I know this makes me some sort of establishment somebody, but I have known Joe Scarborough for years. When Joe ran for Congress, people forget that Gingrich backed the Democrat moderate against Joe. I was just a college kid doing volunteer work for campaigns, but Joe was my candidate. He’d stood up to the establishment, fought tax and spend Democrats who then became Republicans, and he beat them in the Republican primary too. People who know the guy on MSNBC forget he was one of the conservatives’ conservatives in the House.
Back in 2004, when I was at RedState, I flew up to MSNBC for the week before the election to blog for them. They brought up three liberals and one conservative — me. Pat Buchanan met me and the first words out of his mouth were “they didn’t know you were conservative, did they?” They actually did. It was just when blogging was really taking off, Joe Trippi was there, and he wanted to get conservative and liberal bloggers covering the ground game.
In any event, Joe Scarborough had “Scarborough Country” and his staff were just about the only ones who would talk to me. They were as nice as they could be. I had only had a passing encounter with him in congress, but then got to meet him in 2004. Joe and I kept in touch and when CNN came calling, he was deeply encouraging.
I don’t really remember my daughter’s first year. She was born in August of 2005 and three months later I left my law practice for a job where I’d commute to Washington four days one week and three days the next. I really don’t remember much of that year other than always being sick. But then RedState became a full time job and I started working from home.
Two years later, my then two year old and I, sat on the couch as I had my coffee, and we watched Joe Scarborough’s new show. That and Batman the Animated Series became our father-daughter time. Joe’s show was something different and remains something unique on television. He and Mika have done a great job and not always under the easiest of circumstances. I have had the pleasure of being on his show more than once and through it got to meet one of my great writing heroes, Peggy Noonan. His crew and those on set are always kind, even when you know you’ve got real disagreements.
But most of all, Joe is a friend — a real one, one of those where you can really disagree on things, but still share a laugh and find common ground. He prays for me. I pray for him. When Mika’s father died, she and her family were in mine and my kids’ prayers. I know in today’s culture we’re supposed to only have friends with whom we agree 100% and we are never ever supposed to praise people not of our ilk, but that’s not friendship. That’s just tribalism.
So congrats to my friend Joe and to Mika, Willie, and the rest for ten years. I don’t get to watch morning shows much anymore and do tend to spend my TV time with Steve, Brian, and Ainsley on Fox, but it doesn’t matter. Joe and Mika have a great show that has held up when a lot of people said it would not and a lot of people tried mightily to stop it or beat them.
They have earned the congratulations.