I had the pleasure recently of interviewing the lovely and brilliant Andrea Tantaros.
Ms. Tantaros is a Fox News political analyst and a columnist for the New York Daily News.
A sought after political consultant, she excels in helping her clients with everything from damage control to brand marketing. She moves seamlessly from lighthearted conversations on “Redeye” to serious debates about policy on “Hannity.”
She does not mince words, and her clients benefit from this.
She is also one of the most beautiful women on Earth. Her Fox News videos have grown men salivating over her with more passion than any politico not named New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
(The relentless man crush conservatives have on him skews the data, and is therefore an anomaly.)
While easy on the eyes, she will make your ears bleed if you try to advocate liberalism. She is tenacious and smart, and yet still self-effacing.
As with any interview, I have broken down my interview with Ms. Tantaros into three parts. First I present the fake interview that never happened. Then in the great tradition of the Jayson Blair Times (a scourge of a rag and a rival to the paper employing Ms. Tantaros), I present a doctored version of the fake interview deliberately taken out of context. Finally I present the actual unedited interview.
Here is my completely fictional interview.
Eric: “Given that you are a Republican Jewish brunette, it was very sweet of you to accept the engagement ring I got you. Should we announce our union to the world or wait until after our second child is born?”
AT: “I am not Jewish. I have a boyfriend. I have never met you. You seem like a cubic zirconia kind of guy. As badly as I want to repeal Obamacare, a free market plan should be enacted that covers stays at mental health facilities. You need it.”
Eric: “Would you be willing to admit that in a past life, you have thought about me constantly and gazed at me with wonder?”
AT: “I am wondering about you right now, but I do not see that as something in your favor. I think you have screws loose, and if your next sentence uses either of those words, I may have to deck you. I would not let you touch me if you were the last man on Earth.”
Eric: “What if it came down to me and the New York Times publisher?”
AT: “I would declare civilization over.”
Eric: “You are tough as nails, and I am throwing in the towel.”
AT: “This is the right thing to do, and my life will be instantly better when you do as quickly as possible.”
I will now present the doctored version of this interview, using the writing skills and ethical constraints of the Jayson Blair Times.
Eric: “Given that you are a Republican Jewish Brunette, it was very sweet of you to accept the engagement ring I got you. Should we announce our union to the world or wait until after our second child is born?”
AT: “This is the right thing to do, and my life will be instantly better when you do as quickly as possible.”
Adolescent fawning aside (me, not her, for those further than three standard deviations from lucid), the struggle for the heart and soul of this country is a tough battle that needs hardened foot soldiers. Ms. Tantaros is an unapologetic conservative who will take on any liberal point by point. The Republican Party benefits from her youth, enthusiasm, and lacerating dagger of a tongue. When elegance is blended with facts and logic, the results can be a delightful cocktail appreciated by those to the right of Leon Trotsky.
Too many conservatives have weak knees. We need steel spines. That is where Ms. Tantaros comes into play. The GOP is lucky she is on our side.
With that, I present my actual interview with Andrea Tantaros.
1) What is the Andrea Tantaros story?
“I’m third of four children born to a Greek immigrant father and a Christian, Italian-American mother. My family was in the restaurant business so we all had to work. A lot. My father came to America with nothing, never took a penny from the government and built an empire with my mother by his side as his partner. He loved us very much, but he was very tough. He set a demanding example and taught us the meaning of persistence, hard work and a mantra of no excuses. If more people were like him, this country would be in better shape.”
2) What made you decide to enter the political arena?
“I’ve always been a very competitive person but never thought about politics when I was young. My parents were active locally but I actually passed on going to college in Washington, DC because it was ‘too political.’ Pretty amusing when you think about it. Then a friend set me up with a summer internship in the press office of Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign (before he hijacked a third party). The rest is history.”
3) What is the first rule of damage control? What are examples of the best and worst ways to deal with scandals?
“If there is legitimacy to the scandal, don’t hide. Get all the facts out early. The more you leave on the table, the greater chance the story emerges drip by salacious drip later on and becomes the cover of the New York Post for a week straight (see Tiger Woods, John Edwards). People didn’t like to hear that Letterman had an affair but he got in front of the story, admitted it, and said let’s move on, leaving the press with nothing else to report. Alas, it died quickly.
Also, never, ever lie. It’s a good rule in general, but when dealing with the media, honesty is the only policy (see Tiger Woods again). Except for this questionnaire. And maybe when you’re on Red Eye. Kidding. (But not about Red Eye).”
4) What 3 political issues are most important to you?
“My issues are more abstract than precise. Fairness is very important to me. I don’t think the government should be taking from those who work hard and make more, nor should they be telling us what to do. They should focus on keeping us safe. Living in New York City, that’s a big one for me. Stop worrying about how much sodium is in my soup and focus on stopping the suicide bomber on my subway.
My father used to say ‘What a country,’ when he was amazed by something truly and uniquely American. He used to say it about how generous the American people were to those in need, or when he’d see professional cheerleaders. But his attitude was one that loved this country so much, seldom seen by most who were born here. I fear that mentality is slowly becoming extinct. Maintaining what makes us great and the vast opportunity we offer is critical.”
5) The Republican Party is not known for having the best marketing. What can ordinary citizens do, besides listening to you, to help strengthen conservatism?
