Eleanor Clift

Respected political reporter, author and analyst, Eleanor Clift writes about the Washington power structure, the influence of women in politics and other complex, contemporary issues; she is currently assigned to follow the jockeying over policy and politics in a divided Congress, where the two parties share power and where President Obama faces major opposition.

Clift brings her unique perspective and exceptional insight to analyze what lessons Obama and the empowered Republicans have learned, and how both sides are gearing up for the 2012 presidential election. Her column, "Capitol Letter," is posted each Friday on Newsweek.com and she is a regular panelist on the sometimes combative, always entertaining syndicated talk show The McLaughlin Group.

SPEAKER TOPICS
ABOUT Eleanor Clift   (+/-)

Reporting the News While Making It

Before serving in her current capacity as Contributing Editor, Eleanor Clift was Newsweek's White House Correspondent, where she was a key member of the magazine's 1992 election team, following the campaign of Bill Clinton from its start to inauguration day. In June 1992, she was named Deputy Washington Bureau Chief.  Clift came to Washington via Newsweek's Atlanta bureau where she covered Jimmy Carter's bid for the presidency and then followed him to Washington upon his election to the White House.  Clift began her career as a secretary to Newsweek's National Affairs editor in New York; she was one of the first women ever at the magazine to move from secretary to reporter.

Acclaimed Author Examining Today's Most Important Issues

Clift and her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, who was a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote two books together, War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics and Madam President:  Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling.  Clift's book, Founding Sisters, is about the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the vote.  Her most recent book, Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics is about the loss of her husband together with an examination of how we deal with death in America.

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SPEAKER TOPIC DESCRIPTIONS    (+/-)

Pre-Election Review: Grading President Obama

From style to substance, is he keeping his promise of change? After the midterm shellacking, what has Obama learned, and how will he retool his presidency? Is he a one-term president or can he recover the magic?  A Washington insider's view of Obama's outsider presidency.

A House Divided: The Mid-Term Elected Congress and Prospects for Bipartisanship

Now that Republicans have regained leadership in the House and the Tea Party is on the rise in Congress, what are the prospects for bipartisanship for the coming legislative term? And how will the newly empowered Republicans handle the growing popularity of the Tea Party? Will Maine Senator Olympia Snowe become an Independent rather than face a primary challenge from the right?

Women and Politics

Hillary Clinton didn't win the presidency, dashing the hopes of a generation of women. From suffrage to sexism, Clift looks at the obstacles that remain and how to shatter the last glass ceiling.  Also, examining what’s ahead for Hillary Clinton, who’s become the indispensable woman in the Obama administration with speculation about her as the next Secretary of Defense, or replacing Joe Biden as vice president.

The Healthcare Conundrum

As healthcare reform becomes a reality, Clift talks about the politics as well as offers a personal perspective on end- of-life care and the choices before us individually and as a society. Doctors can tell us what we can do; they can't tell us what we should do.

First Ladies and Their Political Pulpit

Michelle Obama fully understands the power of her platform, and she is using it to convey the priorities and values she shares with her husband.  Her campaign against childhood obesity and the garden she planted on the South Lawn as a teaching tool for inner-city kids touch on important issues yet steer clear of controversy.  An examination of the role and how Obama, a Princeton and Harvard-educated lawyer, is navigating the line between style and substance.

Media and Politics

Clift examines the shrinking role of the mainstream media and its impact on politics. Can newspapers survive? Does anybody under age 30 care if they don't?  Barack Obama won the presidency in part because he understood the new tools of communication and mobilized them to his advantage.  He lost that connection when he became immersed in governing. His re-election hinges on his ability to get all those new voters he inspired in ’08 back to the polls in 2012. Clift can talk personally about the changing media landscape now that Newsweek is merging with the Daily Beast and will be under the editorial direction of Tina Brown, the iconic editor of our age.

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