A Personal Note on Larry Kudlow — James Pethokoukis

 

Tonight is the final episode of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.” Now Larry Kudlow isn’t retiring, thank goodness. He’ll still pop up regularly on the network’s programs as senior contributor.

But early evening Monday through Friday won’t be quite the same without Larry’s lively recap and spot-on analysis of the day’s business and political events, as well as his infectious testimony on the wonder-working power of economic freedom.

I don’t know how many times I’ve appeared on Larry’s show. Maybe 300? (Is that possible?) It all started in 2006, when I was an economics writer for US News & World Report magazine. I had written a cover story on how the improving economy might affect the upcoming midterm elections. I told our media person that she should try to book me on what was then called “Kudlow & Company.” She demurred. The Kudlow show wasn’t “a good fit” for me, she said. As a fan and as someone who had been watching Larry since his “McLaughlin Group“ panelist days, I knew I would be a perfect fit. So I called up CNBC myself and pitched myself to producer Andrew Conti. I was on the next day. Not only did I become a “Kudlow” regular, but I started appearing on other CNBC programs, eventually becoming an official contributor. I also appear almost every Saturday morning on Larry’s syndicated WABC radio show, which he will continue to host.

My relationship with Larry Kudlow has been great for my career as journalist. I like to joke that at Thanksgiving my family always thanks the Good Lord and Larry Kudlow, though not necessarily in that order. (Actually, that is not a joke.)

But Larry’s friendship has been far better for me as a person. Larry taught me how to disagree without being disagreeable. He taught me about the value of indefatigable optimism. Most importantly, he taught me that when life puts your butt on the mat, you need to get back up. That’s the true measure. Oh, and when you’re climbing back to your feet, it sure helps to have a few good friends around to lend a helping hand. Those friends you never forget.

And I will never forget how amazing Larry Kudlow has been to my family and me. I am just a tiny, bit player in the Larry Kudlow Story – one that took him from the New York Fed to Wall Street to the Reagan White House back to Wall Street and then television. But he’s a big, big player in my story.

So deepest thanks, Larry. Here’s to the next chapter in your adventure. And by the way, free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity!

There are 17 comments.

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  1. user_1700 Coolidge
    user_1700
    @Rapporteur

    James, this is a fine tribute to a mentor. It’s even better that’s he’s still around to read it.

    • #1
  2. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Larry appears for a couple of hours once a week on the John Batchelor Show.  I hope that doesn’t end because he is always illuminating, has strong opinions (that he backs up), but doesn’t talk down to people.  And he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

    • #2
  3. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    James Pethokoukis: He taught me about the value of indefatigable optimism.

    Back when I watched TV, I tuned into Kudlow’s show on CNBC every day. I also hopped on SteynOnline every day. Only Kudlow could be as powerfully optimistic as Steyn is pessimistic.

    I always admired what a gentleman he was with his guests. He set the tone for conversation.

    • #3
  4. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    My dad has been a CNBC viewer for years and whenever I’d be home for a visit he’d always remark to me, “Why does Larry Kudlow have to wear those pinstripe suits all the time?” Despite this tongue-in-cheek fashion critique, he’d watch Larry’s show regularly and greatly enjoyed his interviews, as did I. Larry Kudlow – a classy guy in classy suits.

    When are you going to have Larry as a guest on your Money & Politics podcast?

    • #4
  5. Fred Williams Inactive
    Fred Williams
    @FredWilliams

    Kudlow is a good man.  I don’t watch the tv program, but listen to your segment on the Saturday morning radio show and his segments on the Batchelor show faithfully.  He’d be a terrific guest on your podcast.

    • #5
  6. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    I’ve never watched the tv show, but I almost always listen to the last hour or two of the radio show. The Money & Politics panel is always my favorite segment.

    • #6
  7. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    I was a regular watcher of Kudlow back around 2007-2008. I always liked when you were on, Jimmy P.

    • #7
  8. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Mr. Dart
    @MrDart

    I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Kudlow back in 2001 at an IBD conference at the Reagan Library.  Beyond his success in business, public policy, and TV his personal story of redemption through faith is quite inspirational and powerful.  He’s a grand fellow and now only Joe Kernan remains as a reason to ever let the channel selector land on CNBC. 

    Thanks for posting this James. It was uplifting to read of Larry’s positive influence in your life.

    • #8
  9. Carol Member
    Carol
    @

    It  is funny that you say he taught you how to disagree without being disagreeable, as that is what always comes to mind when I think of him. Larry is always a gentleman.

    • #9
  10. user_231912 Inactive
    user_231912
    @BrianMcMenomy

    Larry is one of the few guys that can go deep into the economic weeds with the finance guys and make it sound both comprehensible and meaningful, as well as draw the best out of all of his guests.  I second Mr. Dart’s assessment of Larry’s personal story; it’s one we can all draw wisdom & inspiration from.  Don’t be a stranger, Mr. Kudlow; the country needs you, not just Jimmy P.

    • #10
  11. captainpower Inactive
    captainpower
    @captainpower

    Wow. Just added two podcasts to my list.

    Robert Kudlow’s and John Batchelor’s (4 hours a day?!).

    • #11
  12. user_529732 Inactive
    user_529732
    @ShelleyNolan

    Hear hear Jimmy P., you are spot on. Larry Kudlow’s life credo is an inspiration. I am a avid listener to Kudlow Radio and the John Batchelor show podcasts. They are so good I often replay them because they are worth hearing twice! Don’t always agree with the opinions but the tone of the discussions makes it easy to give ground to ideas I should weigh. I too thank you Larry, please carry on.

    • #12
  13. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Be sure to tell Larry he’s got a home here at a Ricochet, now that he has all that free time.

    • #13
  14. user_525137 Inactive
    user_525137
    @AdrianaHarris

    I really enjoy listening to Larry Kudlow on his weekly radio show. I’m so happy he will be continuing it. He has great guests and an amazing ability to go into great detail without losing his listeners.

    • #14
  15. Indaba Member
    Indaba
    @

    DJ EJ:
    My dad has been a CNBC viewer for years and whenever I’d be home for a visit he’d always remark to me, “Why does Larry Kudlow have to wear those pinstripe suits all the time?” Despite this tongue-in-cheek fashion critique, he’d watch Larry’s show regularly and greatly enjoyed his interviews, as did I. Larry Kudlow – a classy guy in classy suits.
    When are you going to have Larry as a guest on your Money & Politics podcast?

     

    • #15
  16. Indaba Member
    Indaba
    @

    I am on an iPad which has problems using the Quote feature. James, I am an avid listener of your podcast. I do not know Larry and I would welcome hearing him. Being able to disagree and discuss issues is so valuable in educating listeners, or me at the least.

    • #16
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