Kate O'Beirne

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Kate O'Beirne (born Kate Walsh) was the Washington editor of National Review. Her column, "Bread and Circuses," covered Congress, politics, and U.S. domestic policy.

O’Beirne was a regular contributor on CNN's Saturday night political roundtable program, The Capital Gang, along with Al Hunt, Mark Shields, Robert Novak, and Margaret Carlson. O'Beirne and Novak typically argued the conservative viewpoint, while Hunt, Shields, and Carlson provided the liberal viewpoint. She also served as a substitute host on CNN's Crossfire, as well as a commentator for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She is currently a political analyst for MSNBC's Hardball.


Born Kate Walsh, she was raised in a traditional Irish Catholic family in Manhasset, New York. After graduating from high school in 1967, she attended Good Counsel College majoring in English and journalism, but took a leave of absence to work on the successful 1970 U.S. Senate campaign of Conservative Party of New York member James Buckley. She returned to his office as an aide after graduation.

In 1976, she graduated from St. John's University School of Law, and in the same year married James O'Beirne, an infantry officer in the United States Army (now White House liaison to the Pentagon). For the next ten years, she traveled with him and raised their two sons.

In 1986, the family moved to Washington, D.C., and she served as deputy assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services until 1988. She moved on to become deputy director of domestic-policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, where she supervised studies in the area of health care, welfare, education, and housing. She later became vice president of government relations, responsible for keeping Washington policymakers abreast of Heritage proposals and research findings in all areas of the Foundation’s study, while serving as a contributing editor for National Review.

In 1992, President of the United States George H. W. Bush named her to the Presidential Commission on Women in the Armed Forces.

In 1995, she began work as part-time contributing editor for National Review, but was soon appointed Washington editor. Her work on the magazine led to her invitation to join The Capital Gang, and from there her other work in television.

She received an honorary degree from St. John's University in 1997.


  • Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports, Sentinel HC, 2005. ISBN 978-1-59523-009-6


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