The Thursday Q&A with David Jacobson
David Jacobson is President Barack Obama’s man in Ottawa. But don’t call him “excellency” — that’s his pet peeve. The lawyer, husband, father and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan agreed to answer Style intern Katia Dmitrieva’s many questions.
OCS: Who are your style Icons?
DJ: I really admire the style of some of the classic film stars like Cary Grant or Fred Astaire, though I’d have to lose a few pounds to fit into his clothes.
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
DJ: Someone sent me to the Vineyard Vines website. You can buy these ties with little pictures on them. I have American flags, fireworks, pulling rabbits out of hats. I’m wearing one with little coffee cups as I speak. Also a piece of fashion advice I’ve learned over the years: Your socks are supposed to match your pants and not your shoes.
OCS: Biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
DJ: This list is a long one. One of my worst has to be the lime green suede shoes I bought once. Every time I took them out of the closet my kids would laugh.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?
DJ: The thing that makes me the happiest about living in Ottawa is how much my family and I enjoy living here. And the friends we’ve made.
OCS: Qualities you admire in a person?
DJ: Authenticity, sense of humour, lack of pretense
OCS: Best restaurants in Ottawa?
OCS: Who would you invite to dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
DJ: I think it would be great to have dinner with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. But I would insist that they not coordinate activities on Colbert’s SuperPAC — at least during dinner.
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
DJ: Absolutely and without question … plain old diners.
OCS: Favourite food?
DJ: Pizza. From Chicago. Preferably Gino’s East.
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
DJ: That’s a tough one. I am still trying to decide. Though I am fully committed to doing whatever research is necessary.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead?
DJ: I enjoy the works of a wide range of artists from Raphael to Lawren Harris.
OCS: Favourite local artist?
DJ: For me, it’s a tie between Philip Craig and Gordon Harrison. Julie and I have bought paintings from each of them. They hang in our house here in Ottawa and they will be treasured when we return to the United States.
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
DJ: A stack of half-read books, a Kindle with more half-read books, an ancient clock radio that I treat like a holy relic because it is so easy to set the alarm. And to move it to a later time when it goes off too early.
OCS: Best home accessory?
DJ: A juicer. Use it every morning. My dentist in Ottawa recommended it.
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
DJ: The Resolute Desk. It’s not mine (it’s actually in the Oval Office) but I wish it was.
OCS: Mac or PC?
DJ: I’m a big fan of Macs.
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod?
DJ: The song that I listen to the most is Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones. It’s amazing.
OCS: Favourite blog or website?
DJ: Besides my own of course…I regularly visit Politico and The Borowitz Report.
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
DJ: I have to admit I’m a Twitter junkie.
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
DJ: Cigars are my guilty pleasure, much to my wife’s dismay.
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
DJ: Gatineau Park. We hike in the summer and ski and snowshoe in the winter. One of the things that makes Ottawa so unique is that I can be in the wilderness 15 minutes from my front door.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).
DJ: It would be a sunny summer day in Tuscany with my family. A little touring, a lot of eating and maybe even some research on the beer and wine question you asked earlier.
OCS: Best book you read in the past year?
DJ: I have recently become obsessed with the spy books written by Daniel Silva. I have read all 14 of them in the last couple of months. They keep me up all night. That’s why I need the antique alarm clock that I can reset for a later wake-up.
OCS: What is your earliest memory?
DJ: The first time I went to Wrigley Field to see the Chicago Cubs play. I remember walking up the steps from the concourse and catching my first glimpse of the beautiful green grass. During the next 55 years of watching Cubs games I have attended all too many where the nicest part of the experience is the beautiful green grass. But next year is our year. We’re overdue.
OCS: Proudest moment?
DJ: On Nov. 4, 2008, in Grant Park in Chicago with 200,000 people watching, President Obama give his victory speech. I was proud of the small role I had in the election effort and I was very proud of my country for electing him.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
DJ: The way I would like to be remembered can be summed up in one short phrase, “He tried his best.”
Connect with Katia Dmitrieva |email@example.com