Political Speaker Pairs for Bipartisan Conversations in 2024

This year’s election will continue to be a hot topic of discussion over the coming year. If you’re looking to hear diverse perspectives, create dynamic conversations, and enlighten audiences about political causes, there’s no better way than to host two political speakers together. In this Presidential election cycle, audiences are also discussing various rulings by the Supreme Court that altered history and the impact of local, state, and federal elections on future policy changes, the perfect talking points for an expert political speaker. 

Whether you plan to explore pressing global issues, delve into local policies, or spark conversations on societal change, the political experts featured here are ready to ignite dialogue, foster critical thinking, and inspire meaningful change. This list includes seasoned politicians, political commentators, journalists and renowned television analysts.

Let’s take a look at some of the engaging speaking pairs to consider.

1. Donna Brazile and Michael Steele

Both of these political leaders have blazed a path for people of color to see themselves within the political landscape. Donna Brazile is a veteran Democratic political strategist and Former Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was the first African American to serve as the manager of a major party presidential campaign, that of former Vice President Al Gore. Michael Steele was the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland in 2003, serving as Lt. Governor of the state. Previously the Chairman of GOPAC and the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Steele is now President and CEO of The Steele Group and a regular analyst on FOX News.

The pair have appeared together previously at events like this one hosted by the Common Ground Committee, offering their perspectives on a variety of issues. Request to book Donna Brazile and Michael Steele together here.

2. Van Jones and Ana Navarro

Van Jones and Ana Navarro

Both Jones and Navarro have a lot in common. Both have worked to support human rights, are CNN commentators, and have historically been outspoken about their views on the Trump administration. However, they find themselves on opposite sides of the center aisle. Van Jones is a CNN host, political commentator, Emmy Award-winning producer, and author. He has worked to successfully secure passage of various legislative efforts including the Green Jobs Act for clean energy jobs and the FIRST STEP Act, which the New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation.  Ana Navarro is the former National Co-Chair of John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council and is a political commentator on CNN & co-host on ABC’s “The View”.  She has expertise in Latin American and Hispanic political issues and also formerly served as Ambassador to the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission in 2001. Together, they bring a healthy mix of camaraderie and debate to any stage. Request to book Van Jones and Ana Navarro together here.

3. Ron Klain and Mike Murphy

Both of these political experts have deep roots in their respective parties. Ron Klain was the longest-serving Chief of Staff under President Biden from 2021 to 2023. He served as advisor on 8 different presidential campaigns and currently is a litigation executive and partner within the legal sector. Mike Murphy has been a mainstay, having earned the nickname “media master” in the political landscape. He successfully handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 gubernatorial and Senatorial campaigns. He is a Fortune 500 advisor, a longtime NBC analyst, a former columnist for TIME and hosts the “Hacks on Tap” podcast with his friend and Democratic colleague David Axelrod. Request to book Ron Klain and Mike Murphy together here.

4. John Avlon and Margaret Hoover

This pairing can provide diverse political perspectives on stage – with a twist. They’re also married. John Avlon is a senior political analyst and fill-in anchor at CNN. He was formerly Editor in Chief of The Daily Beast and is the author of “Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics.” Margaret Hoover is a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican who is modernizing the party with fresh ideas and an open mind for change. Previously a Fox News contributor, Hoover is a veteran of the Bush White House and currently hosts PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover.” They’re a natural match for your next event. Request to book John Avlon and Margaret Hoover together here.

John Avlon and Margaret Hoover

5. Howard Dean and John Ashcroft

Howard Dean and John Ashcroft

Both former Governors with multiple terms in office, these speakers also both served as chairperson of the National Governors Association during their tenure. Howard Dean is a former six-term Governor of Vermont (D) and a physician, and is also an active contributor to CNBC and MSNBC. He founded Democracy for America in 2004 and was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005-2009.  Dean pioneered Internet-based fundraising and grassroots organizing, which is centered on mass appeal to small donors which is considered to be more cost efficient. John Ashcroft is a former U.S. Attorney General, Governor of Missouri (R), and U.S. Senator. He was a key supporter of the USA Patriot Act, and as Attorney General and the Justice Department’s CEO from 2001-2005, he led the DOJ’s transformation following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Both are Yale graduates, best-selling authors and professors at respected universities. Request to book Howard Dean and John Ashcroft together here.

