By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers
It's his secret to TV and radio success: Joe Scarborough doesn't yell at his guests. "I would have guests on like Barbara Boxer or Maxine Waters or Barney Frank or other Democrats who I knew when I served with them in Congress, and I didn't shout at them," the former Florida Republican congressman says. In fact, the host of TV's Morning Joe and radio's The Joe Scarborough Show says it's because he genuinely likes them. His best example: a trick he used to play on Waters. "I used to always come up to her on the House floor and I would hug her in the middle of a big vote because the C-SPAN cameras were rolling," Scarborough slyly admits. "She would scream, 'Get away from me, Joe, I'm going to lose votes in my whole district, get away from me.' "
Scarborough and his Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski entertained a youngish and "tripartisan" (that's Republicans, Democrats, and independents, according to Scarborough) crowd last night at the National Press Club to promote Scarborough's new book, The Last Best Hope. He delved into some of the failures of the Republican Party while touting a hands-off approach to gay marriage and abortion from the federal government. "Why do we small-government conservatives want the federal government involved in gay marriage and OBGYN issues—why can't we be consistent?" he mused. On the gay marriage issue, he was able to slip in his dead-on impression of MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews. "I was trying to explain this to Chris Matthews, and Chris just kept going," says Scarborough, inserting Matthews's rambunctious line of questioning. "Finally, I say, 'Chris, my man, you seem a little too wrapped up and obsessed with gay men.' "
Even with the void of fresh Republicans to run against President Obama in 2012, Scarborough demurred when asked that million-dollar question: Would he ever run for president? "My wife says no more politics for me."
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