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Dimon: Not an Attention-Seeking Governor’s Best Friend

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) continues to lap up national media attention with his “Not running for president in 2020 but not ruling it out, either” public stance. And with the National Governors Association winter meeting just down the road from Annapolis in Washington, D.C., right now, it’s a prime opportunity for Hogan to rub elbows with national journalists, pundits and political wise guys and gals. He’s the NGA vice chair now and will ascend to the top position in July.

The New York Times popped an interview with Hogan on its website Saturday in which he referenced his reelection and urged the national Republicans to strive for “a bigger tent.”

In Annapolis, Hogan is used to being the center of attention and a leading quipster. But on his one official moment in the sun at the NGA conference Saturday, Hogan was eclipsed by Jamie Dimon, the voluble chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the global banking giant.

With 15 of their fellow governors watching – not to mention a crowded ballroom and a national TV audience via C-Span – Hogan and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) were there to lead a conversation with Dimon about the economy. Their presence seemed almost incidental.

Dimon must have been vaccinated with a phonographic needle: All it took was a question or two and he was off to the races, expounding on politics (the dysfunction in Washington, he said, is “a disgrace,” though both sides make good points), regulations (“the tapeworm of American business”), the sanctity of the marketplace (“We have the best, widest, deepest, most transparent financial markets ever”), ethics in business (“companies can be really good corporate citizens”), and so much more.

When protesters from the Rainforest Action Network jumped up, unfurled a banner and started chanting, “Jamie Dimon, stop funding climate change – Chase is the worst!” Dimon kept right on talking (Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, saw fit to apologize to Dimon afterward). And Dimon offered the quip of the session, saying people worry about the economy too much.

“We just can’t seem to get out of our own underwear sometimes,” he said.

To which Hogan could only reply, “There you have it.”

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Dimon: Not an Attention-Seeking Governor’s Best Friend