Michael Waldman

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Michael Waldman
White House Director of Speechwriting
In office
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byDavid Kusnet
Succeeded byTerry Edmonds
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Fine
EducationColumbia University (BA)
New York University (JD)

Michael A. Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute.[1] Waldman has led the Center since 2005.[2]

Government career[edit]

From 1993 to 1995, Waldman was a special assistant to President Bill Clinton for policy coordination. As the top White House policy aide on campaign finance reform, he drafted the Clinton administration's public financing proposal. From 1995 to 1999 he was Director of Speechwriting, serving as Assistant to the President, and was responsible for writing or editing nearly 2,000 speeches, including four State of the Union and two Inaugural Addresses.[2]

In a September 2000 interview with PBS, he discussed his experiences at the White House, including his role as speechwriter, President Clinton's communication style, and the White House response to events such as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Lewinsky scandal.[3]


Waldman is the author of several books, including:

  • Who Robbed America? A Citizens' Guide to the S&L Scandal. Random House. 1990. ISBN 0-679-73482-1.
  • POTUS Speaks: Finding the Words That Defined the Clinton Presidency. Simon & Schuster. 2000. ISBN 978-0-7432-0020-2.
  • My Fellow Americans: The Most Important Speeches of America's Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. Sourcebooks. 2010 [2003]. ISBN 978-1-4022-4367-7.
  • A Return to Common Sense: Seven Bold Ways to Revitalize Democracy. Sourcebooks. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4022-1365-6.
  • The 2nd Amendment: A Biography. Simon & Schuster. 2014. ISBN 978-1-4767-4744-6.

Media appearances[edit]

Waldman appears frequently on television and radio to discuss public policy, the presidency and the law. Appearances include Good Morning America; PBS Newshour, CBS Evening News; the O'Reilly Factor; Nightline; 60 Minutes; Hardball with Chris Matthews; CNN's Crossfire; the Dylan Ratigan Show; color commentary on NBC (State of the Union) and ABC (Obama inaugural); NPR's Morning Edition; All Things Considered; Fresh Air; Diane Rehm; The Colbert Report; and many other programs. He writes frequently for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Slate and Democracy.

Previous work[edit]

Prior to his government service, Waldman was the executive director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch, then the capital's largest consumer lobbying office (1989–92).[4] He was a Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government (2001–03), teaching courses on political reform, public leadership and communications.[5] He was a partner in a litigation law firm in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Waldman is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A., 1982) and New York University School of Law (J.D., 1987), where he was a member of the Law Review.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Waldman spent the majority of his childhood in Great Neck, New York.[7] He is married to Elizabeth Fine, currently the general counsel to the New York City Council and previously the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States during the Clinton administration. Together, they have three children.[8] Waldman and his family currently reside in Brooklyn, New York.


  1. ^ "Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law"
  2. ^ a b Staff biography:"Michael Waldman". Brennan Center for Justice. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  3. ^ "Interview: Michael Waldman". PBS Frontline. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  4. ^ "Public Citizen's Congress Watch"
  5. ^ "The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy: Spring 2001 Visiting Faculty
  6. ^ New York University School of Law. “Michael Waldman: Alumnus of the Month". Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  7. ^ Kulish, Nicholas (30 October 1996). "Michael and Steven Waldman: Brothers inside the Beltway". Columbia Spectator. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  8. ^ Harris, John F. (19 January 1999). "Cooking Up the Word Stew". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2016.

External links[edit]