Q and A With Former Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel
Written by Patrick Gavin
Oliver North is a former United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and, currently, a political commentator on Fox News and author. His latest book, “American Heroes,” looks at the individuals working to fight Islamic terrorists.
“The profession of arms in the United States arm force has to be the most challenging vocation in the world — for those who serve, and for those who love the service member,” North writes. “There is no other calling I know of that places so many challenges on familial relationships, so much stress on loved ones, as military service.”
North joins POLITICO for the latest installment of our “Answer This” interview series.
Tell us your favorite joke. “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. Period!”
When’s the last time you used profanity? I don’t profane. But like many Marines, I sometimes use vulgar language — as in “WTF” — when our helicopter is hit by ground fire.
How many hours of sleep do you get (on average)? Depends on how bumpy the flight is, but usually about five hours.
Describe your level of ambition. Living long enough to show all our grandchildren how to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith. Other than that, my ambition is in remission.
You’re president of the United States for enough time to make only one executive decision. What is it? Make the constitution of the United States required reading.
What’s a common and accepted practice for Americans nowadays that you think we’ll look back on with regret? What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness between January 20, 2009 and January 20, 2017.
What is your favorite body part (on yourself) and why? My trigger finger, for all the obvious reasons. Just curious: How did Anthony Weiner answer this one?
What would you attempt to do if you knew that you could not fail? Find a way to disarm every improvised explosive device and free American hostages held in Pakistan, Iran, Cuba and North Korea.
What type of products do you never go cheap on, for the sake of quality? Flak jackets, helmets and ammunition.
Describe a few pet peeves of yours. IEDs, delayed flights, publisher’s deadlines, misplaced prepositions and people who complain about my habit of using all caps in e-mails.
How often do you Google yourself? Never (you can check with the NSA for verification).
What do you know now that you wished someone had told you 10 years ago? How much fun I could have with 14 grandchildren.
What childhood event shaped or scarred you the most? Shaped: Watching the Brooklyn Dodgers play at Ebbets Field. Scarred: The Brooklyn Dodgers moving to Los Angeles.
Would you rather…
…live without music or live without TV? Toughest question of all. Our son-in-law, Peyton Tochterman is a gifted singer/songwriter who makes beautiful music about our daughter. But I make my living on TV. Guess I’ll have to take the hit: TV.
…be gossiped about or never talked about at all? Couldn’t care less if I was never talked about. That response is sure to drive my producers and publisher nuts. If I get fired for answering that question, will you hire me?
Think of one of your least favorite people in Washington and, without naming him or her, describe what makes that person so unappealing. Every time he addresses the nation, he says things that just aren’t true.
Let your mother know how much she means to you, in the form of a haiku. Since my Mom has been gone for years, here’s a haiku about my best friend, the mother of my four children and my trophy wife.
My life made complete /
By my hero, muse and mate /
She smiles at my rhymes.
For more information on how to book Oliver North for your next event, visit premierespeakers.com/oliver_north.