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Lanny Davis
Lanny J. Davis counsels individuals, corporations and government contractors, and those under congressional scrutiny, on crisis management and legal issues by developing legal, media and legislative strategies that are designed to best produce a successful result for the client. He has experience in securities fraud and SEC investigations as well, and has found that utilizing such an integrated legal/media/lobbying approach can lead to quicker and less expensive settlements or even successfully litigated outcomes. Senior officials of public companies have also hired Lanny and his crisis group to defend themselves successfully against "short and distort" attacks and other market manipulations. For 25 years prior to 1996, before his tenure as special counsel to President Clinton, Lanny was a commercial, antitrust, government contracts and False Claims Act litigator (both in defense as well as plaintiff). He has argued numerous appellate cases in the U.S. courts of appeals.

In June 2005, President Bush appointed Lanny to serve on the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2005 Intelligence Reform Act. In that capacity, he received the highest level security clearances so that he could be fully briefed and "read in" to the various anti-terrorist surveillance and financial tracking programs at the highest classified level. From 1996 to 1998, Lanny served as special counsel to the president in the White House and was a spokesperson for the president and the White House on matters concerning campaign finance investigations and other legal issues. Lanny has participated in national, state and local politics for almost 30 years. He has served three terms (1980 to 1992) on the Democratic National Committee representing the state of Maryland, and during that period he served on the DNC Executive Committee and as chairman of the Eastern Region Caucus. In Montgomery County, Maryland, he served as chairman of the Washington Suburban Transit Commission.

Lanny has authored several books and lectured throughout the United States and Europe on various political issues. Between 1990 and 1996, Lanny was a bimonthly commentator on Maryland politics for WAMU-88.5/FM, a Washington, D.C. local affiliate of National Public Radio. He has been a regular television commentator and has been a political and legal analyst for MSNBC, CNN, Fox Cable, CNBC and network TV news programs. He has published numerous op-ed/analysis pieces in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other national publications.

Lanny graduated from Yale Law School, where he won the prestigious Thurman Arnold Moot Court prize and served on the Yale Law Journal. A graduate of Yale University, Lanny served as chairman of the Yale Daily News.

Lanny is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Connecticut and before the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Entries by Lanny Davis

To Republicans -- Watch Out for Traps After the Midterms

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 4:28 PM

Most pundits are predicting a Republican take-over of the U.S. Senate next Tuesday. I am ready to go on record against the conventional wisdom: I predict Democrats will surprise the pundits on election night and hold the Senate, if only by a 50-50 margin, with Vice President Biden breaking the...

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Ron Klain as Ebola Czar: The Right Person for the Right Job at the Right Time

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 4:37 PM

So does anyone doubt that if President Obama had appointed a medical expert to become the Ebola "czar" to manage the Ebola virus crisis, many Republicans would have criticized him for not appointing someone with experience in crisis management, media and political communications? Or if the president had appointed someone...

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Eric Holder and the RFK Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 11:29 AM

How to assess Eric Holder's record and legacy as attorney general?

Let's start with what should be an obvious proposition: Holder's policies and approach to the job were consistent with the person who appointed him -- Barack Obama. Lest Republicans forget, Obama was elected and re-elected...

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Is Obama Too Much of a Hawk for Democrats?

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 4:41 PM

The day before President Obama's Sept. 10 speech on the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to American security -- in my judgment, one of the best speeches of his two-term presidency -- a pundit I like and respect, Chuck Todd, the new moderator of NBC's...

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Thoughts on Ferguson: What I Know and Don't Know

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 2:20 PM

The one thing I know is that I don't know what it it's like to be a young black man who is confronted by a white police officer pointing a gun.

I don't know the fear, the humiliation, the rage that a young black man must feel...

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Democrats Must Denounce the Rick Perry Indictment, and the Rush to Judgment Culture

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 9:40 AM

Democrats know a lot about criminalizing the political process -- and the terrible consequences to our nation and our democracy when it happens.

We saw it happen again and again in the 1990s, after multiple Cabinet secretaries in the Clinton administration were "investigated" by "independent counsels" -- and every one...

