Newsweek contributing editor, regular panelist on “The McLaughlin Group,” and author Eleanor Clift spoke as part of the President’s Forum on Saturday, Sept. 22. Her talk was titled, “Mapping a Win: Can the GOP take back the White House?”
Currently assigned to the White House for Newsweek, Clift writes about politics and policy in Washington, and the partisan clashes that are the result of divided government. Clift has covered every presidential campaign since 1976 and now brings her perspective to analyze President Barack Obama’s race against former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.
In May, her most recent book “Selecting a President” was released, offering a view of the U.S. presidential electoral system that draws on rich historical anecdotes from past campaigns. She was a part of Newsweek’s reporting team that is the basis of Evan Thomas’ book, "A Long Time Coming,” which chronicles Obama’s history-making campaign.
With her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, Clift also wrote "War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics" and "Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling.” Her book, "Founding Sisters," is about the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the vote. More recently, she has written "Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics," a work that discusses the loss of her husband together with an examination of how we deal with death in America. She has appeared as herself in several movies, including "Dave," "Independence Day," "Murder at 1600," "Rising Sun," and the CBS series, "Murphy Brown."
Formerly Newsweek's White House correspondent, Clift served as congressional and political correspondent for six years. She was a key member of the magazine's 1992 election team, and served as Deputy Washington Bureau Chief. As a reporter in Newsweek's Atlanta bureau, Clift covered Jimmy Carter's bid for the presidency. She followed Carter to Washington to become Newsweek's White House correspondent. Clift began her career as a secretary to Newsweek's national affairs editor in New York. She was one of the first women at the magazine to move from secretary to reporter. She also covered the Iran-Contra scandal under the Ronald Reagan’s administration.
Clift lives in Washington, D.C., where she is on the advisory council of the International Women's Media Foundation, the board of the Center for Politics and Journalism, and the Board of Governors of the National Hospice Foundation.
She previously came to HWS in April 2005 when she delivered the address “Women and Politics—From Suffrage to Hillary.”
She attended Hofstra University and Hunter College.