Margot Roosevelt is an economy reporter for the Orange County Register. She has also written for The Washington Post, Time, and the Los Angeles Times. Before joining a Zócalo/UCLA panel discussion on water scarcity in California—Can We Engineer Our Way Out of the Drought?—she talked in the Zócalo green room about reporting on the Falklands War, thinking in both French and Spanish, and oversized furniture.
Cats or dogs?
Neither. Too busy for animals.
You started your journalism career covering politics. What’s the most difficult thing about political reporting?
Assessing the chances of the candidates.
You’ve covered multiple Olympics. Which was your favorite?
Lillehammer [the 1994 Winter Olympics, in Norway]. It was very intimate.
What’s the most interesting piece of furniture you own?
I own a very long sofa. It’s probably 8 feet long. It belonged to my great uncle. He passed it down to my aunt and uncle, and they passed it down to me.
You’re fluent in French and Spanish. Do you ever think in multiple languages?
Sometimes, when I’m thinking in Spanish, it comes out in French, and vice versa.
Can you remember the last time you got stuck out in the rain?
I don’t remember ever being stuck.
Do you like being interviewed, or do you always want to be the one asking the questions?
I prefer to be the one asking the questions.
What’s the coolest dinosaur?
Tyrannosaurus rex. I used to go see him in New York’s Natural History Museum when I was growing up.
What’s one of the stories you’re most proud of covering?
When I was covering the Falklands War, in Argentina, I was the first to figure out that the various American companies were getting around a trade embargo by triangulating their exports and imports through other companies—other exporters and importers. I always like to beat the competition.