Kirsten Powers

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Kirsten Powers
Born 1969 (age 47–48)
Fairbanks, Alaska
Nationality United States
Alma mater University of Maryland
Occupation Columnist, pundit
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marty Makary (2010-2013), Robert Draper (engaged, 2016)

Kirsten A. Powers (born 1969) is an American political pundit. She began her career as a Democratic Party staff assistant 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 to 1998. She subsequently worked in various roles including press secretary, communications consultant and party consultant.[1] She also serves as a columnist to USA Today, Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and was a contributor on Fox News.[2] She joined CNN officially as a commentator on August 22, 2016.

Powers wrote a column for The American Prospect[3] and her numerous articles have 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."[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Powers was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her parents were archaeologists, with Irish-American heritage.[1][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.

She left to become the vice president for international communications at America Online.[2] After AOL's merger with Time Warner, she became a vice president at the AOL-Time Warner Foundation.

Powers has worked in New York State Democratic politics for many years. She was a staff member of the New York State Democratic Committee, the press secretary for the Andrew Cuomo for Governor campaign, and communications director on the mayoral campaign of C. Virginia Fields. She also worked on the "Vote No on 3" campaign, which overwhelmingly defeated New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ballot initiative to eliminate party primaries. Powers also served briefly as press secretary for Donnie Fowler's unsuccessful bid to be Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair. She has consulted for a variety of non-profit organizations, including Human Rights First and the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW).[2]

In 2015, she authored The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, which was published by Regnery Press.

Political positions[edit]

Powers supports universal health care, believing to be a moral imperative to supply health care to all Americans.[7] Thus, she initially supported Obama's health care reform but later became critical of its implementation. She lamented that the laws resulted in a doubling of costs: "if I want to keep the same health insurance, it's going to cost twice as much."[8] She later opined: "A lot of people who have really been screwed over by the law [and] are left without insurance or with extremely expensive insurance", and agreed with a Ron Fournier headline in National Journal, "Why I'm getting tired of defending Obamacare."[9]

She opposed the "don't ask, don't tell" on homosexuals serving in the military,[10] and supports civil unions for same-sex couples.[11] She also believes that churches should be left "to perform the kinds of marriages that they want".[12]

Powers opposed the Fairness Doctrine,[13] and a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning.[14] She also supports comprehensive immigration reform and providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and favors gun control.[15] She also supports closing Guantanamo Bay and transferring its prisoners to federal prisons.[16]

Powers opposed the Iraq war[17] and supports the right of countries to choose their own governments free of outside influence.[citation needed] However, in 2011 she criticized Americans' lack of concern about the Muslim Brotherhood rising to power in Egypt as "naivete". Her concern partly derived from her then-husband Marty Makary being of Coptic origin.[18]

Powers opposes the death penalty[19] and supports the pro-life movement. She opposes elective late-term abortions.[20] She supports defunding Planned Parenthood and redirecting funding to Federally Qualified Health Centers.[21]

Personal life[edit]

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 surfaced in May 2011, Powers later condemned his conduct and called for his resignation from Congress.[22]

Powers married Marty Makary, Professor of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, in January 2010; the couple divorced in 2013.

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 had an epiphany of Jesus Christ.[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 latter term.[23] She has said that the biggest impact her new-found faith had on her political beliefs was that she came to "view everyone as God's child and that God offers the gift of salvation."[4][15] On October 10, 2015, Powers was received into the Catholic Church.[24][25]

On November 16, 2016, Powers announced her engagement to fellow journalist Robert Draper.[26][27]


  1. ^ a b c Smith, Ben (December 15, 2003). "Power Punk: Jen Bluestein and Kirsten Powers". The New York Observer. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Kirsten Powers" (On-Air Personalities). Fox News Channel. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Powers, Kirsten (September 26, 2006). "Who Should Apologize?". The American Prospect. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Lewis, Matt Lewis (August 16, 2010). "Q & A with Kirsten Powers of Fox News". Politics Daily. 
  5. ^ a b Powers, Kirsten (October 22, 2013). "Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower". Christianity Today. 
  6. ^ Powers, Kirsten (April 12, 2012). "Hilary Rosen Feud: Give Ann Romney a Break!". The Daily Beast. 
  7. ^ Powers, Kirsten (December 14, 2009). "Why Cost Shouldn't Stop Health-care Reform". New York Post. 
  8. ^ Noel Sheppard, Kirsten Powers: 'No Explanation For Doubling My Premiums Other Than Subsidizing Other People', News Busters, November 13, 2013
  9. ^ Kirsten Powers: I'm Tired Of "Having To Defend This President" and Obamacare, Real Clear Politics video, February 11, 2014.
  10. ^ Powers, Kirsten (June 11, 2009). "A Prejudice America Can't Afford". New York Post. 
  11. ^ Powers, Kirsten (July 8, 2008). "The Gop Gay-Marriage Con". New York Post. 
  12. ^ Powers, Kirsten (July 8, 2008). "THE GOP GAY-MARRIAGE CON". New York Post. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ Powers, Kirsten (July 2, 2007). "Muzzle Mania". New York Post. 
  14. ^ Powers, Kirsten (June 28, 2006). "Burn, Baby, Burn". The American Prospect. ...collective sigh of relief of flag burners across the country…all ten of them. 
  15. ^ a b Merritt, Jonathan (April 10, 2013). "Fox News' evangelical Democrat: An interview with Kirsten Powers" (On Faith & Culture). RNS - Religious News Service. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ Powers, Kirsten (May 21, 2009). "Dems Go All Nimby On Gitmo". New York Post. 
  17. ^ Powers, Kirsten (December 1, 2003). "Keep talking, Democrats". USA Today. 
  18. ^ Powers, Kirsten (February 3, 2011). "America's Naivete About Egypt". The Daily Beast. 
  19. ^ Powers, Kirsten (March 29, 2005). "Justice Shall Be Executed". The American Prospect. 
  20. ^ Powers, Kirsten (July 2, 2013). "I Don't Stand With Wendy Davis". The Daily Beast. 
  21. ^ Powers, Kirsten (July 21, 2015). "Crush Planned Parenthood". USA Today. 
  22. ^ Powers, Kirsten (June 8, 2011). "Anthony Weiner's Ex: He Lied to Me". The Daily Beast. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  23. ^ Let's Get To Know Fox’s Liberal Pundit Kirsten Powers: ‘I’m an Orthodox Christian’, Laura Donovan, The Jane Dough, May 25, 2012 Archived June 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Christianity Today: "Pope Francis’ Latest Convert: Kirsten Powers - Fox News commentator announces that she’s becoming Catholic" by Bob Smietana October 9, 2015
  26. ^
  27. ^

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