“I was a Kool-Aid-drinking Democrat,” Kirsten Powers recalls wryly.
That was in her 20s and early 30s, when she was an operator on the rise — first in the Clinton administration, when she handled media strategy for the U.S. trade representative, and later in New York City, where she threw herself into the state’s electoral politics. Her self-identity was built around being a loyal team player, with all the pressures and camaraderie that came with it. She thrived in the game of us vs. them, viewed her ideological opponents as “stupid and evil,” she says, and woke up every morning determined to beat them.
She doesn’t recall knowing a single conservative during those years.
But her career didn’t kick into high gear until she took that identity — the bright-eyed, sharp-tongued, gamely combative liberal activist — to a place where her brand stood out in bold relief. For the past eight years, Powers has made her name by being a prominent liberal pundit on Fox News — albeit one with less-than-orthodox liberal views. She’s on her own team now.
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