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What to Expect at This Weekend’s Politicon With Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s new communications director, is among those on the bill for this weekend’s Politicon, an annual event that brings together politicians, pundits, and media personalities to debate, talk, chat, and sometimes argue.

According to Politicon co-founder Simon Sidi, Scaramucci was booked some time ago, but still plans to attend even after he was named to his new role in the administration.

“We have checked and double checked and triple checked, and yes he’s coming,” Sidi said on Monday.

Among the panels Scaramucci will participate in is one on Sunday called “Now What, Republicans?” Moderated by John Phillips, the panel will also feature Dennis Prager, Tomi Lahren, Michael Steele, and David Frum. Earlier that day, Scaramucci also is scheduled to attend “LA World Affairs Council Presents: World War 3,” and he is slated for a panel on Saturday titled “Anthony Scaramucci ‘Splains,” with Toure as the moderator.

Billed as the “unconventional political convention,” Politicon started in 2015 with an event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Attendance was encouraging enough to continue the following year, this time at the Pasadena Convention Center, where it will take place again this weekend.

Other highlights include a “conversation” with Chelsea Handler and Tomi Lahren, and other matchups of personalities on opposite ends of the spectrum. That includes Ann Coulter and Ana Kasparian, and Cenk Uygur and Ben Shapiro.

Cast members and producers of “Veep” will also be featured in a panel on the making of the show, with Clea Duvall, David Mandel, Frank Rich, and Tim Simons.

Duvall said that she’s uncertain what questions she’ll be asked, more than a few have tried to compare the absurd aspects of the show to some of the real-life foibles going on in Washington.

Duvall said she was looking forward to going to the event and “getting a different perspective.”

Sidi said that a unique part of Politicon is the mix not just of personalities, but the attendees, as it brings together so many diverging points of view. He said that they have not had any problems because of that, and that “they will mix as well as they have always mixed.”

A concert promoter for 30 years, Sidi said that he came up with the idea for the event from listening to Slate’s “Political Gabfest” at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca and hearing the reaction from the audience.

“It just clicked that we could do some kind of live political event that could attract lots of people,” he said.

The original idea was to bring together political personalities on tour, but he later decided that it made more sense to have an event in one place during a weekend.

He said that they are partnered with a “fantastic single private investor who is as nerdy about politics as I am.” He declined to identify the investor, other than to say it is someone from the entertainment industry and that it is “independently and privately funded.”

“That is a private matter,” he said.

The event drew about 8,000 people last year, he said. General admission is $50 for each day, and $80 for a weekend pass.

This year will have a bigger media presence, as CNN and MSNBC are doing their own special programming.

And as always, Politicon has lined up panels with provocative titles. “From Russia With Trump” will feature Malcolm Nance, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), among others.

Last year, one panel posed the question, “Is Trump a Sociopath?” It included a mix of comedians and a psychologist. This year, there is a similar question: “Trump: Genius or Lunatic?” Panelists include Sally Kohn, Anthony Atamanuik, Clay Aiken, Robert Davi, and Scottie Nell Hughes.

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