the best advice on life (we pressed, but it’s unfortunately too long to share). Behind the scenes and the public arguing, he’s actually close to a variety of journalists from the AP, WaPo, CNN, and NYT and more, who feed him scoop. (Apparently NYT journos are the biggest gossips.) The most surprising thing? He loves many reporters. As he explained to The Mirror, “The ones I ride are hated by their colleagues too.”
Here’s snappy Grenell tweeting at a MSNBC national reporter: “Stop digging. You were offensive & elitist @SuzyKhimm It’s called sarcasm. Because I get it all the time.”
Today we turn the tables on Mr. Sharp-Tongue. Let the grilling begin.
Hometown: Los Angeles via Grand Rapids
Age: Google it if you must.
Named for: no one
First job ever: lifeguard
Current employment: Talking about those who are drowning and saving some.
If someone wants to get on your good side, what candy or liquor should they ply you with? Not PEEPs
Most exotic place you’ve ever visited: a dog breeder in South Central
Why do you think Washington is so polarized? And please consider your answer in terms of boring us. Lazy media
Who is your celebrity crush? Matt Lashey
A thought that makes you want to cry: losing my dog
Weirdest habit you’ve observed in a newsroom (workplace) setting? Reporters who ask “is there anything I’ve missed?”
If you had to kiss a politician who would it be? Ronald Reagan
What’s next for you? What would you do with your life if absolutely nothing could stop you? Buy Bob Hope’s house on the ridge in Palm Springs and restore it.
Pick one: House of Cards, Homeland or Veep: House of Cards
Pick one: CNN’s New Day, Morning Joe, GMA or the TODAY Show: GMA gives me the most content for Twitter.
If you had to have a U.S. senator or congressman as your father who would it be? Jack Danforth
Since this is The Mirror Questionnaire, what would you change about yourself physically if you could? My sinuses.
And your personality? I’ve accepted all my flaws.
Preferred beach: Cabo
Guilty pleasure TV show: Teen Mom Two but there is no guilt.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-obsessed are you? (10 being you can’t tear yourself away from your own daily Google search and 1 meaning you often spend time in the country away from your computer and don’t give a crap about your Klout score.) I’m very obsessed about other things.
Workout regimen: run, stretch, lift or yoga every day.
Pick one – flabby thighs, cankles or love handles? See above.
Choose: Beautiful eyes, best personality or perfect legs? I found one with all three.
A thought that brings you great joy: cancer-free
A regret (of any kind): I always eat too much pizza. Always.
Any brushes with death? If so, please describe. Yes, but I now have thoughts that bring me great joy (see above).
Just a preference Q: Bo or Sunny? Lola
Most annoying thing your editor (boss) does: Makes me talk to certain reporters.
Rank how hairy your butt is: 1 to 10? Before or after waxing?
Go for a stroll in the park with one of the following and explain the reason for your choice. 1. Andrew Sullivan, of The Daily Dish. 2. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart. 3. NewCo’s Glenn Greenwald. Andrew, because we have lots to catch up on.
When was the last time you were, if ever, naked outside? I have a hot tub.
From The Sunday Times’ Toby Harnden: If you could tell one person to their face that they’re full of shit, with no consequences, who would it be? [NBC, MSNBC] Chuck Todd
From Al Jazeera’s David Shuster: If you had to watch or read a news report in a language you didn’t understand, what language would it be and why? Portuguese because I’m hoping I’m in Brazil.
From lefty radio host Bill Press: Where’s the one place in Washington you’d love to have sex, but can’t? I hate Washington.
From former Rep. Weiner’s ex-phone sex partner Sydney Elaine Leathers: Who is the worst journalist on your favorite news channel? Chuck Todd
From Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay: Which universally acclaimed piece of literature, art, film, or music can you simply not stand? The Mona Lisa is over-rated.
Please provide a question for the next lucky victim of The Mirror Questionnaire. Make it good. Name a politician that lost their election but should have won.