Eleanor Clift is a Washington correspondent for the Daily Beast, an online news site. She reports on the White House, Congress and the diverse personalities who make up the capitalâ€™s power structure.
A contributing editor for Newsweek, Clift was a key member of the magazine’s political team. She followed the campaign of Bill Clinton from its start, and in June 1992 was named deputy Washington bureau chief. She played a key role in Newsweek’s Special Election Project, assembling a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the 2000 presidential campaign and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s historic run for the U.S. Senate, and in 2008, Barack Obama’s historic victory, documented in the Newsweek book, “A Long Time Coming”.Newsweek merged with the Daily Beast in 2010, and in 2012, Newsweek ended its print edition. In 2013, Newsweek was sold to IBT Media based in New York, and Clift ended her long association with the magazine and embraced the digital future with the Daily Beast. For those wondering about the site’s name, the Daily Beast comes from the satirical novel, “Scoop” by Evelyn Waugh, about the tabloid wars in Britain.
Clift began her career as a secretary for Newsweek in New York, rising through the ranks to become the magazine’s White House Correspondent during the Carter and Reagan administrations. After President Reagan’s landslide reelection, she left Newsweek to cover the White House for the Los Angeles Times. A year later she returned to Newsweek and a new assignment as the magazine’s congressional and political correspondent, a position which she held for six years. After Clinton’s election in 1992, Clift returned to the White House beat for the first two years of the Clinton administration. She then became a contributing editor with a wide portfolio, focusing on political news and trends.
Clift has appeared on many national television shows, including ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s Today show, and CNN’s Crossfire. She currently does commentary on MSNBC and is a longtime panelist on The McLaughlin Group. Playing herself – as a member of The McLaughlin Group – Clift has appeared in several films, including Independence Day, Rising Sun, Murder at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Dave, as well as the CBS series, Murphy Brown.
Clift and her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, co-wrote the book, War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics (Scribner, June 1996), also available in paperback (Touchstone Books, November 1997). They also co-authored Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling (Scribner, July 2000), which forecasts the prospects for a woman on the national ticket. Clift wrote Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment (October 2003), the story of the suffrage movement, and Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics (2008), about the death of her husband in hospice and the controversy over the end of life issues in America.
Clift lives in Washington, D.C., and is the mother of three adult sons. She is on the board of governors of the National Hospice Foundation, the advisory council of the International Women’s Media Foundation, the board of governors of the American News Women’s Club, and the board of the National Center for Politics and Journalism.