Together, sought-after political strategist Symone Sanders Townsend and commentator and former Chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele offer a robust dialogue on some of the most pressing issues impacting today’s complex political landscape.
Seasoned political strategist and commentator Symone Sanders Townsend offers an in-depth analysis of today’s most important issues with authenticity, humor, and unparalleled insight. Drawing on her White House experience as a Senior Advisor, Sanders Townsend shares her expertise in communications and political strategy, in-depth analysis of key political issues, and the challenges and possibilities for radical change, offering vitalizing takeaways that engage as well as inform.
Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele is credited with revitalizing the Republic Party. An expert on political strategy, fund-raising, PACs, and election reform, Steele made history in 2003 as the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland, and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the RNC. A self-described "Lincoln Republican," he also served as Chairman of the GOPAC. Under Steele's leadership, the RNC broke fundraising records and Republicans won the biggest pickup of seats since 1938.
With unmatched insider perspectives and strategic expertise, Sanders Townsend and Steele take on the challenges and opportunities facing both parties in terms of vision, electoral politics, and what lies ahead.
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Seasoned political strategist, former CNN political commentator, and author Symone Sanders Townsend is a gifted communicator with a passion for problem solving, social justice, and in-depth analysis of today’s most important issues. Sanders Townsend previously served as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, the youngest person to ever hold that title. She served as a senior advisor for President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and was appointed as a senior member of the Biden-Harris administration, and will now bring her nuanced and critical insight to MSNBC as the host of SYMONE, as well as serving as an anchor and hosting a show on The Choice, MSNBC’s digital streaming arm. In her book No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America, Sanders Townsend shares her take-no-prisoners approach to life, politics, and career success, advocating for a new generation to be powerful in their own right. A rousing call to leadership, Congresswoman Maxine Waters raved, “Symone’s honest and profound reflection on standing up and speaking out is sure to inspire young people across the country to become the change agents the world needs.”
Sanders Townsend is a highly sought-after commentator and speaker, from her TED Talk Stop asking permission!, to an invigorating conversation at SXSW, Politico’s 2019 Women Rule Summit, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, and many more. She served as the National Chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee, a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, and in her role as principal of the 360 Group, Sanders Townsend worked on leading-edge solutions to tough political and social problems. Sanders Townsend shares her expertise in communication and political strategy, in-depth analysis of key political issues, and the challenges and possibilities for radical change with authenticity, humor, and insight.
As former chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Michael Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. He is an expert on political strategy, fund-raising, PACs, and election reform. Steele made history in 2003 as the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland, and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the RNC. A self-described "Lincoln Republican," he also served as Chairman of the GOPAC. Under Steele's leadership, the RNC broke fundraising records in the 2010 cycle by raising more than $192 million and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938.
Symone Sanders Townsend is an author and seasoned political strategist.
Sanders Townsend rose to prominence in 2016 as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s then-presidential campaign. At 25, she became the youngest presidential press secretary on record and was named to Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 16 young Americans shaping the 2016 election. At 29, she published her first book, No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America and served as a senior advisor for President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. At 31, Sanders Townsend was appointed as a senior member of the Biden-Harris administration serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris.
A communicator with a passion for problem solving and social justice, Sanders Townsend served as the national chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee and a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice before joining Senator Sanders’s campaign. There, she worked to raise the profile of young voices in the fight for juvenile justice reform and brought millennial perspectives to policy conversations. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris administration, Sanders Townsend was principal of the 360 Group where she helped clients find sound solutions to tough political and social problems.
Sanders Townsend is a former political commentator for CNN and resident fellow of both Harvard's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School and the University of Southern California's Center for the Political Future.
She is a native of North Omaha, Nebraska and currently resides in Washington D.C. with her husband, Shawn.
Michael Steele served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former Lieutenant governor of Maryland, and the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland. Until recently he was President and CEO of The Steele Group, a consulting firm working with institutional and individual clients to design overall business development, investor, networking, and communications strategies.
Mr. Steele is currently a political analyst for MSNBC. Mr. Steele’s ability as a communicator and analyst have long been showcased by his position as a contributor on the Fox News Channel and as a regular host for the Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated Morning in America Show. Additionally, Mr. Steele has been an entertaining and eloquent guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
As chairman of the RNC, Mr. Steele was charged with revitalizing the Republican Party. A self-described “Lincoln Republican,” under Steele’s leadership the RNC broke fundraising records (over $198 million raised during the 2010 Congressional cycle) and Republicans won 63 House seats, the biggest pickup since 1938. His commitment to grassroots organization and party building at the state and local levels produced 12 governorships and the greatest share of state legislative seats since 1928 (over 600 seats).
As Lt. Governor of Maryland, Mr. Steele’s priorities included reforming the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program, improving the quality of Maryland’s public education system (he championed the State’s historic Charter School law), expanding economic development in the state and fostering cooperation between government and faith-based organizations to help those in need.
Mr. Steele writes a regular column for The Root.com and BET.com and his writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, ,The Journal of International Security Affairs and Catholic University Law Review, among others. He is the recent author of Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, which is a call to arms for grassroots America.
Born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Mr. Steele was raised in Washington, DC. He spent three years in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University (‘81’), Georgetown Law Center (’91), and an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership. Mr. Steele is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Landover Hills, MD, where he attends mass regularly with his wife Andrea.