10/07/2013 11:05 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Political Animal: Basil Smikle

To quote the House of Cards' Francis Underwood, "Power is a lot like real estate. It's all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value." As a political strategist for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's mayoral reelection campaign, Deputy State Director for Senator Hilary Clinton and television correspondent (MSNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Hannity) for commentary on issues such as health care, education, the sequester and gun control to name a few, Basil Smikle knows his value in the landscape. In demand he sprints around town to clients, television appearances and classes on a motorcycle or by subway.

An unsuccessful 2010 bid for New York State Senate was a learning curve.

"I learned to engage my passions. Convincing voters of your ability to serve them (and being sincere about it) required me to do some soul-searching. I had to figure out what motivated me to make all the decisions I made in life. I had to articulate how and why my path can be helpful to the lives of others. It made me realize how much I love interacting with people; how much education saved my life; and how crucial good leadership is in communities that lack it"."

Those that do teach, Basil is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and City University of New York's Murphy Institute for Professional Studies. Basil realized how much he loved teaching and is now pursuing his Ph.D.

"I love interaction with students. Sharing my knowledge and experience and knowing that it's helped them understand what's going on in the world is pretty gratifying. I keep in touch with many or most of my former students. I try to be helpful with their current projects and even send them articles related to class as a sort of continuing education."

He is a Jamaican and Bronx native with a strong work ethic and an Ivy League education.

"My grandmother taught how faith can support my ambitions and maintain my friendships and bring me peace of mind. My mother taught me that education is everything. It feeds you and liberates you. She also taught me that perseverance and steadfastness in achieving one's goals requires both personal motivation and having the right people in your life to help you see it through. My father imbued me with quiet nobility that sometimes gets mistaken as haughtiness. He taught me that I don't have to say very much to make my words count. A look, a glance or a gesture can change someone's whole world."

Basil Smikle is politically ambitious with impressive accomplishments and ready to claim his political turf.