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The Cure for Punditry Hyperventilation on Hillary Clinton -- Try the Facts

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 10:53 AM

I have read a slew of comments by pundits, columnists and self-described "progressive" organizations criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her comments in The Atlantic to reporter Jeffrey Goldberg about (a) her disagreement with President Obama on the issue of early aid to moderate opposition elements in Syria...

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War and Peace at Camp Equinunk -- Lessons for Congress?

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 11:25 AM

As public approval of the U.S. Congress continues to dip to ever-lower levels, it is worth examining the cultural phenomenon of something called the Color War at traditional sleep-away summer camps, and what it can teach members of Congress in today's polarized environment.

I have written before about the...

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LeBron's Announcement -- Crisis Management Lessons for House GOP on Benghazi?

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 2:47 PM

LeBron James's surprise announcement last Friday that he planned to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Miami Heat offers important lessons for effective crisis management. Indeed, the most important lesson might be applicable to House Republicans as they plan new hearings on Benghazi this fall.


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Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices Show Who She Really Is

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 5:52 PM

The reviews are in on Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton's history of her four-year tenure as U.S. secretary of state. They are almost all positive. Her book sales are strong -- No. 1 on The New York Times best-sellers list for three weeks in a row.

What is missing from...

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It's About Education, Stupid

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 5:05 PM

If there is any issue that stumps liberals and conservatives alike, it is what to do about the crisis in public education in our high schools, especially in urban neighborhoods. If the now-famous campaign theme "It's the economy, stupid" worked in 1992, then in 2016, the related slogan could be...

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Jeb Bush -- A Formidable Candidate for President

(10) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 5:06 PM

OK, OK. To the Bush family, and particularly to former two-term Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: Don't worry. Let me start, up front, by saying: I would never vote for Jeb Bush for president. He is way too conservative for me.

Now that that's over with, I...

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Clinton's NPR Interview on Gay Marriage -- the Facts

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 5:15 PM

My opinion: Hillary Clinton's responses to Terry Gross in her NPR interview on the issue of gay marriage were not the subjective terms used by reporters -- such as "testy," "contentious," and "annoyed" -- but, equally subjective, firm and polite. (Another opinion, having listened to the interview several times: Had...

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Hillary's Sense of Humor

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 4:36 PM

I can remember the first time I heard Hillary Rodham (her name back then, in 1969, when we first met at Yale Law School) laugh. A bunch of guys and Hillary in the law school lounge. I forget the joke, but all of a sudden we heard this great laugh...

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Facts vs. Innuendo on Benghazi

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 8:43 PM

So now the House Republican leadership has announced still another investigation of the tragedy of Benghazi. My crisis management mantra about the truth is: "tell it early, tell it all, tell it yourself." But the Republicans' mantra seems to be, "tell innuendo early, often, and over and over again," as...

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Why Obamacare Could Be a Plus for Democrats in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 5:54 PM

If I were a Democrat running for Congress in 2014 who supported the Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare," I would be running a campaign explaining why I am proud of my vote. And I would challenge my GOP opponent to answer five questions:

First, without Obamacare,...

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Smart Power -- US Strategy for the 21st Century

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 3:19 PM

By the turn of the 21st century, it was clear that a new approach to the use of American power to protect our national interests and values was necessary.

At the risk of some over-simplification, by the end of former President George W. Bush's second term, essentially two lines...

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Life With My 16-year-old Son

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 12:34 PM

I have been writing this column called "Purple Nation" since the summer of 2008. My purpose was to write about issues and politics that focused on facts, not ideology, and that offered opportunities for mixed "Red State - Blue State," or "Purple," analysis and solutions.


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DC Mayor Gray a Victim of the Presumption-of-Guilt Culture

(1) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 3:54 PM

The Washington Post's five-column headline on Tuesday was: "Prosecutors: Vincent Gray Knew."

Note that the word "allege" is not in the headline.

The top federal prosecutor, D.C. U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., is quoted at a press conference as asserting the fact -- before trial -- that District...

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Lessons From a Legend

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 8:56 PM

Mike McCurry, who served as press secretary to former President Clinton, was featured in a news profile recently, about him becoming a teacher in religion and politics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Northwest Washington as he earns his degree there.

Some people might have been surprised by this turn toward...

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