Election 2018: Inside American Politics
October 24, 2018
Presented by the NYU Brademas Center and NYU DC Dialogues, the Inside American Politics series provides students of New York University with the opportunity to learn from practitioners in order to gain an insider's view of the American political system.
The lineup of political insiders for this event assessed the current political dynamics in the first two years of the Trump Administration. The panel shared their insights and perspectives on how domestic and international events have influenced public opinion.
Political experts and strategists Ron Christie, Founder and President of Christie Strategies, LLC, S.E. Cupp (GAL '10), Host of CNN's "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered," Stephanie Cutter, Founding Partner of Precision Strategies, and Steve McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of Purple Strategies, joined together with the Brademas Center for a dialogue on the current political landscape in Washington. Steven Sloan, Political Editor at the Associated Press, served as moderator for the evening.
Ron Christie, Founder and President, Christie Strategies, LLC
Ron Christie, founder and President of Christie Strategies LLC, is a veteran senior advisor of both the White House and the Congress, brings years of government relations and media experience.
Previously, Christie served as Vice President of Navigators Global LLC - a strategic consulting and communications firm. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Director of Global Government Affairs at Ruder Finn and Of Counsel at the Washington D.C. law firm Patton Boggs, LLP. From 2002 to 2004, he was Acting Director of USA Freedom Corps and special assistant to President George W. Bush. He began service at the White House in 2001 as deputy assistant to Vice President Cheney for domestic policy, advising the Vice President on policy initiatives in healthcare, budget, tax and other policy areas.
Prior to joining the Vice President's staff, he briefly served as counsel to U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA). He previously served as a senior advisor to former House Budget Committee Chairman and current Ohio Governor John Kasich from 1992-1999.
Christie served as a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for the Fall 2011 term. He was appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in 2014. He also teaches The Business of Lobbying at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business He was appointed last year to the advisory board of the Georgetown University Institute of Politics.
Additionally he has also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College as well as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management and was a visiting assistant professor of Political Science at Haverford College in 2009 and 2011. He has also served as a guest lecturer at University of Virginia's Center for Politics.
S.E. Cupp, Host of CNN's, "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered"
S.E. Cupp is the host of CNN's "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered," a weekly Saturday program covering the white-hot intersection of politics and media, and a political commentator. Cupp is a practical conservative with a searing honesty who brings her distinct outlook to CNN programming and special political coverage. Cupp most recently hosted a panel-driven show on HLN that debated contemporary issues impacting the country. She joined CNN as a contributor in 2013 and HLN as a host in 2017.
Leading up to her move to CNN and HLN, Cupp was the host of S.E. Cupp's Outside With Insiders, a digital series on CNN.com where she took political insiders to the great outdoors. Past guests included Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) among others. From 2013 to 2014 Cupp co-hosted "Crossfire" on CNN, the relaunched political debate program with panelists Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones. Prior to joining CNN as a host and political commentator, Cupp co-hosted MSNBC's roundtable show, The Cycle.
Cupp continues to be a nationally syndicated political columnist, culture critic and author. She regularly writes for the New York Daily News, Glamour and CNN.com. Cupp penned "Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity" and co-authored "Why You're Wrong About the Right" with Brett Joshpe. She was previously a consultant for HBO's hit series, The Newsroom, contributor to TheBlaze's Real News and contributing editor for Townhall Magazine.
A native of Massachusetts, Cupp relocated from Washington, D.C. to Connecticut and works out of the CNN New York bureau. She is a graduate of Cornell University and earned a master's degree from New York University. In her free time, Cupp enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with her family. She is married with one son.
Stephanie Cutter, Founding Partner, Precision Strategies
Stephanie Cutter is the founding partner of Precision Strategies, a leading communications, digital, and data targeting consulting firm in Washington D.C. and New York City.
At Precision, Stephanie has revolutionized the integration of data-driven communications with digital and campaign style organizing to improve reputations, manage crises and drive people to action. She has improved the brand of one of the nation’s largest health insurers during a controversial merger; successfully launched a news network; restored the reputation of a multinational financial institution; reshaped a national storyline on behalf of a leading NFL quarterback; and successfully managed a global crisis for a well-known consumer tech platform.
Called “one of the most prominent voices in the [Democratic] party, and one of its top strategists and crisis managers” by Politico, Stephanie has crafted high-level communications, reputation and crisis-management strategies for two U.S. Presidents, U.S. Senate leaders, and the nation’s highest profile political campaigns and Fortune 500 corporations. The New York Times called her “the polished, sometimes scarily organized strategist who gets things done” who “has a long and favorable reputation with some of the most influential journalists and opinion makers in Washington.” GQ named her one of “the 50 most powerful people in Washington.”
Stephanie served as Deputy Campaign Manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, where she played a pivotal role in designing and executing a game-changing campaign that broke barriers in understanding, reaching, and connecting with more Americans than any election in history. Previously, Stephanie served in various senior positions within the Obama administration and campaign, from managing the President’s message strategy and issue development in the White House, to serving as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff, to counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Before the Obama administration, Stephanie served as a senior advisor to Minority Leader Harry Reid and Democratic Senator Edward M. Kennedy. In 2004, she served as Communications Director for the John Kerry for President Campaign. She also held various positions within the Clinton Administration, including President Clinton’s White House Deputy Communications Director.
A Massachusetts native, Stephanie lives in Washington, D.C. with her son, and is a graduate of Smith College and Georgetown University Law Center.
Stephanie is currently a contributor to ABC News, and is a former co-host of CNN’s Crossfire show.
Stephanie is represented by Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Steve McMahon, Chief Executive Officer, Purple Strategies
Steve is an attorney and co-founder of Purple Strategies, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer. He got his start in politics in the Senate and on the political staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and has worked on dozens of Senate, Gubernatorial and Mayoral campaigns across the country.
Steve has served in senior roles in three presidential campaigns, and produced the advertising in support of then Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic National Committee in the 2008 presidential campaign.
For the past twelve years, Steve’s principal focus has been on providing comprehensive reputation, brand image, crisis management and issue advocacy campaigns to companies and industries operating in challenging environments, including BP, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Caterpillar, Bayer, PhRMA, and the American Chemistry Council. He and his colleagues have also handled numerous initiative and referendum campaigns on a wide range of subjects, and helped develop litigation communication strategies for major companies facing significant litigation threats.
Steve appears regularly as a political commentator on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews and other MSNBC programming. During the past four campaign seasons, he was a frequent political commentator on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News. Steve is married to Cynthia Alksne, a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst. The couple has four daughters.
Steven Sloan, Political Editor, Associated Press
Sloan oversees AP's national reporting team and work closely with reporters in Washington, as well as around the United States.
Sloan joins the AP from CNN, where he most recently served as director of enterprise reporting in Washington. He also launched an award-winning digital magazine at CNN that combined long-form storytelling about politics, national security and culture with photography, graphics and animation.
During the 2016 campaign, Sloan was the managing editor for content at CNN Politics, overseeing a team of breaking news and enterprise reporters and editors covering the historic election.
Before joining CNN, Sloan was the congressional editor at POLITICO and a reporter at Bloomberg News. He grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in political science.