Robert M. Shrum holds the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics and is Professor of the Practice of Political Science at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Science. For more than a third of a century, he was deeply involved in Democratic politics.
He was speechwriter to Senator George McGovern in his 1972 presidential campaign. He was speechwriter to Senator Edward M. Kennedy during and after the 1980 presidential campaign; his press secretary from 1980 to 1984; and consultant, ad maker, and strategist for the Senator until 2009.
Mr. Shrum was a strategist and advertising consultant for 30 winning Senate campaigns; for 8 winning campaigns for governor; for the Mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Denver, Dade County, and San Francisco; and for the Speaker and Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives. He advised President Bill Clinton during his time in the White House. He was senior strategist in the 2000 Gore for President campaign and the 2004 Kerry for President campaign.
Overseas, he consulted for the campaigns of the British Labour Party from 1989 to 2010; the campaigns of Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel; the campaigns of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in 1997, 2002, and 2007; and the 1994 and 1998 campaigns of President Andres Pastrana of Columbia.
As a journalist, Mr. Shrum’s work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, and The Huffington Post. He has been a columnist for Slate, The Week, and The Daily Beast. He has written for commercial television, including “The Emmy Awards,” “The American Film Institute Life Achievement Awards,” and the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts,” for which he received a Writers Guild of America award.
Mr. Shrum’s book, No Excuse: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner was a national bestseller published in June 2007 by Simon and Schuster. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School – and in addition to USC, has taught at New York University, Yale, and Boston College. He now lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, the journalist and writer Marylouise Oates, and his puppy Cody.