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Lanny Davis
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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

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.

I've...

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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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What Is a Liberal?

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 2:42 PM

"It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the...

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Hillary and Her Critics -- Here We Go Again

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 4:02 PM

It seems the pundits and polls in our town and on cable TV looking to fill the time can't get over the apparently irresistible temptation to blame Hillary Clinton for ... well, just about everything.

Recent press reports quoted anonymous Democrats expressing concerns that Clinton is...

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Al From, Bill Clinton, and the Power of Ideas

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 2:54 PM

A lot of people credit Al From and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) with making a significant contribution to saving the Democratic Party from virtual political extinction at the end of the 1980s -- at least in competing for the presidency. From reminds us in his recently published memoir, The...

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'Women's Rights Are Human Rights' -- 20 Years Later

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 8:17 AM

This is the first of two columns on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recently announced new initiative for the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, "No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project."

Almost 20 years ago, in September 1995, America's first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, took the podium at the...

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Something Familiar About O-Care Flak

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 5:02 PM

The first argument used against the legislation was ideological. Conservative opponents called it socialistic because it allowed government to force individual Americans to take money from their own funds to pay for the benefits of other Americans who are less well off and can't afford to pay themselves. This violates...

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Crisis Management and Obamacare

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 3:23 PM

As a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," I want the problems to be fixed and for the program to succeed. After all, we are the only Western democracy that does not provide some form of national health insurance or guaranteed access to healthcare to all...

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Democrats Beware: Don't Underestimate Ted Cruz

(6) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 5:13 PM

How many liberal pundits, bloggers and commentators have attacked first-term Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in personal terms of contempt and ridicule? Almost all.

There can be little doubt that the GOP congressional strategy of holding up approval of the budget, causing a government shutdown, in return for repeal of...

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Government Shutdown? Lessons From Bill Clinton's 'Third Way'

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 3:46 PM

Polls show that most Americans will blame House Republicans -- not President Obama or congressional Democrats -- if Speaker John Boehner and his Tea Party-driven caucus continue to insist that the president either defund ObamaCare or shut down the federal government.

However, before Democrats celebrate prematurely, they...

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Obama's Profile in Courage

(4) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 2:46 PM

In my view, Barack Obama's speech on Syria this week was the high point of his presidency. Ultimately it could cement his place in history the way President Kennedy's courage and resolve during the Cuban missile crisis did for him.

Public opinion was against Obama on a limited military...

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The Anti-Clinton Media -- Here We Go Again

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 3:05 PM

Not everyone is as apparently obsessed with writing vitriol about the Clintons as Maureen Dowd, the Times' op-ed columnist. For example, last Saturday, Ms. Dowd compared the Clintons to the self-destructive cartoon character, Wile E. Coyote. Her first example of "little explosions" for which she holds the Clintons responsible. I...

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Senator Gillibrand's Purple Coalition on Sexual Assault in Military -- Why Isn't President Obama Supportive?

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 1:55 PM

Some things that happen in Washington, D.C., have come to be expected, such as hyperpartisanship in the Congress along sharp "red" vs. "blue" lines.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has assembled a remarkable bipartisan coalition of senators to support her modest proposal, the Military Justice Improvement Act, which would...

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DC's Purple Field of Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 6:04 PM

"Reid-McConnell clash latest evidence that genteel Senate has turned into a fight club"

...There is a growing sense of despair among the rank-and-file senators, who privately grouse that the two leaders, despite many similarities in style and background, have become so distrustful of one another they barely speak to each...

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For Me, Same-sex Marriage Is No Purple Issue

(5) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 6:06 PM

"To officiate a union that is expressly not for the same godly purpose of procreation and to call such a relationship 'sanctified' is unacceptable to a sound mind." -- N. Michael Nunn, a member of Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, in a letter to fellow Persian Jews and congregants opposing gay...

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Part II: Hillary Clinton at CGI America -- Early Childhood Education Through Public-Private Partnerships

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 11:19 AM

Last week I wrote in this space about Hillary Clinton's June 13 speech at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting in Chicago, describing her ability to place the issue of opportunities for women and girls in a broader context than women's rights -- showing its relevance to prosperity for all,...

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Hillary Clinton's Interconnected Ideas: Part I

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 5:42 PM

It shouldn't surprise anyone who has known Hillary Clinton for a while and followed her career in public service to know that she is driven by ideas to bring change that improves people's lives and, just as important, that she sees an interconnected big picture among her ideas to solve...

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Freedom of the Press v. National Security -- A Tough Balance

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 4:29 PM

I have known and been a friend of Attorney General Eric Holder for many years. He is a progressive Democrat who believes in First Amendment values and especially vigorous freedom for investigative reporters to publish the facts. So I give the Attorney General a heavy presumption of good faith and...

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