Resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for public policy research
Norman J. Ornstein is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He also serves as an election analyst for CBS News. In addition, Norm writes regularly for USA Today as a member of its Board of Contributors and writes a column called “Congress Inside Out” for Roll Call newspaper. In 1997-98, he was co-chair, with Leslie Moonves, President of CBS Television, of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital television Broadcasters. He is currently leading a coalition of scholars and others in a major effort to reform the campaign financing system. Along with Tom Mann of the Brookings Institution, he is also co-directing a project led by former senators George Mitchell and Bob Dole to examine alternatives to the independent counsel statute. He is directing a multi-year effort, called the Transition to Governing Project, to create a better climate for governing in the era of the permanent campaign. In addition, he serves on the Council on Foreign Relations Commission on The Future International Financial Architecture.
Ornstein has worked with Al Franken as a commentator and pollster for the Comedy Central Television Network’s political coverage, and is a senior advisor to the Times Mirror Center (now the Pew Research Center) for the People and the Press. His frequent appearances on television include, Nightline, Today, Face the Nation, and The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, now The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, where he has had a nearly twenty year relationship as consultant and contributor. He served on the board of the National Commission on Public Service (the Volcker Commission) and as co-director of the Renewing Congress Project, a major, comprehensive examination of Congress that played a major role in the reforms of the past three Congresses.
Ornstein, a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, writes frequently for the New York Times, Washington Post, and other major newspapers and magazines. His books include Lessons and Legacies: Farewell Address From the U.S. Senate; Debt and Taxes: How American Got Into Its Budget Mess, and How We Can Get Out of It, with John H. Makin; and Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy, with Thomas E. Mann. Ornstein has been profiled by the New York Times, Washington Journalism Review referred to him as “the nation’s hottest pundit,” and National Journal called him “an icon of the press.” He has won the National Capitol Area Political Science Association’s Pi Sigma Alpha Award and was co-winner (with Tom Mann) of the Policy Studies Organization’s Hauberk H. Humphrey Award, both for distinguished public service by a political scientist.
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