Kate Sheppard

Kate Sheppard is a political reporter at Grist, and a former Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles


The Obama campaign has been notably quiet about the sacking of Mark Penn and related trade affairs. But that doesn't mean they won't put forward others to chastise them for it. This afternoon, the campaign hosted a conference call with Indiana State Rep. Ryan Dvorak and Teamsters president James Hoffa to talk smack on Penn and Clinton. Hoffa says retaining Penn in any sort of advisory role is still questionable: I think she has a credibility problem, and this latest I see with MP really raises questions about her credibility. She says she's going to vote against it. [...] You can't have a guy on your payroll working for a foreign nation, working for Colombia, and she says she's going to vote against it [...] I call on her campaign to end relationship completely. The smartest thing she can do is jettison him. Hoffa added that Clinton's stance on trade issues, with or without the Mark Penn incident, have been a concern for the Teamsters. "NAFTA is a shadow over her that isn't going to...


The History News Network recently conducted a non-scientific poll of 109 professional historians and found that 61 percent rate Bush presidency as the worst yet. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed rated him in the bottom ten, and only four respondents put him in the top two-thirds. A whopping 98.2 percent assessed his presidency as a "failure." And that's with 9 months still to go. Meanwhile, Prospect fearless leader Harold Meyerson was on top of this all the way back in 2003 in his cover story on "the most dangerous president ever." Another reason to subscribe . --Kate Sheppard


UNITE HERE was one of the many labor unions righteously outraged about the Mark Penn /Colombia affair, and understandably so. President Bruce Raynor sent out this statement late on Friday chastising Penn and the campaign for what these conflicting interests. Of course Penn's departure from the campaign is notable, but it doesn't necessarily resolve some of the issues Raynor raises: That Clinton’s chief strategist would be working hand in hand with the government of Columbia and the Bush Administration while candidate Clinton says she opposes the agreement is truly incredible, even by today's crazy standards. Not only is the Colombia Free Trade Agreement a continuation of the Bush Administration’s failed trade policies that have benefited multinational corporations at the expense of workers and their families, but Columbia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist. [...] A disturbing pattern is emerging in the Clinton campaign. She seems to regularly take...


For a campaign that sends out so many long emails (and so many emails, period), the announcement from Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams that Mark Penn is departing from his role as top strategist was notably brief: After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as Chief Strategist of the Clinton Campaign; Mark, and Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign. Geoff Garin and Howard Wolfson will coordinate the campaign's strategic message team going forward. Surely more details will shake out shortly. And surely there are plenty of folks who think this departure has been a long time coming. --Kate Sheppard


According to Sen. Lindsey Graham , the Nobel Prize committee was way off base last year. It's John McCain that should be heralded as the world's leader on climate change, not Al Gore : “He’s not going to run away from President Bush but at the end of the day, John McCain has earned a reputation, and has the scars to show it, of doing things that put the country ahead of party," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, noting McCain has differed with the party on immigration, his desire to close Guantanamo Bay, and enacting robust climate change policies. "Climate change is the road less traveled but he’s traveled it even more than Al Gore," Graham said. "Al Gore has talked about it and deserves great recognition but he was around here a long time and never introduced a bill." Too bad those are not only delusions of grandeur about his presidential candidate of choice, but they're also patently false. As Think Progress points out , it was Gore who initiated the first congressional hearings on...