“The Republican party is still pretty dusty. It’s getting better, but at a glacial pace. I find that yelling at people who disagree with you is useless, but having the patience to explain what conservatism is can be quite effective. For example, I was in a cab last night complaining about my Mayor (New York City Mayor) Michael Bloomberg as I do most times when I’m in a taxi. I was talking about how his insistence on telling us what to do from how much sugar to eat, to the dangers of salt to his new fleet of green police was getting out of control. The cabbie, clearly not a conservative, agreed that he needed to stop butting into our lives. When I explained that is the crux of conservatism, and why I was one, he agreed. By the time I was at my destination, he had denounced liberalism and pledged not to vote for Obama.”
6) If you had 5 minutes alone with President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney, what would you say to them or ask them? What would you have done during their tenure to keep their images high?
“I’d ask Bush why he listened to Karl Rove so much and abandoned his Republican roots. Rove is great at numbers but should have never been handling policy. He’s not a conservative, and his guidance followed by Bush reflects that. They are both very likable, personable guys. His team failed at showing the nation that. I’d ask Cheney to have a beer with me.”
7) Greece is known for the first Olympics and the ruins of the Acropolis. Yet now Greece is facing ruin and financial apocalypse. As a proud Greek, do you have any emotional stake in the situation? Also, what can America do to avoid going down the same path? Are the situations analogous?
“I don’t want the country to slide into total chaos. Then I wouldn’t have anywhere fun to vacation in the summertime. We’re actually headed in the same situation. Greece is the ghost of Christmas future. It’s the end result of socialism. It’s the reason my father left.”
8.) What can big business, whether it be gun makers, oil companies, or hamburger establishments, do to improve their images? How does one counteract the stereotype of big business as evil?
“Business exists to make money. They also create jobs. What’s so bad about that? We shouldn’t let liberals shame business for its profits. We should want them to succeed. They just need to act ethically. When they try and screw people is when they run into trouble.”
9) What Americans call 9/11, Israel refers to as every day life. Israel seems to get the blame no matter what it does. Does Israel need better public relations people? What can it do to improve its image?
“It seems there are two wars going on over there. Reality and then the PR war. They should solicit help and advice. (Manischewitz summit, anyone?) Oddly, though, many American Jews are Democrats, who often apologize for the acts of those in the Muslim world that seek to eradicate the Jews. Why American Jews continue to support those who don’t support policies that protect Israel and her people always puzzles me.”
10) Attempts to partially privatize social security, fix the ticking time bomb of Medicare, and reform education have been met with hysteria about throwing old people and children on the street and leaving them to die. How can Republicans frame issues and counterattack charges of “meanness?”
“It’s not meanness, it’s reality. These programs were never designed to be retirement plans. The longer we wait to make the cuts, the more painful it will be. It’s why the argument that Obamacare will help fix our fiscal woes is such nonsense. Every time the government has gotten involved in health care, it’s been a costly nightmare. Medicare and Medicaid are two perfect examples. They are bankrupting us. Obamacare won’t be any different.”
11) Who are your 3 political heroes, American or worldwide?
12) You made many people laugh when you referred to President Obama as a “wussie.” If you were a Democratic consultant, how would you advise him and other liberals with regards to “dewussification?” What do they need to do specifically to “man up?”
“I believe I called him an Ivy League fancy lad. But he is a wussie, too. He needs to stop apologizing and appeasing. That comes from his desire to be all things to all people, which is impossible, especially as President. He strikes me as very insecure, his childhood was less than ideal which probably explains that (though I’m no shrink) and he likely knows he’s not ready for the office which he holds, which explains his obvious inability to be magnanimous. He also doesn’t comprehend this country’s greatness. He can’t stand up for America if he doesn’t appreciate her exceptionalism, which he doesn’t.”
13) Conservative victims of liberal media savagery have included Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Nikki Haley, Jeannie Pirro, and many others. Is it all about abortion? Is it because they are physically attractive? Is it because they are women? Why are they being targeted for demolition and what can they or could they have done to fight back?
“All of the above. Liberals hate conservative women because they think women should be all be liberals. When they see Sarah Palin they get mad that a woman with five kids, a beehive and husband in the union isn’t a registered Democrat on welfare. They advocate for choice but only if we choose as they do: to advocate for abortion, to spend our days arguing over equal pay or hating men. I’m the opposite. I don’t worry about keeping up with the guys. I happen to love men and I’m a happy girl. Happiness really ticks them off.”
14) Without delving too deeply into your personal life, what would you want Americans to know about Andrea Tantaros the person? 100 years from now, what would you want people to remember about you, and what would you hope the history books say about you?
“That I’ll always stand up for what I believe in and that I’m fiercely loyal. But since liberals control education I will never make it into a history text book, nor should I. I’m just the kid of an immigrant voicing my opinion like everyone else. We all have them, I just get to express mine on television and in print.”
15) Do you get bored with the marriage proposals that you get inundated with on a daily basis, and does your share of the 18-30 year old male fan base decrease when they find out you are unavailable? Since you are Greek, how do you handle being mistaken for Aphrodite?
“I’m always flattered, but I’m no Aphrodite. Well, except for the nose. I have the same nose as all those marble Greek statues. It also doesn’t seem to bother guys when they find out I’m not single. You are persistent creatures, but that’s why we, conservative women, love you.”
I would like to thank Ms. Tantaros for her graciousness, her time, and most importantly, her relentlessness in the face of some very tough contra forces.
No matter how good a product is, without proper marketing it will fade away. Conservatism works, but it is often advanced in a less than articulate manner.
Ms. Tantaros is not just on the right.
She is right.
More importantly, she is prepared and skilled enough to show everybody else why she and the rest of the right are right.
If she leaves a lasting impression, this country may have a lasting conservative majority.