Former Governor Ed Rendell, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, and journalist Richard Wolffe in discussion at the Washington Ideas Forum 2012.
Jonathan Alter is a senior editor at Newsweek, where since 1991 he has written an acclaimed column on politics, history, media, and society at large.
He is also an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and three children.
After 34 years of public service, including 24 years as an elected official, Governor Rendell continues to pursue many of the same issues he was passionate about while serving. His commitment to making America a cleaner, more efficient place and to fostering investment in our nation's crumbling infrastructure is as strong as it ever was. Rendell has become a champion for progress in the area of alternative energy, and now serves as a consultant or board member for several green and alternative energy firms, including Own Energy, Element Partners and Ocean Thermal Energy. He has also remained heavily involved in the campaign for government efficiency and strategic cost cutting through his work with entities such as Government Sourcing Solutions, Public Financial Management and Greenhill Advisors.
Michael Steele is chairman of the Republican National Committee. Previously, Steele was lieutenant governor of Maryland, the first African American elected to statewide office. He also served as chairman of GOPAC and held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform. President George W. Bush named Steele a member of the US delegation to the investiture of Pope Benedict XVI and as a member of the delegation to the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII in Tanzania. He is a regular contributor to Fox News and regular host of the Salem Radio Network’s nationally syndicated “Morning in America Show.” Steele is the founder of The Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and Politico among others.
Richard Wolffe is a Daily Beast columnist and an award-winning journalist. He covered the entire length of Barack Obama's presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. His book about the election, Renegade: The Making of a President, was a New York Times bestseller in 2009. His new book, Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House, was published in November.