Ryan Lizza

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Ryan Lizza (born 1974) is a CNN contributor and the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker magazine, where he covers the White House and the 2012 presidential campaign and writes the magazine's "Letter From Washington" column.[1] Since joining The New Yorker in 2007, he has written profiles of Hillary Clinton,[2][3] Mitt Romney,[4] John McCain,[5] Barack Obama,[6] Colorado Governor Bill Ritter,[7] Joe Biden,[8] Rahm Emanuel,[9] Peter Orszag,[10] Darrell Issa, Michele Bachmann,[11] Paul Ryan,[12] Eric Cantor,[13] and Rand Paul.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Lizza attended the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

A resident of Washington, D.C., Lizza is married to Christina Irene Gillespie, a family physician and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Georgetown University and George Washington University.[15]

Journalism career[edit]

Lizza started his career at the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, where he worked on the Emmy Award-winning Frontline documentary Hot Guns.[16][17] In 1998, he joined The New Republic, where he became Senior Editor. From 1998 to 2007, Lizza covered Bill Clinton's impeachment, the Florida recount, the Bush White House, and the 2004 presidential election. In 2004, he also wrote about politics for The Atlantic, including one of the first national magazine profiles of Barack Obama.[18] From 2004 to 2006 Lizza was a contributing editor for New York magazine,[1] where he wrote about national politics, including a profile of Senator Chuck Schumer,[19] a piece exploring New York's place as the "abortion capital of America",[20] a profile of New York's top conservative organizer,[21] and a piece about president Bush's relationship with New York City.[22] In 2006 and 2007 Lizza was also a correspondent for GQ, where he wrote profiles of Rahm Emanuel,[23] Sen. James Webb,[24] and a cover story about Barack Obama,[25] who was the first politician on the cover of GQ in 15 years.[26] From 2002 to 2007, Lizza also regularly contributed to The New York Times.[27]

Lizza covered the 2008 U.S. presidential election for The New Yorker, and notably wrote an extended profile of Barack Obama's career in Illinois politics.[28] In 2009, the article was nominated for a National Magazine Award.[29] During the campaign, a cartoon in the New Yorker allegedly caused the Obama campaign to exclude Lizza from Obama's campaign plane, citing a lack of space.[30]

Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News referred to Lizza as "required reading" for those interested in the American political scene.[31] In June, 2009, The Washingtonian magazine included Lizza on its list of Washington's "50 Top Journalists" and described him as a writer who "change[s] the way readers see the world."[32]

Conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt said Lizza is "widely regarded as one of the premier political reporters of the United States working at this time".[33]

He was the first to print the phrase "leading from behind" to describe President Barack Obama's policy on Libya in 2011.[34]


On April 27, 2013, the White House Correspondents' Association presented Lizza with the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for journalistic excellence for his 2012 coverage of Barack Obama's presidency and re-election campaign. The judges wrote:

"The judges enthusiastically choose Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker for his remarkable efforts to provide an independent perspective on President Obama's presidency and re-election. Deep reporting, both through documents and personal interviews, moves these stories beyond the cacophony of a campaign year. Mr. Lizza, in addition to being an excellent reporter, is a thoughtful, cogent writer. He has a keen ability to take his readers inside decisions and weave a compelling narrative, something he has done for more than a decade covering the White House.”

According to Lizza's official bio[35] he has also won the following awards:

  • National Press Club's Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence (for his 2011 article, "The Consequentialist", on Obama's foreign policy)
  • Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, Honorable Mention (for his 2010 article on Obama's efforts to pass climate legislation)
  • National Press Foundation Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress Honorable Mention (for his 2010 article on Obama's efforts to pass climate legislation)
  • Finalist, National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting (for his 2008 New Yorker article on Barack Obama)

Other media[edit]

In June 2012, Lizza became a CNN contributor who "will appear across all CNN programming".[36]

Lizza's writing has been included in the 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 editions of The Best American Political Writing.[37] Lizza is a regular guest on public affairs shows on television and radio. He has appeared on Meet the Press, Hardball with Chris Matthews,[38] Good Morning America, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,[39] Countdown with Keith Olbermann,[40] The O'Reilly Factor, CSPAN's Washington Journal, Tavis Smiley,[41] NPR's Fresh Air, Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now!, among others. On Super Tuesday in 2012, he was featured on the International Edition of BBC.

