Brahm Resnik hosts Sunday Square Off, a political talk show, and covers politics and government for 12 News in Phoenix. Before moderating a panel on Goldwater libertarianism’s legacy, he talked about his native Montreal, politicians’ passions, and his hidden talent: sizing up a man’s neck, sleeve, and suit size at a glance.
What do you wake up to?
I wake up to my watch buzzing.
What do you miss most about Canada?
I miss hockey. I miss ice. I miss fall. I miss Montreal. It’s a great city. And it’s funny, because the Canadiens lost to the Rangers in the semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the fans put a challenge to Jimmy Fallon: If the Canadiens lost, one of our mascots, Youppi!, would wear a Rangers shirt around the city. They recorded it, and he stopped at all my favorite haunts—Schwartz’s, Beaver Lake, the mountain, Olympic Stadium. It made me just a little bit homesick.
Are you good at keeping secrets? Who can vouch for you?
I’m very good at keeping secrets. My wife.
Who is the one person, living or dead, you would love to have a beer with?
Boy, I’m such a fan of history that I don’t know where to start. George Washington. Joseph Stalin. Hank Greenberg. Jackie Robinson. Maurice Richard. Franklin Roosevelt. Abe Lincoln. You can see my interests—sports and history.
What food are you most likely to binge eat?
Buffalo mozzarella. I love that cheese. You can’t binge too much on that, but boy.
Where would we find you at 10 a.m. on a typical Saturday morning?
It really all depends. I could be just about anywhere. Probably coming back from my run and cooling off in the back.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Seeing my Montreal Expos in their first season, and sitting in the front row of tiny Jarry Park, and getting a bat from Mack Jones. Nobody knows him—he was this average guy. He was their slugger, number 9, I got his bat, and I still have it. And this is 35 years later.
What’s your favorite thing about covering politics?
The passion. It’s easy to knock politicians, but boy they care. It’s a really tough business when it gets down to it, and I respect that. And I love seeing politicians grow and change and become candidates. That’s the one thing I really pay attention to. I look at somebody and I say, “Does he have it, does she have it? Can she become better?” Some do, and many don’t.
What’s your hidden talent?
I tell my wife it’s singing, but she’ll say no it’s not. My father was in the clothing business, so I worked in clothing stores most of my youth. I can tell a guy’s neck size, sleeve size, and probably his suit size as well.
What’s the last thing that inspired you?
Today I met a veteran who had been waiting a year for an appointment at the Phoenix VA. She finally got it on Friday. Here she is struggling with her own illnesses; she also has a mother and a sister she has to care for, too. Boy she is just working her ass off to get through every single day. And I’m fortunate. In this business, I meet people like that all the time. Do politicians inspire me? It’s my job. You see some good ones—that’s inspiring. But day in, day out, it’s just the people you meet who never make the headlines, who are doing heroic things in a very quiet way.