Washington Week

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Todd Purdum

Todd Purdum is Senior Writer at Politico and National Editor at Vanity Fair. An award-winning journalist, Purdum joined Politico in the summer of 2013.  He began at Vanity Fair in 2006 where he has produced memorable profiles of people like Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin and Henry Paulson, as well as entertainment figures like Alec Baldwin.

Prior to Vanity Fair, Purdum spent 23 years at The New York Times where he worked as a diplomatic and White House correspondent, Los Angeles bureau chief and also held the positions of metropolitan reporter and city-hall bureau chief in New York. He joined the Times as a copyboy in 1982.

He is in the final stages of writing "An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964," a book on the passage of the 1964 civil rights legislation that will be published by Henry Holt and Company imprint Times Books in 2014 in time for the 50th anniversary.

Todd is a native of Macomb, Illinois and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University. He and his wife, Dee Dee Myers, live in Washington with their two children.

Most Recent Appearances

Recent Stories

  • POLITICO
    March 21, 2017
    The FBI investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia could hamper his political agenda for months, if not years, to come.
  • POLITICO
    February 17, 2017
    The president's frenzied and meandering press conference Thursday was illustrative of his first month in office.
  • Vanity Fair
    August 24, 2016
    Donald Trump has taken to saying it over and over again: that the November election is “going to be rigged,” that “crooked Hillary” and her scheming accomplices will somehow manage to steal a victory that should rightfully be his.
  • POLITICO
    August 10, 2016
    The Trump-Clinton election has boiled down to one steaming mass of invective, character assassination and contempt. And it’s all about who is fit (or not) to serve as president.
  • POLITICO
    April 16, 2016
    No one is ever really ready for the chaos and confusion of a New York primary—the way everything can change in a New York minute. I certainly wasn’t.
  • POLITICO
    March 7, 2016
    She was always more than the sum of her adoring gaze, that dazzling look she fixed on her husband like a pair of high beam headlights.
  • POLITICO
    November 14, 2015
    Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over her Democratic opponents in Iowa, ahead of Bernie Sanders by double digits and Martin O’Malley by roughly 50 percentage points in the latest polls.
  • POLITICO
    July 17, 2015
    Barack Obama is not a modest man, but when it comes to assessing his or any president’s place in the long American story, he has been heard to say, “We just try to get our paragraph right.” Yet the way a raft of recent events have broken sharply in h
  • POLITICO
    June 9, 2015
    When former House Speaker Dennis Hastert appears in a Chicago courtroom on Tuesday to answer charges that he broke federal banking law and lied to the FBI, reportedly to cover up sexual abuse, it will amount to more than a personal comedown: It will
  • POLITICO
    December 23, 2014
    For most of the past decade, Hollywood has loved Barack Obama, opening its hearts, homes and wallets to him since his days as a candidate for the Senate from Illinois. And Obama has loved Hollywood back — not so much.
  • Politico
    December 19, 2014
    For three weeks, the Sony hacking case has titillated Hollywood and the trade and tabloid press with its exposure of the indiscreet and ill-advised private emails of overpaid dueling production divas and egocentric actors, and the release of reams of
  • Politico
    December 15, 2014
    It’s practically a truism that the only way for a president without big majorities in Congress to get anything big passed is to anger his own party’s base.
  • Politico
    November 25, 2014
    In the wake of the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Mo., it’s worth remembering an ambivalent reality of American history: demonstrations – even those that turned violent – have generally advanced the legislative and political cause of civil rights
  • POLITICO
    September 26, 2014
    Hillary Clinton’s campaign-in-waiting has a priceless asset, a super weapon strong enough to strike fear in her most determined rival. It also has a dangerous liability, a burden able to drag her into dead ends and drive her to distraction.
  • Politico
    September 3, 2014
    The hacking of nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities is only the latest in a long and lurid line of violations of Hollywood privacy dating back to the earliest days of the movies.
  • Politico
    August 20, 2014
    It’s a paradox of Barack Obama’s presidency: The first African-American to run the country finds himself in the tensest racial confrontation of his tenure but is constrained from addressing the nation’s original sin in anything but the loftiest, most
  • Politico
    July 25, 2014
    Blame Woodrow Wilson, who broke a century-old presidential tradition of delivering the State of the Union message only in writing. Blame Harry S. Truman, the first chief executive to make the address on television, or Lyndon B.
  • Politico
    July 23, 2014
    Her last full-time job was as a 24-year-old aide to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
  • Politico
    July 21, 2014
    “Last of his kind” is an overused phrase, but in the case of Robert S. Strauss, who died Wednesday at 95, it is apt.
  • Politico
    July 18, 2014
    The placid town of Piqua, Ohio, sits in the state’s west-central section, barely half-an-hour’s ride from the Dayton bicycle shop where Orville and Wilbur Wright helped prove that man could fly.
  • Vanity Fair
    July 18, 2014
    In his new book An Idea Whose Time Has Come veteran Vanity Fair correspondent Todd S.
  • Politico
    July 15, 2014
    Forty-five years after he was driven from the White House in despair and disrepute over Vietnam, four presidents and a raft of luminaries from the worlds of politics, sports and entertainment gathered here this week to honor Lyndon Baines Johnson at
  • Politico
    July 8, 2014
    She already has two best-sellers under her belt. She has 100 percent name recognition, prohibitive political support in the polls — and more money than most ordinary people could ever dream of.
  • Politico
    July 8, 2014
    Basketball’s summary ouster of Donald Sterling for his viral racist harangue is yet more proof — as if any were needed — that race remains the essential fault line in the American experience, even (or perhaps especially) in the age of Barack Obama.
  • Politico
    July 8, 2014
    It was a painful tableau: The bipartisan leaders of Congress linking hands in the Capitol Rotunda and swaying to the strains of “We Shall Overcome” as they commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.