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Revenge is barren: its delight is murder, And its satiety, despair.

Thursday
Nov 21, 2019

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Quote Author: Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile (born December 15, 1959) is an American author, educator, and political activist and strategist affiliated with the Democratic Party. She was the first African-American to direct a major presidential campaign.

Brazile was born in New Orleans to Lionel and Jean Brazile, the third of nine children. She became interested in politics when at age nine a local candidate for office promised to build a neighborhood playground. After graduating from LSU, Donna worked for several advocacy groups in Washington, D.C., and was instrumental in the successful campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a federal holiday.

Brazile has worked on several presidential campaigns for Democratic candidates, including Jimmy Carter-Walter Mondale in 1976 and 1980, the Rev. Jesse Jackson's first historic bid for the presidency in 1984, Walter Mondale-Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and for U.S. Representative Richard Gephardt in the 1988 Democratic primary.

After Gephardt lost the primary in 1988, Brazile served as deputy field director of the Michael Dukakis general election campaign. On October 20, 1988, she made news by telling a group of reporters that George H.W. Bush needed to "'fess up" about unsubstantiated rumors of an extra-marital affair. Said Brazile, ""The American people have every right to know if Barbara Bush will share that bed with him in the White House." The Dukakis campaign immediately disavowed her remarks and, at the suggestion of campaign manager Susan Estrich, Brazile resigned the same day. In 2004, Estrich wrote of Brazile, "I fired her 16 years ago because she wouldn't follow Mike Dukakis' orders to go easy on George H.W. Bush," which is clearly at odds with contemporary news reports and Brazile's own account of the matter. Four years later, the same issue, the relationship of George H.W. Bush and Jennifer Fitzgerald would be briefly rehashed during the 1992 campaign against Bill Clinton, who had his own extra-marital affair rumors.

In the 1990s, Brazile served as Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia, where she helped guide the District's budget and local legislation on Capitol Hill. She advised Bill Clinton's campaign for the presidency in 1992 and for re-election in 1996.

In 1999, Brazile was appointed deputy campaign manager and was later promoted to campaign manager of the 2000 presidential campaign of Vice-President Al Gore, becoming the first African-American woman to manage a major presidential campaign that also won the popular vote.

After the post-election fight over votes in Florida, Brazile was appointed Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute. She also served as a lecturer at the University of Maryland, College Park, a fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics, and as an Adjunct Professor of Government at Georgetown University. She is member of the advisory board of the Washington & Lee Mock Convention

Brazile is a weekly contributor and political commentator on CNN's The Situation Room and American Morning . In addition, she is a columnist for Roll Call and a contributing writer for Ms. Magazine . Brazile is also founder and managing director of Brazile and Associates and a contributor to NPR's Political Corner and ABC News.

In 2004, Simon and Schuster published Cooking With Grease , Brazile's memoir of her life and work in politics.

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