Dee Dee Myers

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Dee Dee Myers
Dee Dee Myers.jpg
Dee Dee Myers 2006
20th White House Press Secretary
In office
January 20, 1993 – December 22, 1994
Preceded by Marlin Fitzwater
Succeeded by Mike McCurry
Personal details
Born Margaret Jane Myers
(1961-09-01) September 1, 1961 (age 52)
Quonset Point, Rhode Island, U.S.
Spouse(s) Todd Purdum
Children Two
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Santa Clara University
Occupation Press Secretary, author, news analyst

Dee Dee Myers (born Margaret Jane Myers, September 1, 1961), a political analyst, was the White House Press Secretary during the first two years of the Clinton administration, from January 1993 to December 1994. She was the first woman and the second-youngest person to hold that position.

Myers later co-hosted the news program Equal Time on CNBC, and was a consultant on The West Wing. She was the inspiration for fictional White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg. She is also the author of the 2008 New York Times best-selling book, Why Women Should Rule The World. In 2010, she became a managing director of public affairs at The Glover Park Group.

Personal life[edit]

Margaret Jane “Dee Dee” Myers was born in 1961 in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, to Stephen and Judy Myers. She spent most of her formative years in Valencia, California. Her father was a Navy pilot who completed two tours of duty in the Vietnam War,[1] and her mother worked as a real estate agent.[2] Myers is a graduate of William S. Hart High School and Santa Clara University (1983).[3]

She met her husband, Todd Purdum, the national editor for Vanity Fair, former White House correspondent, and Los Angeles bureau chief for the New York Times, during the 1992 presidential campaign.[2] The couple married in 1997, have two children and live in Washington, D.C.[3]

Political career[edit]

Myers' career in political communications began shortly after graduating college, taking a full-time role on the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter Mondale.[1] She later served as a field representative for California State Senator Art Torres,[4] and as assistant press secretary in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and on his 1986 campaign for California governor.[5] She was also a spokesperson for Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential bid and Dianne Feinstein's 1990 California gubernatorial campaign,[1] and served as campaign manager for Frank Jordan's 1991 run for San Francisco mayor.[6]

Clinton years[edit]

Myers joined Bill Clinton's presidential campaign team in 1991[7] and, following the 1992 presidential election, was named Clinton's first White House Press Secretary,[1] a role she held from January 20, 1993, to December 22, 1994. She was the first woman to serve in that position, as well as being the second-youngest overall, having taken the job at the age of 31.[8] Myers is sometimes cited as the youngest-ever White House Press Secretary, however Ron Ziegler, Richard Nixon's press secretary, was 29 when he assumed the role in January 1969.[9]

According to the Detroit Free Press, Myers earned a reputation for her "humour and patience" in handling the White House press corps, often delivering "quick one-liners" while issuing daily press briefings.[10] Until September 1994, when she was given the rank of Assistant to the President,[11] she held the lesser title of "deputy assistant" and had a lower salary than previous White House Press Secretaries.[12] She also lacked consistent access to Clinton's inner circle.[13] This was frequently noted in news coverage about Myers throughout her term,[1][13] and is addressed in her 2008 book, Why Women Should Rule The World.[14]

Post-White House career[edit]

After the Clinton administration, she became a political analyst and commentator, appearing on television and speaking at events on politics and the media.[3][15]

Television and popular culture[edit]

In May 1995, Myers became the co-host of political talk show Equal Time on CNBC. She hosted the show opposite Mary Matalin initially,[16] and later opposite Bay Buchanan.[17] In 1997, she was the winning contestant on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy!, beating Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.[18] Myers has also appeared as a guest on other television programs, including The Today Show,[19] Charlie Rose,[20] and ABC's Nightline.[21]

Writer Aaron Sorkin recruited Myers to serve as a consultant and script advisor on the Emmy Award-winning TV series The West Wing, beginning in 1999. The character of C. J. Cregg (played by Allison Janney), the White House Press Secretary on the series, was partially inspired by Myers.[22][23] News articles have also reported that she may have served as the basis for the character of Daisy Green in the novel and film Primary Colors, played by Maura Tierney.[24][25]

Commentator[edit]

