Home»Famous 5»Famous 5: Paul Brandus

Famous 5: Paul Brandus

Pinterest Google+

51OzblbhUtL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Meet Paul Brandus, award-winning journalist and independent member of the White House press corps and the voice behind the West Wing Reports since 2009. Most recently, he authored the book,  Under This Roof: A History of the White House and Presidency released this fall and is also a Washington columnist on economics and finance for MarketWatch. In the wake of his recent book release, we caught up with this political media giant for a Famous 5 interview.

1. President Obama calls & wants to kick it for the day, what’s on the agenda?

Heh. Well, I don’t play golf, but I do shoot hoops, so if he wants a little one-on-one, bring it. He says he’s a “movie guy” and 20 years ago I set out to watch every flick that won a “Best Picture,” “Best Actor” or “Best Actress” Academy Award. There are a handful left on my list, and I bet I know more movies than he does, so I’d introduce him to something good. I’ve never seen a movie in the White House theater. You know what the all-time favorite movie of many a President is, by the way? You’ll never guess — it’s in my book “Under This Roof.” 

2. What Tweet, either written by you or somebody else, best describes you right now?


3. What were you most surprised to learn during your research and writing of Under This Roof?

One thing I learned is that the White House — just 216 years old — is one of the oldest continuous residences for a head of state in the world. London’s Buckingham Palace didn’t become home to the British monarchy until 1837, and the emperor of Japan first moved into Tokyo’s Imperial Palace in 1869. Even Moscow’s Kremlin (my old stomping grounds), for centuries home to the czars, only regained its head-of-state status in 1918. It was also fascinating, as I wrote each day, to see how the rooms changed over the years, what they looked like–and to weave American history and the stories of the First Families into the narrative. The whole project served as a reminder of what a special place the White House is–the story of the building is the story of America itself.

4. How would you sum up Washington DC in one gif?

Sadly, this one seems to describe too many people.

5. You just released a book, but you don’t strike us as someone who sits still for long. What’s next?

Managing a variety of client projects keeps me busy enough! But another book is in the works; part of “Under This Roof” is now a TV project and I have to get ready for a TED Talk. But none of that is as important or rewarding as reading each night to my four-year old daughter. Four, going on 20.

*Bonus question: Who should we interview next?

​How about Jared Rizzi of Sirius/XM? He’s a good guy. ​