City Desk

Frank Rich: It’s “Rare” To Grow Up In Washington Outside of Politics

As a certified Native Washingtonian, Frank Rich really ought to know better than to say things this stupid to the New York Times:

The family settled back in Washington when Louis-Dreyfus was 8, and she grew up there, watching the world of Washington as both a native and an outsider. It gives her an edge, says Frank Rich, the former Times columnist who serves as an executive producer on Veep“It’s a very rare, idiosyncratic thing to have grown up in Washington not as a part of a political family,” he says. “It’s a very off-center take that you get. . . . Certain things about Washington never change, including the fact that it’s not nearly this romantic Hollywood set that people outside think it is. . . . It’s actually a place where people dress out of fashion, where there are a lot of aspiring young people who have grunt jobs and live terribly. . . . And if you grew up there as not part of a political family, you’re in on the joke.”

Emphasis mine. I take the point that people who live in D.C. don't romanticize it, but that's not exactly a novel observation. This, by the way, is the same Rich who wrote a lengthy piece 10 years ago about how superior New York is to D.C.

Anyway, at Arts Desk, Jonathan L. Fischer is starting a new feature with DCist's Benjamin R. Freed to discuss HBO's show as it airs. Mosey on over there for the latest.

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  •!/mollitudo Molly

    Excuse me while I vomit.

  • Keith B.

    Growing up here I always thought us locals were united in being completely sick of politics by the time we could vote...

  • RT

    Most people I grew up with- their parents had nothing to do with politics. Lawyers, perhaps, and non-profit or World Bank folks... but no politics. In fact, there are almost NO political families anymore. They all live in the Congressman or Senator's home state, since most politicians only spend 3-4 days in DC per week and the rest back pandering in the home state. This wasn't always the case, but sure has been for the past 10+ years.

  • Ward One Resident

    Okay, so I was pissed off reading the Berger cookie story this weekend in the Post because the guy who lives in Silver Spring was such a douche about D.C. (I say this as someone who grew up in Baltimore but have lived here for 20 years), but now I'm even more pissed off! Why do people spend so much freaking time saying asinine things about D.C.? Really!

  • REAL Native Washingtonian

    This person, and alot of people who call themselves "natives" do not know what they are talking about. As an authentic native washingtonian, I find that most people that were actually born and raised in Washington D.C., not Maryland or Virginia, are not apart of a political family and never have been. Native Washingtonians have never been glamorized in the media so alot of people do not really know what DC was or is or how it is growing to be apart from the movies, which never show real DC people.

  • Mario

    Yep, bonehead comment, Frank Rich. Makes you wonder if this sort of elitist attitude is the real Frank, while the caring, friend-of-the poor Frank is just a made up pundit like Stephen Colbert.

  • Mike Madden

    @ REAL Native Washingtonian: Frank Rich did grow up in the District, which only makes it worse -- he attended Deal and Wilson. And as it happens, his family wasn't involved in politics; they owned Rich's Shoe Store on Wisconsin Avenue.

  • Shani Hilton

    @Ward One Resident: I couldn't even make it all the way through that Berger cookie story.

  • Goat

    Glad to see I'm not the only native Washingtonian (who grew up knowing absolutely no one even remotely connected to politics who) was perplexed by this statement. Ugh.

  • Keith B.

    I can't believe I looked up the stupid Berger cookie article and read it all. Shame on you Shani and WOR.

    I was expecting it to be full of half-truths about DC, smugness and the haterade that I so enjoy. Didn't see much. 3 pages about a cookie, 1 page about the author's d-bag friends in DC. Did we even read the same article? Since when are your skins so thin? There was more hateration in WCP's article about the origins of the half-smoke.


  • Shani Hilton


  • Keith B.


  • Keith B.

    should have thrown Chili Mac in there too for good measure

  • Shani Hilton

    @Keith B. Well, now I'm hungry.

  • Keith B.

    Haha. Yeah I shouldn't have used the word "waste" either, those articles were all pretty informative.

  • born in DC, raised in the ‘burbs

    A person can't move to a city at the age of 8 and somehow grow to be a native. I've always wondered why people claim "I've been here 20 years, so I'm a native now." I lived in Baltimore for 9 years and would never have pretended to be a native.

    Which brings me to Berger's cookies.
    A few weeks ago I saw Berger's at Wagshal's and commented "Berger's? I haven't seen those since I lived in Baltimore." The friend I was with had never heard of them, so I explained the Baltimore obsession with Berger's. Now I know why I'm seeing them in DC, we have more money. Baltimoreans also like their Mary Sue candies.