6. Harold Ford, Jr. and Geoff Duncan

Harold Ford, Jr. is a former Five-Term U.S. Representative (D) from Tennessee, a former member of the House Financial Services, Budget and Education committees. He is a political analyst for Fox News and co-host of The Five. Ford currently is also the Regional President in New York for PNC Bank. Geoff Duncan was Georgia’s 12th Lieutenant Governor (R) and is an entrepreneur, a former professional baseball player and a CNN contributor. Duncan has established himself as a bold leader, especially in the areas of health care, public safety, technology, and economic development. Both speakers have a keen eye for business and can bring their unique perspectives to the economy during this political period in time. Request to book Harold Ford, Jr. and Geoff Duncan together here.

7. Donna Brazile and Chris Christie

Both of these political experts can address some of the country’s most currently relevant topics. Donna Brazile serves as an adjunct professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Georgetown University and has lectured at nearly 250 colleges and universities on diversity, equity and inclusion; women in leadership; and restoring civility in American politics. The former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has confronted several public policy challenges successfully, including signing legislation that directly addressed the opioid epidemic, and drafting the state’s groundbreaking emergency response to Superstorm Sandy, leading the rebuilding of the state’s housing, infrastructure and public schools and setting a bi-partisan example for storm recovery. Request to book Donna Brazile and Chris Christie together here.

8. Jennifer Palmieri and Dana Perino

Looking for first-hand experience working in the White House? Consider bringing these two accomplished women to your event. Jennifer Palmieri is the former White House Communications Director under President Obama, former Deputy White House Press Secretary under President Clinton, and former Special Assistant to then White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. She also has been a mainstay in political campaigns over the past few elections and is currently a political advisor and commentator. Dana Perino was the 26th White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush. She is a former executive with Random House and is currently an author, co-anchor of America’s Newsrooom” on Fox News and hosts multiple podcasts on politics. Request to book Jennifer Palmieri and Dana Perino together here.

9. Howard Dean and Michael Steele

An interesting pairing of political leaders already featured above is to bring this duo to your event. Both Dean and Steele served as the Chair of their respective political parties in the early 2000’s. Howard Dean was the Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005-09, and Michael Steele was appointed Chair of the Republican National Committee in 2009. Request to book Howard Dean and Michael Steele together here.

10. Symone Sanders and Ana Navarro

There may not be a more compelling discussion than having these two experienced women on stage together. Both Sanders and Navarro have advocated for human rights causes and are not ones to back away from discourse. Symone Sanders was appointed to the Biden-Harris White House at the age of 31 as both Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris. She is a strong advocate for juvenile justice reform, and is an author, seasoned democratic strategist, and host of “SYMONE” on MSNBC. Ana Navarro, a political speaker with a diverse background, has been actively involved in Latin American and Hispanic issues throughout her career. She was a special advisor to the Government of Nicaragua and in that role, she was one of the primary advocates for NACARA (Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act). She was also a strong advocate for the condemnation of the Government of Cuba for human rights abuses while serving as Ambassador to the UN’s Human Rights Commission in 2001. Request to book Symone Sanders and Ana Navarro together here.

Symone Sanders and Ana Navarro

11. David Plouffe and Chris Christie

After running President Obama’s historic election campaigns, David Plouffe served as a Senior Advisor to the President from 2011 to 2013. A successful political and digital marketing strategist, he then went to the private sector where he was part of several organizations including Uber, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Board of Directors for liberal nonprofit ACRONYM. Chris Christie’s experience as the former Governor of New Jersey and as a former US Attorney, combined with his experience chairing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis in 2017, highlight his expertise in health benefit reform, offering a compelling perspective from across the aisle. And, a lesser known fact is that both are alumni of the University of Delaware along with President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Request to book David Plouffe and Chris Christie together here.

