Last updated on: 12/30/2010 | Author:

Lawrence O'Donnell Biography

MSNBC Political Analyst
Former Chief of Staff for the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
Con to the question "Was Bill Clinton a Good President?"

“I don’t think that his presidency amounted to very much. There was a two-year Clinton presidency, where if Clinton wanted to do something it would not necessarily get done but would get a fair hearing and a lot of legislative energy pushing it. And then there was a six-year Gingrich government, in which Clinton was allowed a small editing function on what the Gingrich government would do. In those six years not a single thing that the White House wanted to do got done…

Throw in a grotesquely stupid scandal, involving his own personal behavior, that overtakes every day of his presidency for a year, and it becomes one of history’s least important presidencies, in terms of actually setting some kind of direction or establishing some kind of principle that goes forward beyond that presidency.

What’s the legacy? I don’t get it. There’s no lesson on how to be president — at all.”

A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton Told by Those Who Know Him, by Michael Takiff, 2010

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Anchor, The Last Word, MSNBC, Sep. 27, 2010-present
  • Actor, Big Love, HBO, 2006-present
  • MSNBC political analyst, 1996-present
  • Writer and Producer, The West Wing, 1999-2006
  • Recipient, honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, Suffolk University, 2001
  • Recipient, Emmy (Oustanding Drama), The West Wing, 2001
  • Chief of Staff for the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, 1993-1995
  • Chief of Staff, Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, 1992
  • Senior Advisor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1989-1992
  • Contributer, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, People, Spy, and Boston Magazine
  • Education:
  • Attended Harvard College, 1976
  • Other:
  • On July 1, 2005, O’Donnell revealed on the McLaughlin Group that Karl Rove was the source of the leak that exposed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA operative.
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Was Bill Clinton a Good President?