Tommy Vietor

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Tommy Vietor
Tommy Vietor SXSW 2017-03-14 01.jpg
BornThomas Frederick Vietor IV
(1980-08-31) August 31, 1980 (age 38)
Massachusetts, US
Alma materKenyon College
Hanna Koch (m. 2018)

Thomas Frederick "Tommy" Vietor IV (born August 31, 1980[1]) is an American political commentator and podcaster. He is a former spokesperson for President Obama and United States National Security Council from 2011 to 2013.[2][3][4] He is a founder of Crooked Media and currently hosts the podcasts Pod Save America and Pod Save the World.

Early life[edit]

Vietor was raised in Dedham, Massachusetts.[5][6] He is a descendant of Ethan Allen, a noted American Revolutionary War patriot.[7] He graduated from Kenyon College in 2002 with a BA in philosophy.[2] While at Kenyon, he participated in campus Greek life as a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.[8]


In 2004, Vietor turned down an offer from the John Kerry presidential campaign in favor of joining Illinois State Senator Barack Obama for his first statewide run. His first job for Obama was driving the candidate's press van across rural Illinois. During this period, Vietor would learn the media ropes from Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.[2]

Vietor was deputy press secretary for the Barack Obama Illinois Senate Campaign in 2004, then became deputy press secretary for Senator Obama the following year and press secretary the year after that. During Obama's presidential campaign from 2007–2008, he was Iowa Press Secretary.[9][10]

Following Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election, Vietor became the White House's Assistant Press Secretary, from January 2009 to January 2011; he then served as National Security Spokesman and Special Assistant to the President from January 2011 until March 2013.[10][11]

Vietor left the White House in March 2013, along with Obama's Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau, to pursue a career in private sector consulting and screenwriting. Together, they founded the communications firm Fenway Strategies.[12]

In March 2016, Vietor became a regular co-host of The Ringer's political podcast Keepin' it 1600, along with Favreau and their fellow Obama administration alumni Dan Pfeiffer and Jon Lovett.[13]

Shortly after the November 2016 election, Vietor, Lovett and Favreau decided to pursue podcasting and activism on a full-time basis. They founded their own company, Crooked Media, and launched a new podcast, Pod Save America.[14] In an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher, Vietor explained that “If Hillary had won, we probably would’ve kept doing this as a hobby... But when she lost, I think we all had this existential crisis, where it didn’t feel right to wake up every day and obsess about politics and what’s happening in the country, and then go to work doing something else.”[15]

Vietor also hosts a separate podcast covering global issues and policymaking decisions called Pod Save the World. The podcast debuted at number one on the iTunes podcast chart on January 10, 2017.[16]


  1. ^ Parnes, Amie (2009-08-31). "Vietor's the birthday boy". Politico. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  2. ^ a b c Christi Parsons. Changing of the young guard at the Obama White House. Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Tommy Vietor. How Will the Press Respond to Trump's Secrecy? The Atlantic, November 17, 2016.
  4. ^ Mark Landlemarch. Spokesmanship Over, Ex-Obama Aide Now Feels Free ... to Speak, New York Times, March 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Tommy Vietor [@TVietor08] (23 April 2013). "Lots of reasons to love my hometown of Dedham, MA. Here's one @BostonGlobe @MarkLeibovich @mikebarnicle @BillSimmons" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Tommy Vietor [@TVietor08] (23 July 2016). "I grew up in Dedham and don't miss the wild New England summer storms. Hope you guys didn't sustain damage" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Historic Preservation Commission - Rumson, NJ: A History of Sheep's Run
  8. ^ Keith Peterson (November 18, 1999). "Psi Upsilon wins IM Football tourney". Archives at Digital Kenyon: Research, Scholarship, and Creative Exchange. The Kenyon Collegian. p. 15. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Tommy Vietor". Washington Post. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Tommy Vietor - Discover the Networks". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  11. ^ "Tommy Vietor's journey with Obama: From van driver to National Security Council spokesman". Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  12. ^ "Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau leaves West Wing for screenwriting - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  13. ^ "'Obama bros' learn to love Hillary". Politico. 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  14. ^ Matt Wilstein. The 'Keepin' It 1600' Guys Launch Crooked Media to Counter Trump. The Daily Beast, January 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Crooked Media's founders aren't paying themselves anything". Recode. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  16. ^ " 'Pod Save America' by Crooked Media (American Podcasts iTunes Chart)". Retrieved 2018-01-03.

External links[edit]