Adrienne Royer’s love affair with politics started in first grade. The class was learning about the 1988 Bush/Dukakis race when six-year-old Royer thought, “This is so cool. We get to pick our leaders!” She wore pro-life buttons in elementary school and a handmade T-shirt that said, “A person is a person no matter how small!” A right-leaning political junkie was born.
In college, Royer traded in her puffy paint for a blog. She started her first site, Girl From the South, as a way to keep in touch with family and friends back in Tennessee. Two years ago, she decided to delve into politics. “Cosmopolitan Conservative sounded like a fun name,” she says. “I knew it worked when I told a liberal former colleague at happy hour one night, and he burst out laughing.”
Royer writes to a mainly conservative audience but sometimes receives e-mails from liberals who keep up with her writing. She tends toward topics such as feminism and gender politics—from a conservative perspective, of course—and writes about everyone from Sarah Palin to Michelle Obama.
We caught up with the 28-year-old to talk shop about elections and politicos. But we couldn’t resist some lighthearted questions, too: A GOP cocktail? Olympic sports for members of Congress? Best and worst dressed Republicans? Read on for her answers.
Five words to describe your political views:
“Traditional, right-wing, idealistic, tenacious, outside-the-Beltway.”
Five words to describe the GOP:
“Energy, freedom, values, Reagan, Constitution.”
Where in Washington to find fellow conservatives after work:
“There are always a lot of conservatives at Rí Rá or Mister Days in Clarendon.”
Favorite spot for a GOP power lunch:
"I'm fond of Georgia Brown's. Good Southern-style food, a nice patio to people watch on a pretty day, and close proximity to the White House."
Pick one: Meghan McCain or Sarah Palin.
“Sarah Palin. While I’m not a blind follower, I admire her courage and faith. I think she’s smart and savvy and understands outside-the-Beltway politics better than anyone. It’s the establishment DC system that doesn’t get her. Having seen her in action, I can say Palin’s ability to connect with crowds is unparalleled. And while I believe that everyone has a right to voice his or her opinion, Meghan McCain doesn’t represent young conservatives in any way. Amanda Carpenter, Mary Katharine Ham, Emily Zanotti, and Tabitha Hale are all much better representatives of twentysomething conservative women. Without her father’s coattails, no one would care about Ms. McCain. Meghan McCain is the Republican that liberals like to have around. Technically, she creates ‘bipartisanship’ but agrees with everything they say and apologizes for what real conservatives actually believe.”
Climate change: fact or fiction?
“Right now, I’m leaning toward fiction. As a Christian, I try to be environmentally conscious to preserve the beautiful world that God gave us. I think it’s sad that the climate-change movement pushed such a pointed political agenda down our throats without enough time to adequately study it. They lost me with their aggressive demands and elitist attitudes. With public sentiment right now, it’s doubtful that legitimate facts proving climate change could influence voters. Environmentalists reached too far and too fast. The backlash is so bad now that when I ask for the recycling bin at conservative events, I get accusatory looks.”
Obama: one- or two-term President?
“It all depends on if Republicans get their acts together. If we run another weak Republican like McCain, Obama is a two-term President. It also depends on what happens in 2010. If Republicans get the majority back and hold Obama to the fire, Americans might be content with a ‘balanced’ government. It’s just too early to tell.”
Number of Republicans in Congress after the midterm elections:
“I’m not one for betting. I never believed that Americans could be dumb enough to fall for the slick marketing and empty promises of the Obama campaign, so I’m afraid to make predictions. With current sentiment, I think we’ll pick up narrow majorities in the House and close the gap in the Senate. The biggest opportunity for Republicans is to pick solid conservatives versus moderates in most of the races, such as Florida with Marco Rubio and California with Chuck DeVore.”
Most valuable members of the Republican party:
“Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, or Michele Bachmann. I have tremendous respect for all three of them for standing up to moderate factions of the party. When you stick to conservative values, Republicans win. America is a center-right nation.”
Best and worst dressed Republicans:
“The worst—and I hope I don’t get into trouble for this—would be John Boehner. He’s just . . . tanorexic. I sometimes wonder if he has a staff assistant/tanner in the office. As for best dressed: Jeri Thompson, wife of former senator Fred Thompson. Every time I see her at an event or meeting, she’s easily the best-dressed woman in the room. I wish I could go shopping with her.”
“Bart Stupak for sticking to his pro-life beliefs.”
Finish this sentence: “If the GOP had a signature cocktail, it’d be called . . .”
“The Right-Winger. It’d have Jack Daniels because it represents a strong, middle-America liquor from Tennessee, plus Chambord, ginger ale, and cranberry juice to make it red. It’s a bit strong to drink at first, but the more you drink, the more you like it.”
Title for a movie about Obama’s presidency so far:
“How to Lose Approval Ratings and Tick Off the American People or The Road to Socialism. Too bad Wag the Dog is already taken. Much of the time, Obama’s presidency has felt like a Christopher Buckley novel.”
Actor who’d play you in a Saturday Night Live political spoof:
“Amy Poehler, I guess. I’ve never heard her do a Southern accent, though. Reese Witherspoon might be another choice. We’re both short, type-A blondes from Tennessee.”
Olympic sport members of Congress should play to settle their differences once and for all:
“Curling. There are a lot of parallels between the sport and politics. It baffles most people like the actions of Congress. It seems easy but is incredibly complicated.”
Where you go to get away from politics:
“The National Portrait Gallery. It has a nice variety of folk art, portraiture, and contemporary art. My favorite work is the Adams Memorial by Saint-Gaudens. I like to take my journal and write there. I also cook to escape the political world. I collect vintage cookbooks and love to invent recipes. Recently, I started a blog called Retro Recipes to digitize cookbooks from the 1900s to 1970s in order to preserve them and test out the recipes.”
Favorite local political blog, besides your own:
“Most of the blogs I read are outside of the Beltway
to see what Americans are really thinking, but I read American Maggie, Inkwell by the Independent Women’s Forum, and Suzy B from the Susan B. Anthony List every day.”
Next week, we clip coupons with Laura Harders from Frugal Friends in Northern Virginia. She gives us all kinds of tips for saving cash at the grocery store, finding deals online, and how to get free meals at restaurants. Stay tuned, money savers!