INFO 15th Anniversary Remarks

“Welcome Sports Fans! Welcome to a very special gathering of our invitation-only, off-the-record, public policy roundtable.

Welcome Justice Ginsburg, we are honored to have you with us.

Welcome extra ordinary and plenipotentiary Ambassadors.

It was fifteen years ago this very month that IFE INFO founder Jim Valentine and I gathered a few friends and colleagues around the breakfast table to talk policy and politics in a relaxed, affable atmosphere.

That morning, in a tradition that would continue for more than a decade, I invited Les Aspin to address the group. Les, who was Chairman of Armed Services at the time, was an ace both on the tennis courts (I was his coach!) and on the political stage here in Washington. And so my tennis student became the first of 160 speakers to grace IFE INFO! With his easy intelligence and captivating conversation, the breakfast was an ace!

And just look at us now. Here in the famed LBJ room, and IFE INFO, this venerable Washington insider’s institution continues for its fifteenth season.

And this afternoon we have a surprise. A very first for the IFE INFO group. My wonderful friend, Trustee Emeritus of the Washington National Opera, elegant and generous Institute for Education Steward, Ina Ginsburg, has arranged a very special treat. So stand by sport fans, and now culture fans….. INA please come up…

Thank you. That was just heavenly. I am sure this room has never heard anything quite so exquisite within its walls before. Good luck for a huge success opening night.

Now, Justice Ginsburg, thank you so very much for joining us this afternoon.

You are our now our 160th speaker and your presence here adds to the distinguished list off past speakers . Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients, cabinet secretaries, Governors, Mayors, Supreme Court

Justices, a Miss America, and even a professional athlete!

In all our years, IFE INFO has remained amazingly friendly and bipartisan, and last I heard, Bob Novak has yet to identify a single leaker from the bunch! Not bad in this town.

You all have a program. Pick it up–look at it…open it up…It gives our illustrious speaker’s impressive curium vitae, it gives IFE’s, of which IFE INFO is a program of, mission, lists our Trustees, Stewards and hot shot members! [Mention Wave]

Today we are very fortunate to make this celebration a bit of a family affair. It’s fitting – since Jim and I founded IFE INFO, that Justice Ginsburg’s husband, Professor Marty Ginsburg would introduce his wife. Low key and charming, he would describe himself as the quintessential man behind the woman. The rest of us know him as a brilliant Georgetown law professor and tax attorney.

In his bio, it says that in 1993, the National Women’s Political Caucus gave Professor Ginsburg its “Good Guy” award. It goes on to say that history reveals no prior instance of a tax lawyer held to be a “Good Guy,” or even a “Decent Sort.” Well, that’s one contention that I’m sure everyone in this room would disagree with. Martin Ginsburg is a fantastic guy, a loving husband, an accomplished academic, and we’re honored to have him here with us tonight.”

Coach Kathy Kemper