Mr. Ron Christie.
"Who can forget the day the first time one briefs
the President of the United States in the Oval Office?'"
- Ron Christie. 
Ron Christie began working at the White House in 2001, 
as deputy assistant to the Vice President.
 In 2002, he joined the staff of the President,
serving as Special Assistant to George W. Bush.
In 2004, Ron began serving as an Adjunct Professor 
at the George Washington University. 
He has also taught at Haverford College, his alma mater, 
where he was appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor 
of Political Science in 2009 and 2011.

In 2011 he served as a Resident Fellow at Harvard
University’s Institute of Politics. 
He has authored three books and has worked as a
columnist for both The Hill and The Daily Beast. 
He is also a regular guest on Fox Business, BBC, CNN, 
MSNBC and National Public Radio.

Presently, he teaches at Georgetown University as an
adjunct professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy
and the McDonough School of Business.

LW: You worked in the White House for 4 years during the Bush administration, tell me about 3 days you'll never forget.
 
RC: 1. Sadly, the events of 9/11 immediately come to mind. I was the deputy domestic policy advisor for the Vice President at the time and we briefed him on Tuesday mornings. Tuesday September 11, 2001 was such a beautiful morning. 
remember looking at the American flag fluttering over the White House when one of my colleagues told me a plane had hit a tower of the World Trade Center. 
Not possible. Once the second tower was struck it was obvious this was no mistake and America was under attack.

I vividly remember the professionalism of the U.S. Secret Service as they urgently evacuated the building while packing serious heat. As we fled from the Northwest Gate of the White House I’ll never forget seeing the Secret Service with their backs to us and their weapons pointed to the sky protecting us.

Walking across the 14th Street Bridge that night, the Pentagon was vividly on fire and the smoke hung heavy in the air. On September 12th, a shaken but determined White House staff returned to help the President and Vice President manage through the unimaginable.

2. Who can forget the day the first time one briefs the President of the United State in the Oval Office? 

The first thing you notice entering the room the first time is just how small it is. Save the grandfather clock ticking against the wall, there is no sound once the president is ready to begin. The president’s most senior staff are all assembled and the manner in which they stare at the rookie about to conduct his first give and take with the president was beyond intimidating.

I can’t remember what he asked or what I said but when I finished the President said: “Good job, Ron” and Vice President Cheney sitting beside him flashed a bright smile and gave me a covert thumbs up! A remarkable experience I’ll never forget!

3. I’ll never forget the day I stood in the Oval Office on December 16, 2003. Days prior we had met to discuss how to get legislation creating an African American Museum of History and Culture signed into law before Congress adjourned for the year. Every year since 1915 there had been an effort to create such a museum and for a variety of factors this important museum had never been built.

From my earliest days in 2001 the Vice President and President had tasked me to run point on this project – on December 16th , I stood in the Oval Office to brief President Bush that his bi-partisan efforts to sign this dream into law was waiting for his signature on his desk. After signing the landmark legislation into law, President George W. Bush walked over without a word and hugged me.

Postscript: I was honored to attend the opening dedication of the Museum earlier this year as a guest of President and First Lady Bush!
 
LW: Now then Professor Christie, in the years following Washington, you've been teaching at some pretty esteemed College's, what do you think the students make of your wardrobe?

RC: My students love my wardrobe! Every week, every class, my students never failed to take note of it. I had the honor to serve as a Fellow in Residence at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics within the Kennedy School of Government had been assigned six student liaisons to guide me through the semester.

On the final night, the students were tasked to roast each of the Fellows. My six student liaisons marched in all wearing suits, shirts with cufflinks and snazzy ties. Their gift to me? A set of sterling silver cufflinks emblazoned with the Harvard crest. They all tried to do their best to emulate the Lord Willy’s style they loved admiring when I taught each week!


LW: You've been on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher several times, what's it like be a staunch Republican in "the lion’s den" so-to- speak?
 
RC: To walk into the lion’s den like that requires the proper mental attitude and suit of armor. When you first walk on the set, the audience boos you. When you defend President George W. Bush, the audience boos you even louder. But when you mention that the great thing about our democracy is that we are given the freedom to respectfully agree to disagree in politics, the audience cheers. 

Bill has been remarkably fair to me over the years and without fail, the more progressive guests queue up to have a drink with you in the after the show party. 

I’ll never forget the first show I did on Real Time years ago when Cornel West literally tried to jump over the desk to get at me! What a night!




LW: Over the years, we've chatted about numerous subjects and of course Bond came up, as an avid fan, I'd like your "Best and Worse" please.
 
LW: Film?

RC: Best: Thunderball. Worst: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

LW: Soundtrack? 

RC: Best: Tie: The Spy Who Loved Me and A View to a Kill. Worst: The Living Daylights.

LW: Baddie? 

RC: Tie: Dr. No & Goldfinger. Worst: Major Dexter Smythe (Octopussy guy).

LW: Wardrobe? 

RC: Daniel Craig and Sean Connery, hands down best dressed. George Lazenby, worst.

LW: Car? 

RC: Tie: Aston Martin (of course) & BMW Z3 (I had identical Z3 for 8 years! would've preferred the Aston though). Worst: 1983 Ford LTD that Roger Moore drove in View to a Kill.

LW: Gadget? 

RC: Aston Martin ejector seat. Worst: That stupid Crocodile suit/boat from Octopussy.

LW: Bond? 

RC: Best: Sean Connery, hands down. Worst: George Lazenby.

LW: And of course, who’s next?

RC: In lieu of me, Idris Elba!

LW: Last question, over the years, you've bought just about everything we have presented to you (thank you), with such a varied collection of LW pieces, do you have a favorite go-to piece? 


RC: Hands down, my gray military coat is a favorite piece each winter. The rest of the year, my precious suits and shirts have me looking and feeling like a million bucks.
LW: Thank you Ron, good stuff, I will inform the Broccoli family of your availability.