Walter Shapiro
Walter Shapiro
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review


Walter Shapiro has covered the last eight presidential campaigns and is looking forward to chronicling his ninth in 2012. Along the way, he has worked for two newspapers (USA Today and the Washington Post), two news weeklies (Time and Newsweek), two monthlies (Esquire and the Washington Monthly) and two online magazines (Salon and Slate). The only thing that mars the symmetry of these pairings is that he has so far written one book (on the 2004 Democratic primary race), but is about to get started on an Obama-themed second book.

Shapiro just completed a nearly three-year stint as the Washington bureau chief for He wrote more than 250 pieces for the online magazine, almost all of which blended campaign-trail reporting with commentary and analysis. He also supervised a three-person bureau and helped increase readership of the website by roughly 50 percent.

For nearly ten years ending in 2004, he wrote a twice weekly political column for USA Today. He is the author of "One-Car Caravan: On the Road with the 2004 Democrats Before America Tunes In," a chronicle of the early skirmishing for the presidential nomination, published by PublicAffairs in November 2003. Business Week called the book "witty and insightful." He was also a columnist for Slate in 1998.

Shapiro spent the first four years of the Clinton administration writing a monthly column ("Our Man in the White House") for Esquire. From 1987-93, he was a senior writer for Time and was also the magazine's correspondent covering the 1992 Clinton campaign. At Newsweek (1983-87), he was the lead political writer. He was on the reporting staff of the Washington Post from 1979-83. Prior to joining the Post, he served as a White House speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and a special assistant and speechwriter for Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall.

His first major job in journalism was as an editor of the Washington Monthly (1972-76). He also was on the reporting staff of Congressional Quarterly (1969-70). In 1972, Shapiro ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat from Michigan. He received a B.A. degree (1970) from the University of Michigan where he also did graduate work in European intellectual history.

Shapiro was a 2005 fellow at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He also spent five months in Japan (1991-92) on a fellowship from the Japan Society. He is a regular speaker and guest lecturer on college campuses, having appeared within the last year at Yale University, Stanford University, NYU, the University of Virginia, American University, George Washington University, St. Anselm University, the Midwest Political Science Association and the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School. Since 1995, Shapiro has also periodically performed standup comedy at leading New York City clubs and played the Hotel Fort Des Moines on New Year's Eve 2007-2008 on the cusp of the Iowa caucuses.

He is married to the writer Meryl Gordon, the author of the recently published, "Mrs. Astor Regrets." Shapiro divides his time between his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and his reporting rounds in Washington.



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