Politics


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 election campaign coverage. Thankfully, the top brass agreed. Little did I know what I was getting into.

Nearly a year before the election, I hit the campaign trail with our lead politics reporter, where we trailed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and Ted Cruz, who I found at a small Mexican restaurant in New Hampshire). I analyzed the campaign styles of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, edited the fallen series and oversaw the creative direction and execution of special story collections. My favorite weeks: writing and editing from inside the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. (I spent the weekend in between coordinating the editorial coverage for the debut of OZY Fest in Central Park, a big ideas festival where Karl Rove and Cory Booker both headlined.)

For additional perspectives, I periodically checked in with former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell as well as John McLaughlin—the one-time deputy and interim director of the CIA. (“Foreign leaders are totally baffled and somewhat horrified,” he told me on election day.) I also oversaw written editorial to promote The Contenders, a TV series on PBS and the BBC with interviews from former Vice President Joe Biden, John McCain and Ralph Nader. Following our election night livestream in partnership with WIRED magazine (you'll spot me in "Canadian red" in the recap below), I oversaw the launch of States of the Nation, a yearlong reporting project featuring innovators and innovations from all 50 U.S. states.

These were my thoughts a year after my deep journey into U.S. politics along some more recent tips for approaching politics — with greater empathy.