Person

Dan Pfeiffer

Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor Daniel Pfeiffer (link)
Occupation:

Former Senior Adviser for President Barack Obama

Former White House Communications Director

Former Vice President for Communications and Policy at GoFundMe

Co-Host of Pod Save America.

Dan Pfeiffer is a Democratic political operative best known for his work in the Obama White House. He is a co-host of the liberal political podcast Pod Save America, a product of Crooked Media.

He is the author of the book Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump, released in 2018. He also formerly held an executive role with GoFundMe and is a CNN political commentator.

Early Political Life

Dan Pfeiffer, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, is a 1998 graduate of Georgetown University and worked for several Democratic politicians, including for the campaign of former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and on the 2000 presidential campaign of former Vice President Al Gore. [1]

He was one of the longest serving staffers for President Barack Obama, first serving as the traveling press secretary for the 2008 campaign. He later became the campaign’s communications director.

White House Years

After Obama was elected, Pfeiffer became the White House deputy communications director. By the end of 2009, he moved up to communications director. [2]

When Obama was elected to a second term, Pfeiffer became a senior adviser to the President focusing on political and digital media strategy in 2013. [3]

Pfeiffer oversaw the White House transition to social media, increasing use of Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Instagram, and promoting presidential interviews appearances on YouTube shows such as “Between Two Ferns” video with Zach Galifinanakis, and with what were then media upstarts BuzzFeed and Vox. [4]

In what New York magazine called an “exit interview” when Pfeiffer was leaving the White House in 2015, he explained why President Obama ran as someone who would overcome partisan polarization—only to preside over a more polarized country. Pfeiffer argued that “The president’s view was, No, we’re not going to do that. We’re going to go out and we’re going to be the opposite of contrite; we’re going to be aggressive in our policies and our politics. And that worked. It caused people to cheer. But that’s the exact opposite of the sort of advice you’d get in this town.” [5]

Post-White House

After leaving the White House in 2015, he joined CNN as a political commentator.

He was also vice president for communications and policy at GoFundMe from 2015 to 2017. [6]

Pfeiffer serves on the board of directors of Center for American Progress Action Fund, or CAP Action, the political arm of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. [7]

He is also a member of the board of advisers the liberal group Let America Vote. [8]

After Trump’s election, Pfeiffer became a co-host of the liberal podcast Pod Save America. The other co-hosts are fellow Obama White House alumni Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor. The podcast has had more than 300 million downloads, and became a special on HBO in the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Pfeiffer complained in a Vox interview that Democrats did not use social media as well as Republicans. He said Democrats “need to build a progressive media infrastructure that is the bizarro version of the Republicans.” He included Crooked Media, the parent company of Pod Save America, as part of the progressive media structure. [9]

In April 2019, Pfeiffer said that Democrats should not go on to Fox News for interviews because of the network’s apparent Republican partisanship. [10]

References

  1. Institute of Politics and Public Service. Georgetown University. Accessed July 5, 2019. http://politics.georgetown.edu/dan-pfeiffer/ ^
  2. Institute of Politics and Public Service. Georgetown University. Accessed July 5, 2019. http://politics.georgetown.edu/dan-pfeiffer/ ^
  3. APB. Accessed July 5, 2019. https://www.apbspeakers.com/speaker/dan-pfeiffer/ ^
  4. Institute of Politics and Public Service. Georgetown University. Accessed July 5, 2019. http://politics.georgetown.edu/dan-pfeiffer/ ^
  5. Chait, Jonathan. “Dan Pfeiffer’s Exit Interview: Howe the White House Learned to be Liberal.” New York. March 8, 2015. Accessed July 5, 2019. http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2015/03/dan-pfeiffer-exit-interview.html ^
  6. LinkedIn. Accessed July 5, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-pfeiffer-14b972111/ ^
  7. Center for American Progress Action Fund Board of Directors. Accessed July 5, 2019. https://www.americanprogressaction.org/about/c4-board/ ^
  8. Let America Vote Board of Advisers. Accessed July 5, 2019. https://www.letamericavote.org/boardofadvisors/ ^
  9. Johnson, Eric. “Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer Has Some Advice for Democrats: Learn How to Use Facebook ASAP.” Vox. June 19, 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019. https://www.vox.com/2018/6/19/17476898/pod-save-america-crooked-media-dan-pfeiffer-yes-we-still-can-book-facebook-democrats-peter-kafka ^
  10. Media Matters Staff. “Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer ‘If You Do Things That Help Fox Sell More Ads, What You Are Doing is Making It Easier for Them to Keep Tucker Carlson on Air.” April 22, 2019. Accessed July 5, 2019. https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2019/04/22/pod-save-americas-dan-pfeiffer-if-you-do-things-help-fox-sell-more-ads-what-you-are-doing-making-it/223534 ^
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