Tuesday, June 15

Invite-only: How one Hill aide is turning his political connections into a business

Washington is practically dripping with political information newsletters and media companies — a “proliferation,” Hardaway acknowledges — but he’s counting on a global perspective to help him stand out. 

While Hardaway declined to share an actual copy of his newsletter, called Spotlight, he says he divides it by continent, with sections for North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, as well as slots for a lead item and special feature. It doesn’t hurt that he’s staked his email claim in the relatively quiet realm of Sunday evening, rather than a weekday morning.

As he looks to roll out new products geared toward navigating the post-election environment, Hardaway says “personal interactions and connections between members” will be a selling point. If that makes it sound like an exclusive club, all the better.

Invite-only is kind of Hardaway’s modus operandi. One of the things he’s known for on Capitol Hill is hosting an informal but exclusive bipartisan dinner group, inspired by the steaks and scotch shared by Washington politicos of an earlier era. 

“We met last month, via Zoom, and my goal is to build that series so that it outlives me,” he says. “The bipartisan dinner series shall live forever.”

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