Dear Lord, but this is going to be bloody: “Last week the information Tony Podesta was giving was the divorce complaint he had filed in D.C. Court against his wife Heather. The hands receiving that information belonged to a gossip columnist for the Washington Post, who made the “informed decision” to report on it. Later in the day Heather, who is also a lobbyist, informed the Post the text of her counter-suit. It published a follow-up.”
…OK. I know that most of my readers are kindly people, who feel that people’s private lives are their private lives. Your instinctive reaction to this will be to move slightly away from the monitor screen. Your forehead will slightly furrow; your eye muscles will tighten. At the top of your forebrain will dart the thought Divorces are scary things; people who are afflicted with them should be given space. In short, you will automatically not want to pursue this story further. And that’s a good thing! That’s proper behavior.
However, Tony Podesta and Heather Miller
Podesta don’t actually want their privacy. They are, in fact, waging their divorce rather publicly, complete with data dumps to the gossip columns and PR campaigns: as Matthew Continelli of the Washington Free Beacon noted in the first link above – and he did so with no little fascination – DC lobbyists apparently divorce in the same way that they do any other business-related activity; to wit, they start out by seizing the media narrative by any means necessary. And with not much care for who else gets caught in the blast radius.
The basic facts of the case are almost irrelevant: older man, younger woman, disputes over who owns what and who gave who a job, and perhaps a whiff of adultery. What makes this fascinating is that the two are over-sized players in DC’s political arena: Heather Miller is a hardcore lobbyist (who is about to go in full Woman Done Wrong By Horrible Husband mode) and Tony Podesta… well, pretty much the same, except that he’s also got his brother John’s Center for American Progress to run interference for him. It’s promising to be the kind of divorce that makes people grateful that there are no kids involved, because there is a lot of money involved, a lot of acrimony over how it’s to be divided up – and a lot of stuff that you can’t just split in half, like art and foreign villas*.
Oh, yes, there’s money in being a DC lobbyist. Quite a bit of it. Continelli, again:
As government expands, extending its reach to every aspect of business, every sector of the economy, private citizens and corporations require sherpas to lead them through the mountains of regulations and tax provisions, to discover exemptions and special favors and other forms of relief or favoritism to improve the bottom line. And who better to act as sherpas than the relatives of the Democrats who impose the regulations and tax provisions in the first place, who better than the lively proprietors of a family business operating in the luxurious and morally uncomplicated world of the caste of limousine liberals who dominate politics, culture, news, and finance.
I imagine that future leaked documents from this divorce – and there are going to be leaked documents – will make for compelling reading. I also suspect that we’re going to know a good deal more about the Podestas’ lobbying and influence networks by the end of all of this, simply by noting who squawks, and how.
And don’t feel guilty about paying attention. This isn’t about the end of love. This is about the end of a business venture. And it was one gone into by two people who – again, for strictly business reasons – have made a career out of trying to utterly crush your political opinions and causes. So you don’t have to enjoy it, but you should definitely use any information that gets gleaned from the wreck.
The Podesta divorce is going to be *immensely* entertaining to watch go down. http://t.co/w2BmN1CJRE
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) April 11, 2014
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: This is why people hate Dizzy City, you know. Because these two are hardly unique. Or concentrated on one side of the political aisle, frankly.
*I just want to make sure that people who have donated to, say, the Center for American Progress (yes, CAP has a donation page [safe link]) understand that they’re giving already ridiculously rich people more money. Brilliant, folks. Brilliant.