The FishbowlDC Interview with SharkTank’s ‘Big Enchilada’

Say hello to SharkTank Editor Javier Manjarres. He’s in town from Fort Lauderdale this week for CPAC. And it just so happens he was seated right next to FishbowlDC. What are the chances, right? “Que pasa?” he asks his mother on his cell on Blogger’s Row. “Superbien..estoy muy occupado,” he complains. (Translation: I’m really busy. I’m really important.) Does he find it ironic that SharkTank is sitting next to Fishbowl? Does he think he’s better than us? “As a matter of fact the irony of the shark tank sitting next to the guppie bowl is interesting,” he said. “There is enough room in the sea for El Sharko and El Fishbowl.” SharkTank, a right leaning politics blog, came to life in 2009. Javier is the sole editorial employee. He embarrassingly calls himself “the big enchilada” and says he has one colleague who handles “technical stuff.” His opening line: “You didn’t notice me with my big fin?”

What does SharkTank write about? We pretty much write about everything political, we follow a lot of candidates. We get a lot interviews that no one else gets. I can call Marco Rubio, Allen West, Connie Mack. We’re all friends. We met at political events. We got to know each other on the campaign trail, you break bread, you’re on flights together.

Have you always been a reporter? I was in the clothing business, and I’m straight. I helped design and manufacture men’s apparel, women’s lingerie and bathing suits. I started writing for Red County in 2008 and then I started the SharkTank in November 2009.

Why SharkTank? Florida is the shark attack capitol of the world. And politics is a cutthroat business. It just fell in my lap, and there’s a lot of hot chicks involved too. I throw my press pass around. I go around saying, ‘I’m a big deal, would you like to go out for drinks?'” (He’s joking mostly, we think.)

Do you go tanning in between stories? I do suntan in my Speedo. I live two minutes from the beach. I go suntanning once in a blue moon, but I pride myself that when I play soccer in my Speedo I tan at the same time. Cleats and Speedos go hand in hand..

If you were a carbonated beverage what would you be? Red Bull..sugar free. Because I’m just a spaz.

What is your most embarrassing moment? I have a lot. This one was a badge of honor. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in front of the entire Cuba Democracy PAC in Miami, gave me a full embrace, kissed me on the cheek twice, and told me I was the biggest pain in her ass. She did it in front of Sen. Marco Rubio and 20 congressional members.

What’s your favorite swear word? Maybe shit.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Maybe predicated.

Who is your favorite journalist? George Will.

Who would you rather have dinner with – ABC’s Diane Sawyer, CNN’s Candy Crowley or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why.  Diane Sawyer, she’s attractive.

Who is your favorite Kardashian? The father, because he was fortunate not to see the train wreck his daughters turned out to be and you have to honor that. And I mean Ron Kardashian. Bruce is complicit in that crap.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Sec. Janet Napolitano or former AG Janet Reno? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) I’ll guess I’ll go down as the man who ended civilization. They don’t strike me as the type who would be interested in me, and there is no chance in hell that I would be attracted to either woman. If Ellen DeGeneres is thrown in the mix, I’d probably have to reconsider.

What word do you misspell most often? Taht. But that’s just typos.

When you pig out, what do you eat? Wendy’s number 6 spicy chicken medium, no mayo.

From Reason’s Peter Suderman: You’re given a choice between living a normal length life looking like you’re 28 and a thousand year life in which your age shows the whole time. Which would you pick and why? I’ll take 28 because I’m all about me – self-centered — it’s all about aesthetics.