Inside 16th & L: Jamie Tucker

Inside 16th & L is our bi-weekly blog series showcasing the Independent Sector team here at the corner of 16th and L Streets in Washington, DC. Find out who we are, where we’re from, what we do, and what drives us. This week, Inside 16th & L introduces Jamie Tucker, our director of public policy strategy and operations.

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Jamie’s role in his own words
My primary responsibility is to oversee the government relations function for Independent Sector. But I work in very close partnership with Allison Grayson, director of policy development and analysis; Jeff Moore, our chief strategy officer; and the growing, budding superstar, Brenna Stroup, an associate on the policy team.

Hometown and Alma maters
I am from Spartanburg, South Carolina. My Alma maters are Clemson University (Go Tigers!), and Georgetown Law.

Jamie is a…
• Dad
• Husband
• Wonk

If talent and resources were irrelevant and there were no risks, what alternative occupation would you pursue?
I would make movies. I did some filmmaking in college to help some friends that were very serious about going to film school. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. In a weird way, it fits with the kind of work I do now because at the core of being a good lobbyist is being a good storyteller. And I’ve always appreciated good stories, and writing, and reading—the ability to kind of take the written word and put it on screen and show emotion, or to bring an audience along in a very visceral way—I’ve always appreciated the ability of great filmmakers to do that. If I had time and unlimited resources, I’d really like to dive into that.

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Who is your favorite ninja turtle?
My favorite ninja turtle is Leonardo for the blue bandana—if we’re keeping score—and the katana swords. The deeper answer I can give is that Leonardo was kind of the leader and moral center of the group and I think that’s most in line with my personality. You know, this question is really important to me, because it cements the moment that I knew I was in love with my wife. We weren’t dating at the time. We were traveling with each other as part of a bigger group, and it was a long trip, so she posed the questions as a way to kill the time. For her, it was sort of a personality compatibility test—something she always asked of people. And I was so enthralled by the question because clearly she was also a child of the 80s.

Who or what are you inspired by right now?
My daughter Camille. She’s two years old. She’s incredibly tough and strong and funny—she’s a lot like her mom. I was in law school when she was born, and I just finished up, but for most of her life, Daddy wasn’t home at night, or Daddy was busy. And the moments I’ve had with her have been fantastic because she’s so resilient and positive in the way she views the world. I try to take lessons from that because it’s so easy to get bogged Camille-Chairs-8-3-17down in being an adult and maybe some of the cynicism that comes with that. But she has a wonderful way of looking at things, and she can brighten up my day. And I know that life’s going to throw a lot at her when she gets older, and she’s going to adapt and change, but right now, it’s such an inspiration to see someone who looks at life in such a fresh way, and I’m constantly reminded that life can be that simple sometimes, and to appreciate that. And her entire life, there’s been upheaval and changes, and as long as she’s with her mom and me and her dog, she’s happy.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever witnessed?
I got to see Josh Beckett pitch his no-hitter when he pitched for the Dodgers against the Phillies a few years back. It happened to be an anniversary weekend that my wife and I were in Philly, and she got me really good seats at the game—that was my anniversary present. We love going to ballgames together. And about four or five innings in, I started to realize what was happening, and she was bored out of her mind, because there wasn’t as much action as she’s used to in a game. But with no-hitters, you can’t really talk about what’s happening, so she was asking me, “Why are you so excited?” And I asked her if she noticed anything about the scoreboard. And she’s like, “Yeah, it’s two to nothing.” And I was like, “No the middle column—the H column.”

Anyway, it worked out well. I’m a huge Boston Red Sox fan and Beckett used to pitch for the Red Sox, and he was also my wife’s favorite player when he was with the Red Sox, so she was happy to see him pitch—despite the boredom. And even the Philly fans, begrudgingly, even as they were hurling him insults at the end of the game were giving him a standing ovation. I’d never seen anything like that at a ballgame. It was great to be a part of that experience, and part of history, and Beckett actually ended up retiring after that season.

Movies

Last you saw at home
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is an old favorite, and it is the last movie I watched at home. I recently took the bar exam. When I got home, I was just spent, but I had a lot of adrenaline, so I sat and put it on and just relaxed. So that’s the last one I actually watched start-to-finish at home. I don’t think the Disney movies that cycle in my house actually count. I see bits and pieces of those.

Last you saw in theaters
I saw Wonder Woman earlier this summer. It was a really great film. I think DC Comics is finally starting to catch up with Marvel a little bit in how they’re doing the bigger universe of comic book movies.

Old favorites
I will never turn off The Karate Kid if it’s on, or Top Gun. Even though my wife Richelle hates Top Gun, I will quote and watch that movie to the end of time. Almost Famous is also on my short list of “I will stop what I’m doing to watch it if it’s on.” And—this might be true for most people—if I’m home sick, The Princess Bride is a must if I’m conscious enough to put it on.

Fun facts

  • In addition to Frank Capra (director of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), Jamie’s favorite filmmakers include Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, early Stephen Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino.
  • The first night Jamie and his wife brought their daughter home, their hound, June Bug, insisted on sleeping in the room with the crib. Camille and June Bug have had a protective sisterly relationship ever since.
  • Jamie is the second South Carolina native on our team we’ve featured for Inside 16th & L. Previously, we featured our colleague, Pickett.
Types: Blog
Global Topics: IS Member, IS Staff, Public Policy

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