Cliff Schecter is a progressive earned and paid media strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC, does messaging, media relations, ghost writing, grassroots lobbying, paid media and relationship building for political, issue-advocacy and forward-looking corporate clients. As founder and President of Libertas, Schecter has counseled some of the biggest names and groups in progressive politics, including organizations started by former Vice President Al Gore, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, famed investor Warren Buffett and #6 Amazon investor/progressive public intellectual, Nick Hanauer. Schecter’s past client list includes Everytown for Gun Safety/Mom’s Demand Action, Democracy for America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Friends of Democracy SuperPAC, Social Security Works, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, NARAL, The National Trial Lawyers and The Alliance for Climate Protection. Schecter’s advised dozens of electoral campaigns, as well as public personalities such as nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann and progressive comedian/co-founder of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead. Schecter has also worked with corporations such as IBM—on an infrastructure project to use new technology to help cities by improve transportation and bring transparency to city government—and numerous companies in the exploding industries of clean energy and medicinal marijuana.
Shortly after college in 1995, Schecter became a research analyst (polling) for the campaign to re-elect President Bill Clinton, which the former President won in a near-9-point landslide. After 2 years in graduate school at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, Schecter worked at polling firm Global Strategy Group, eventually consulting for direct mail firm Mammen Pritchard and opposition research firm The Maccabee Group. Incorporating all of these disciplines into his role as a campaign consultant, Schecter advised the DNC, DCCC, former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, former Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee (and current Governor) Ned Lamont, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy and Ohio First District Court of Appeals Judge, Pierre Bergeron.
In 2009, just after founding Libertas, Schecter helped defeat the National Rifle Association on the Senate floor for the first time in five years (at the time), with a large grassroots lobbying and PR effort. Schecter’s strategic advice, media outreach and service as spokesperson for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus in 2008 helped them capture a majority for the first time in 14 years, successfully capturing two seats that weren’t even targeted by The Party. Finally, Schecter’s efforts during the 2012 cycle with Friends of Democracy SuperPAC—which consisted of reaching out to congressional candidates across the country, their staff, local progressive orgs and the media to ensure the issue of campaign finance reform was discussed, debated and reported in a way that would assist progressive candidates—resulted in Democrats’ winning 11 of 13 seats targeted for earned media campaigns and/or paid media expenditures.
During these campaigns and many others, Schecter has built up a wealth of relationships within Washington, D.C. and around the country, including members of Congress in both the Senate and House, top staffers, national progressive organizations, unions, local progressive groups and especially among the press—including tv and radio hosts, producers, reporters, critics, bloggers (both local and national) and those with large social media followings. Utilizing these relationships has allowed Schecter to profiles and feature pieces for clients in The New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, Chicago-Sun Times, Baltimore Sun, Time Magazine, Philadelphia Daily News, The Nation Magazine, Salon.com, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post and many other periodicals. Schecter has landed guests on shows hosted by Stephen Colbert, Robin Quivers, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Neil Cavuto, Keith Olbermann, Ronan Farrow, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and on many other programs, including The Today Show, numerous programs on NPR, each nightly news program and local news throughout the country.
Schecter is also a writer, whose columns have appeared in newspapers around the country, including The New York Times, Associated Press, Philadelphia Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle and Miami Herald. Longer pieces have been featured everywhere from The American Prospect to Washington Monthly Magazine and Salon.com, and Schecter is currently a contributor to The Daily Beast. Schecter’s been a guest on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, FoxNews, BBC and NPR. He was an on-air political analyst for the Sinclair Broadcast Network in 2004, syndicated on 60 local broadcast-news affiliates to 38 media markets around the country. Schecter has also been a lecturer for the U.S. State Department—delivering briefings on U.S. politics to diplomats, journalists and academics in countries such as South Africa, Australia, Romania and Malta. He’s also been a speechwriter for numerous public figures, most notably writing for former DNC Chair and presidential candidate, Howard Dean.
In late 2017, in reaction to The Trump Administration, Schecter started the “UnPresidented” podcast along with public intellectual John Aravosis. The point of the podcast is to hold President Trump accountable, trying to “UnPresident” him as soon as possible. Their guests have included Rosie O’Donnell, Congressmen Ted Lieu & Adam Schiff, Jake Tapper, Malcolm Nance, Asha Rangappa, David Frum, Paul Begala, Dan Savage, Max Boot and Shannon Watts.
Schecter is a graduate of the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (MA), where he concentrated in Journalism and Public Relations, and the University of Pennsylvania (BA), where he studied American History and Legal Studies. In 2008, his book The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him—And Why Independents Shouldn’t, was published by PoliPoint Press and became a political (#2) and non-fiction (#17) bestseller at Amazon.
Schecter was born and raised in New York City, and lived in Washington, D.C. for nearly a decade before making Cincinnati, OH his home. He lives with his wife, two sons and four cats.