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Jeffrey Birnbaum    

Washington Post Columnist

Jeff Birnbaum is an award-winning author, television commentator, and a columnist for the Washington Post since March 2004. Prior to that, he spent seven years as the chief of Fortune magazine's Washington bureau and two years as a senior political correspondent for Fortune's sister publication, Time. Before joining Time in 1995, Birnbaum worked for the Wall Street Journal for 16 years where his last job was as White House correspondent. On television he is a political analyst for Fox News Channel and is a regular panelist on PBS's Washington Week.

Birnbaum pens a column called K Street Confidential and also writes features about the intersection of business and politics. Previously, as Fortune's senior writer in D.C., Birnbaum authored the magazine's "Power 25" survey that assessed which lobbying groups have the most clout in the capital. Washingtonian magazine recently selected him as one of "Washington's 50 best and most influential journalists."

Birnbaum is the author of The Money Men, which examines campaign fund-raising and was published in 2000. His first book, Showdown at Gucci Gulch, was written with Alan Murray in 1987. This classic chronicle of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 won the American Political Science Association's coveted Carey McWilliams Award in 1988. In 1992, Birnbaum's second book, The Lobbyists, was a Washington Post bestseller. Madhouse, Birnbaum's third book, was published in 1996.

Birnbaum is currently a commentator for public radio's "Marketplace," and in 1998, Birnbaum was hired as a Fox News contributor. He is featured regularly on Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume as one of the show's "Fox All Stars" and on several other Fox News programs, including Weekend Live as "Mr. 'Splainer Man." He is also a familiar face on PBS's Washington Week and has appeared on Today, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, Fox News Sunday, The Charlie Rose Show, NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", and CNN's CNNfn, Inside Politics and Crossfire.

He has lectured for trade and professional groups and at major colleges including Harvard, Amherst, Penn, and the University of Texas.

A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Birnbaum is married with three children. He graduated as English major from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977.

Speech Topics

Terrorism & Politics: How the World has Changed

An Executive's guide to Washington: Hints on Navigating in the Nation's Capital

Washington in Uncertain times: The Outlook for Legislation & Elections

The Economy: Recession Politics & the Prospects for Growth


As a former tax reporter and the author of Showdown at Gucci Gulch, which chronicles the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and won the American Political Science Association’s coveted Carey McWilliams Award, Birnbaum can speak authoritatively to tax issues, proposed tax plans, and the best (and worst) potential changes to the tax code.

The Intersection of Business and Government.

Birnbaum offers an insider’s look at the intersection of business and government. From how corporations affect policy to the public versus private sector debates, he offers his viewpoint as someone who has studied lobbyists and politicians for decades.

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Political Outlook and the Next Election.

Jeffrey Birnbaum is a political commentator, analyst, columnist, and author who has spent his career concentrating on what is happening in Washington. Birnbaum analyzes both sides of the political playing field through every possible mode of media. His observations and intuitions are highly regarded among his peers and help contribute to some of the most astute political scrutiny in the press. Audiences get a firsthand account of Birnbaum’s expertise and candor during each presentation. With the expertise that only decades of experience can bring, he addresses the current political outlook, how hot topics affect the current crop of presidential hopefuls, and the state of America on the world stage.

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