Kirsten Powers

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Kirsten Powers
Occupation Columnist, blogger, pundit

Kirsten A. Powers (born 1969) is an American political pundit and columnist for USA Today. She began her career as a Democratic Party operative with the Clinton-Gore presidential transition team in 1992 followed by an appointment as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs in the Clinton administration from 1993-1998. She subsequently worked in various roles including press secretary, communications consultant, and Democratic Party consultant.[1][2] She currently serves as a columnist to USA Today, a columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and a political analyst for the Fox News cable channel.[1]

Powers formerly wrote a column for American Prospect Online.[3] Her articles have also appeared in USA Today, Elle, the New York Observer, Salon, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2005 journalist Ben Smith wrote that Powers was "emerging as one of the Democratic Party’s national voices."[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Powers was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her parents were archaeologists, with Irish-American heritage.[2][4][5][6] She credits her interest in politics and debate with being "expected to state and defend my positions on the issues of the day every night at dinner."[4]

She graduated from the University of Maryland and attended Georgetown University Law School for a year and a half.


Powers served in the Clinton administration as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs and was the Vice President for International Communications at America Online.[1] Later she was a Vice President at the AOL-Time Warner Foundation.

Powers has worked for the New York State Democratic Committee, was the press secretary for Andrew Cuomo for Governor and Communications Director on the mayoral campaign of C. Virginia Fields.[1] She also worked on the "Vote No on 3" campaign which overwhelmingly defeated Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ballot initiative to eliminate party primaries. Powers also served briefly as the press secretary for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair race of Donnie Fowler. She has consulted for a variety of non-profit organizations including Human Rights First and the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW).[1]

Political positions[edit]

Powers supported the Obama health care reform, and believes it is a moral imperative to supply health care to all Americans.[7]

Powers supports comprehensive immigration reform and providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants,[8] favors gun control,[9] and supports equal rights for gay people in the form of universal civil unions, leaving marriage strictly as a religious institution.[10]

She opposed the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy.[11] and supports closing Guantanamo Bay and putting prisoners in federal prisons.[12]

She opposed the Iraq war,[13] as well as the Fairness Doctrine,[14] and a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning.[15]

She also opposes the death penalty.[16]

She supports the right of countries to choose their own governments free of outside influence but is against the establishment of theocracies.[17] Powers has a particular concern over the influence of Islamists in Egypt due to her husband being of Coptic Egyptian origin.[17]

She opposes elective late-term abortions.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Powers married Dr. Marty Makary, Professor of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, in January 2010. The couple is divorced.

Powers briefly dated former Congressman Anthony Weiner in 2002, and remained his close friend after their romantic relationship ended. After initially defending him when the story of Weiner's sexting scandal first broke in May 2011, Powers later condemned his conduct and called for his resignation from Congress.[19]

Powers was raised as an Episcopalian but spent much of her early adult life as an atheist. In her mid-30s, she became an evangelical Christian. The process of conversion began when she dated a religious Christian man, who introduced her to the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the teachings of its pastor, Tim Keller, and culminated in an experience in 2006 when, during a trip to Taiwan, she believes that she was visited by Jesus.[5] She has called her conversion "a bit of a mind bender" due to her political beliefs and former atheism, and prefers the term "orthodox Christian" over "evangelical" to describe herself, given the "cultural baggage" around the word "evangelical".[20] She has said that the biggest impact her new-found religiosity had on her political beliefs was that she came to "view everyone as God's child and that means everyone deserves grace and respect."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Kirsten Powers". Linkedin. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Ben (2003-12-15). "Power Punk: Jen Bluestein and Kirsten Powers". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  3. ^ View Author | The American Prospect
  4. ^ a b c Q & A with Kirsten Powers of Fox News, Matt Lewis, Politics Daily, August 16, 2010
  5. ^ a b Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower, Kirsten Powers, Christianity Today, October 22, 2013
  6. ^
  7. ^ Powers, Kirsten (2009-12-14). "Why cost shouldn't stop health-care reform". New York Post. 
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Powers, Kirsten (2008-07-08). "The Gop Gay-Marriage Con". New York Post. 
  11. ^ Powers, Kirsten (2009-06-11). "A PREJUDICE AMERICA CAN'T AFFORD". New York Post. 
  12. ^ Powers, Kirsten (2009-05-21). "Dems Go All Nimby On Gitmo". New York Post. 
  13. ^ Powers, Kirsten (2003-12-01). "Keep talking, Democrats". USA Today. 
  14. ^ Powers, Kirsten (2007-07-02). "Muzzle Mania". New York Post. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Article | The American Prospect
  17. ^ a b The Daily Beast" "America's Naivete About Egypt"
  18. ^
  19. ^ Powers, Kirsten (June 8, 2011). "Anthony Weiner's Ex: He Lied to Me". The Daily Beast. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  20. ^ Let's Get To Know Fox’s Liberal Pundit Kirsten Powers: ‘I’m an Orthodox Christian’, Laura Donovan, The Jane Dough, May 25, 2012

External links[edit]