12. Tiffany Cross and Susan Del Percio

For discussions that highlight political communication and media strategies, there is no better pairing than this. Tiffany Cross is a journalist and is the former host of MSNBC’s “The Cross Connection.” Cross previously was also the DC Bureau Chief of BET News and the Liaison to the Obama Administration for BET Networks. She currently is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of The Beat DC, a platform intersection national politics, policy, business, media, and people of color. Susan Del Percio is a political strategist, media analyst, and Republican political analyst. She is also a recognized expert in crisis communication and public affairs strategy and provides political analysis for MSNBC and contributes as a columnist for OZY media. During her political career, she served as Special Advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014 and was a Deputy Commissioner in the Giuliani Administration from 1995-2001. Request to book Tiffany Cross and Susan Del Percio together here.

13. Wendy Davis and Adam Kitzinger

Individually, both of these political leaders are legendary for standing up to the status quo in politics. Wendy Davis is a Democratic State Senator from Texas and gained national attention in 2013 for a thirteen-hour filibuster to block Senate Bill 5, which included more restrictive abortion regulations for Texas. Davis is an active figure in Texas politics, known for her commitment to public education and veterans issues.  She is the Founder of Deeds Not Words, a nonprofit dedicated to causes that focus on women’s empowerment. Adam Kinzinger is a former Air Force veteran and six term Congressman from Illinois and a Senior Political Commentator for CNN. As one of only two Republicans on the January 6th Committee, Rep. Kinzinger stood against his own party in pursuit of democracy and justice. He also served as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy and the Environment. He continues to serve the country today as a pilot in the Air National Guard. Request to book Wendy Davis and Adam Kinzinger together here.

14. Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Robert P. George

Dr. Cornell West and Dr. Robert P. George

With strong ties to Harvard and Princeton Universities and a shared passion for civil rights, these two exceptional philosophers would make for an insightful dialogue about the political landscape. Dr. Cornel West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Dr. West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written 20 books including “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters” and is passionate about keeping the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. alive for future generations. Dr. West is also the 2024 People’s Party Presidential Candidate. 

Dr. Robert P. George is the Founding Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and he is a former presidential appointee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a former Judicial Fellow for the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a highly-awarded academic with a total of twenty-two honorary degrees, and is a frequent visiting professor at Harvard Law School and an Honorary Distinguished Professor at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. Dr. George has received numerous international awards and honors and holds degrees from Swarthmore, Harvard, and Oxford Universities. Request to book Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Robert P. George together here.

15. Barbara Boxer and Rachel Campos-Duffy

As advocates for women, families, education and politics, this duo offers a compelling discussion on topics around family and education causes. Barbara Boxer is a life-long political force for the Democratic party, serving 24 years in the Senate, 10 years in the House, and 6 years in California local politics. A champion of quality public education, Senator Boxer wrote landmark legislation establishing the first-ever federal funding for afterschool programs. Her law now covers over 1 million children. She also worked on impactful programs including funding anti-gang programs, passing the Violence Against Women Law (VAWA), and the Community Policy “COPS” Program. A leading defender of a women’s right to choose, Rachel Campos-Duffy is a conservative TV personality, a parenting expert, political analyst, a mother of 9, and co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend.” She served as the national spokesperson for The LIBRE Initiative, a non-profit that advocates for the economic empowerment of Hispanics through limited government, entrepreneurship and self-reliance. She also served on the board of Hispanics for School Choice. Request to book Barbara Boxer and Rachel Campos-Duffy together here.

Barbara Boxer and Rachel Campos-Duffy

If you’re considering hosting a bi-partisan political event, bringing a pair of political experts to discuss the issues we’re facing today is a great option. The list above is a limited set of the many political keynote speaker options that are available for your upcoming event this election year. If you don’t see the right pair above, let us know and we’d be happy to find you the right match.

Jennifer Best: Jennifer Best is the Head of Marketing for All American Entertainment. Jen has been featured in print and digital publications, including Forbes.com, on digital marketing trending topics. She is a former SBA award-winning entrepreneur for her digital marketing work with small businesses. When she's not geeking out on Google Analytics and marketing automation, you'll find Jen cooking for her growing family or enjoying a great book.
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