What is your earliest political memory?
Seeing Hubert Humphrey and John Kennedy on “The Today Show” early in the 1960 primaries. I thought Kennedy looked cool and Humphrey looked “baggy.”
Who is your political hero?
Caesar Augustus, a brilliant politician who used “tradition” to redefine the Roman political system.
Who is the Republican you admire most?
Abraham Lincoln, need I explain?
What is your best political story from the campaign trail?
There was a married congressman who fessed up four weeks before the general election that he was living with a woman who was not his wife outside his congressional district. Thanks in part to our “talking cows” TV ad that dismissed his opponent’s charges, he won reelection.
What would you be doing professionally if you were not working in politics?
I would change nothing that I have done, but, had I not followed this path, I’d be a psychologist.
What is your biggest fear?
My children (ages 5 and 7) becoming ill or injured.
What is your biggest regret?
Perhaps a few phone calls I did not return.
What is your most treasured possession?
My father’s cuff links. He died 20 years ago, but I miss him and they make me feel his presence.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Helping good yet sometimes long-shot candidates win election, while never stiffing a vendor, laying off a staff member for lack of work, or having a client complain about a bill.
How would you describe yourself in one word?

What is your favorite book?
When it comes to politics, without a doubt, American Exceptionalism: A Double Edged Sword by Seymour Martin Lipset. A must-read to understand why U.S. politics is different from that of other industrialized countries.
Gary Nordlinger, a longtime Democratic consultant, is president of Nordlinger Associates, a political and public affairs consulting firm he founded in 1976.