Dear Dispatch reader:
Last month, I was reading everything I could find on the future of the Republican Party when I came upon a piece from NBC News about Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, the young Republican who represents a district outside of Cleveland. The story caught my eye for a couple of reasons.
First, Gonzalez is a fascinating politician—a former first-round NFL draft pick who’d gone on to Stanford Business School and then to Congress, where weeks earlier he’d voted to impeach a president of his own political party. Second, I’d spoken to Rep. Gonzalez about all of this and much more on The Dispatch Podcast a week earlier, along with my co-host, Sarah Isgur. I’ve interviewed hundreds (thousands?) of elected officials over more than two decades in journalism, and this conversation stood out. It was a candid discussion of politics and principles, winning and losing—about what really matters in work and in life.
As we were wrapping up the interview, Sarah asked Gonzalez about his NFL career, which started strong but had been shortened by a series of injuries. Gonzalez responded that he’d never before been asked that question in quite the same way. And then he opened up about a very difficult time.