Myers has contributed to Vanity Fair since July 1995, originally as a Washington editor, and since 1997 as a contributing editor.[5] She is the author of the 2008 New York Times best-selling book Why Women Should Rule The World, about women taking on positions of leadership and her own experiences in the White House.[3][26] Her writings have also appeared in a number of other publications, including the Los Angeles Times,[27] The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, O: the Oprah Magazine, Politico and The Huffington Post.[3] Since leaving the White House, Myers has also been invited to speak at numerous events, usually on the topics of women's issues, the media and politics.[3][15] In 2011, she became a brand ambassador for Jones New York's Empower your Confidence campaign, and appeared as a model in advertisements for the brand.[8]

Public affairs consulting[edit]

Myers joined the Glover Park Group in September 2010, as a managing director of public affairs.[28] Her role at the firm involves consulting with clients on communications strategy, marketing and reputation management.[4] In January 2013 she was the spokeswoman for Paula Broadwell during the Petraeus scandal.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Masters, Kim (April 1, 1993). "In The Cage With The Beasts". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ a b "Weddings; Dee Dee Myers, Todd S. Purdum". The New York Times. May 25, 1997. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Dee Dee Myers". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Dee Dee Myers". Glover Park Group.com. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Dee Dee Myers". Vanity Fair. News Communications Inc. July 7, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ Jerry Roberts (November 9, 1991). "'Niceness' Issue May Be the Theme of SF Mayoral Race". The San Francisco Chronicle. p. A4. 
  7. ^ Devroy, Ann (December 23, 1994). "Departing Myers Recalls Jubilation, Tribulations;". The Washington Post. 
  8. ^ a b Ilyashov, Alexandra (May 11, 2011). "Dispatch: Jones New York Empowerment Breakfast'". Daily Front Row. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ Cornwell, Rupert (February 12, 2003). "Ron Ziegler". The Independent. UK. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ Cannon, Angie (June 21, 1994). "The Answer Woman Dee Dee Myers Is On The Front Lines". Detroit Free Press. 
  11. ^ Ruth Marcus; Ann Devroy (September 24, 1994). "Not Exactly All Shook Up; Myers Stays On in White House Restructuring". The Washington Post. p. A1. 
  12. ^ Joyce Price (January 23, 1993). "First woman to be press secretary gets title, little else". The Washington Times. p. A4. 
  13. ^ a b Matthews, Christopher (October 6, 1994). "Dee Dee Myers is a hero for our time". Houston Chronicle. 
  14. ^ Agrell, Siri (May 8, 2008). "Pretty Complicated In Pink". The Globe and Mail. 
  15. ^ a b "Dee Dee Myers to be keynote speaker at Women of Influence event". The Kansas City Star. April 21, 2006. 
  16. ^ Johnson, Peter (May 26, 1995). "Ex-Clinton staffer Myers to co-host Equal Time". USA Today. 
  17. ^ Jicha, Tom (July 11, 1996). "Bay Buchanan To Voice Opinions On `Equal Time'". The Sun-Sentinal. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Dee Dee Myers wins celebrity Jeopardy! in Washington". The Baltimore Sun. November 3, 1997. 
  19. ^ Burdman, Pamela (March 27, 1999). "Dee Dee Myers Named to CSU Board". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  20. ^ "Guest: Dee Dee Myers". CharlieRose.com. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  21. ^ "ABC, PBS teaming up for programs on Clinton; 'Nightline' working with 'Frontline' on White House story". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin). November 10, 2000. p. 6B. 
  22. ^ Holloway, Diane (May 14, 2006). "'West Wing'". Austin American-Statesman. Cox Newspapers. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  23. ^ Combs, Cody (February 8, 2011). "Dee Dee Myers talks about helping Aaron Sorkin with the 'West Wing'". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  24. ^ Oczypok, Kate. "Reception and discussion of Washington Post White House Correspondent Anne Kornblut's new book". The Hill. News Communications Inc. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  25. ^ Walmark, Henrietta (June 6, 2008). "Critic's Choice". The Globe and Mail. p. R28. 
  26. ^ Norris, Michele (March 17, 2098). "Dee Dee Myers". NPR. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  27. ^ Dee Dee Myers (June 6, 1999). "In Pursuit of Traditional Power". Los Angeles Times. p. 1M. 
  28. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (September 7, 2010). "Dee Dee Joins Glover Park Group". Mediabistro. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Broadwell hires Washington PR firm to deal with Petraeus scandal". Reuters. 20 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Marlin Fitzwater
White House Press Secretary
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Mike McCurry