OZY is a very diverse, globally-minded publication, and I thought it would be different (and hopefully interesting) to have a Canadian oversee the site's U.S. presidential campaign coverage. Thankfully, the top brass agreed. But little did I know what I was getting into when I launched our 2016 campaign section and managed it through the election.
In February, I hit the campaign trail with our politics reporter, where we trailed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and Ted Cruz, who I stalked at a Mexican restaurant). I analyzed the campaign styles of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, edited the "fallen" series and oversaw the creative direction and execution of special PDF story collections (though Sean Braswell, a genius senior writer, deserves all the credit for his creative storytelling and deep knowledge of political history). My favorite weeks: writing and editing from inside the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. (I spent the weekend in between overseeing the editorial coverage at OZY Fest in Central Park, where Karl Rove and Cory Booker both stopped by.)
For additional perspectives, I periodically checked in with former Prime Minister Kim Campbell as well as John McLaughlin, the former deputy and interim director of the CIA. (“Foreign leaders are totally baffled and somewhat horrified,” he told me for this election day Q&A.) I also oversaw written editorial to promote “The Contenders” TV series, which aired on PBS and the BBC with interviews from Vice President Joe Biden, John McCain and Ralph Nader. Following our long election night livestream in partnership with WIRED magazine (you'll spot me in "Canadian red" in the recap below), I directed the launch of “States of the Nation,” a yearlong project featuring innovators and innovations from all 50 U.S. states. Politics writer Nick Fouriezos was that project's brainchild — and my star reporter throughout 2016. These were my thoughts a year after that fateful trip to New Hampshire and some more recent tips for approaching politics — without picking a fight and with greater empathy.