Talking Fishing With Todd Palin

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Does Alaska’s first dude hold a grudge against Mother Jones for doing some tough reporting on his wife, Sarah Palin? Attending Tammy Haddad’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner pre-party on Saturday, our Washington bureau chief, David Corn, thought he might be in for an earful (maybe even a fistful) when John Coale, husband of Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, told him that Todd Palin wanted to meet him.

“Please don’t hit me,” Corn joked as he shook hands with the champion snowmobiler and all around bad-ass-looking guy. Palin laughed, and, steering clear of politics, they went on to have a pleasant discussion about having 8-year-old daughters and about commercial fishing. (Palin is gearing up for salmon season in Bristol Bay. This morning I asked Corn what the heck he knows about fishing, commercial or otherwise. He responded, “I know the difference between a gill net and a slip net, don’t you?” Umm, no.)

The sight of Corn and Palin engrossed in conversation was sufficiently unusual that it warranted mentions in not one, but two papers.

Here’s Politico:

Here’s an interaction you wouldn’t think you’d see: journalist David Corn, formerly of The Nation and now with Mother Jones, talking to Todd Palin.

“Someone came up to me and said, ‘Todd Palin wants to meet you,” Corn told us. “I walked up and said, ‘please don’t hit me.'” Turns out the two had a “nice and lovely conversation” about commercial fishing, their “common cause,” according to Corn.

And here’s the Washington Post:

One of the more buzzed-about attendees was Todd Palin, standing in for his wife, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), as a guest of Fox News at the dinner. David Corn, a writer for the liberal magazine Mother Jones, was staggered when lawyer John Coale, husband of Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren, pulled him over for a chat with Palin. “I was worried he was going to punch me in the face,” Corn said. Instead, he and Palin talked about safe topics: 8-year-old daughters and deep-sea fishing. Naturally, Corn twittered about this.

Corn’s mingling prowess also made news at the Vanity Fair-Bloomberg bash that followed the correspondents’ dinner ( or “nerd prom,” as it’s lovingly known.) Via the New York Observer:

Across town, the voltage was perking up at the Vanity Fair-Bloomberg party, which was precisely the small, intimate affair it promised to be. It took place in a mansion that belongs to the French ambassador, but easily could have been mistaken for the house in Eyes Wide Shut. It was one of those specifically D.C. nights where David Axelrod or Mother Jones‘ David Corn were in a conversation every time you looked up, but a star like Owen Wilson was left to his lonesome by the bar and The Office’s B.J. Novak, who has become a regular to any event in D.C. for the last year, was wandering aimlessly at several points throughout the night.


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