Larry Kudlow, having survived a heart attack earlier this year, wanted his birthday celebration to be a low-key event featuring family and dear friends. In normal years, that’s exactly what would have happened.
That can be stated unequivocally, because the birthday celebration was similar to that held in prior years, with a similar guest list. One of those guests is now causing a stir.
CNN covered the departure from the White House of Darren Beattie late last week, after it had been revealed that Beattie had been a guest speaker at a conference alongside noted white nationalists like Richard Spencer and Peter Brimelow.
Brimelow runs the website Vdare.com, a platform for anti-immigrant and white nationalist opinion. Due to his promotion of related policy, Brimelow has been persona non grata at some of the places for which he used to write, like National Review and Forbes, for almost twenty years.
He’s also apparently a old friend of Kudlow’s, and has been attending his birthday celebrations for years.
Kudlow has been vocally pro-immigration for decades, and because Washington power circles create strange friendships, no press has bothered to remark on the disparity in the philosophies of the two men.
After the Washington Post reported on the birthday party, CNBC contacted Larry Kudlow for his side. He said he had no idea of Brimelow’s opinions, and that he was “disappointed and saddened” to learn about his positions.
In the wake of Kudlow’s seeming abandonment of his long-held anti-tariff and free market positions to promote President Trump’s positions, however, his convictions appear less solid than previously believed.
It is possible, however unlikely, that two decades-long friends who share political interests might somehow never get around to discussing the primary activism mechanism of one of them. Kudlow is banking on that wiggle room and his long history of advocacy for loose borders to insulate him from the type of reputation damage that Beattie’s assocations wrought.
The added scrutiny that comes from his advisory position to Trump, and Trump’s strong anti-immigrant and occasionally racist stances, however, may undermine the image that Kudlow spent most of his lifetime developing.