Lizza tweets about politics under the handle @RyanLizza.

External links[edit]


Essays and reporting[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/bios/ryan_lizza/search?contributorName=ryan%20lizza
  2. ^ "The Legacy Problem". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Iron Lady". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Mission". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ "On the Bus". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Making It". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Code of the West". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Biden's Brief". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Gatekeeper". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Money Talks". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Leap of Faith". New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Fussbudget". New Yorker. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ "The House of Pain". New Yorker. March 4, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Revenge of Rand Paul". New Yorker. October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Christina Gillespie, Ryan Lizza". New York Times. 2004-06-20. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  16. ^ "Hot Guns: Tapes & Transcripts". PBS. June 3, 1997. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  17. ^ Hamilton, Doug (June 3, 1997). "Hot Guns". Center for Investigative Reporting. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Natural". The Atlantic. September 2004. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ Lizza, Ryan (April 2, 2006). "The Bush-Cheney Era Ends Here". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ Lizza, Ryan (December 4, 2005). "The Abortion Capital of America". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  21. ^ Lizza, Ryan (July 17, 2005). "The ATM for Bush's America". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  22. ^ Lizza, Ryan (May 21, 2005). "Bush to New York: Here's Your $20 Billion—Now Drop Dead". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  23. ^ Ryan Lizza. "Kiss the Ring". GQ. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ Lizza, Ryan. "The Honorable, Enraged Gentleman from Virginia". GQ. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  25. ^ Ryan Lizza. "GQ, "Above the Fray," Ryan Lizza, September 2007". Gq.com. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  26. ^ Patrick (2007-08-13). "Obama First Pol To Grace GQ Cover In 15 Years". FishbowlDC. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  27. ^ Lizza, Ryan. "Archive of Lizza's pieces for ''The". New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  28. ^ "How Chicago politics shaped Barack Obama". The New Yorker. August 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  29. ^ "National Magazine Awards". American Society of Magazine Editors. November 1, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  30. ^ Sklar, Rachel (July 21, 2008). "Obama's Revenge: New Yorker Reporter Excluded From Press Plane For Overseas Trip". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  31. ^ "MSNBC's Brian Williams Calls Ryan Lizza "Required Reading"—Headline Shooter—Emdashes". Emdashes.com. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  32. ^ Garrett M. Graff (2009-06-01). "50 Top Journalists 2009". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  33. ^ ""''The New Yorker'''s Ryan Lizza on Darrell Issa". Hugh Hewitt. January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  34. ^ Ryan Lizza (April 27, 2011). "Leading from Behind". New Yorker. Retrieved 2011-08-21. The phrase 'leading from behind,' which an Obama adviser recently used in an interview with me to describe the Administration’s approach to Libya, has sparked a lively debate, especially among conservatives. 
  35. ^ Lizza, Ryan. "Ryan Lizza". Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  36. ^ Dylan Byers (June 5, 2012). "CNN taps The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza". Politico. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  37. ^ "best american political writing". Amazon.com. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  38. ^ http://www.google.com/search?q=site:http://www.thechrismatthewsshow.com/+lizza&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1C1CHMI_en-USUS292US303&filter=0
  39. ^ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (November 17, 2008). "In First Interview After Election, Obama Discusses President's Abilities, Limits | Online NewsHour". PBS. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  40. ^ TV.com. "Countdown with Keith Olbermann: May 21, 2008 – Season 6, Episode 34". TV.com. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  41. ^ [1]