Norman J. Ornstein


Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist and contributing editor for The Atlantic. He is also Chairman of the Campaign Legal Center. For thirty years he was an election eve analyst for CBS News; since 2012, he has been a principal on-air election eve analyst for BBC News. He is also a consultant for the Emmy-award winning HBO series VEEP. He helped create the Continuity of Government Commission, where he served as senior counselor.

Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the campaign finance reform law known as McCain-Feingold. In his decades of involvement in political reform, he played a major role in Senate committee reform, the creation of the Congressional Office of Compliance to ensure Congress was governed by the laws it enacts for others, and the creation of the House Office of Congressional Ethics. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, and he directed the Academy Project on Stewarding America. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006, named by the Washington Post one of the best books of 2006 and called by the Economist “a classic”); and the New York Times best seller, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Thomas E. Mann, published in May 2012 by Basic Books, and updated in a paperback version in September 2013, named Book of the Year by Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog, one of the ten best books on politics in 2012 by The New Yorker, and one of the best books of 2012 by the Washington Post. An expanded edition, retitled “It’s Even Worse Than It Was,” was published in spring 2016. His new book, with EJ Dionne and Thomas E. Mann, One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported was published by St Martin’s Press in September 2017 and was immediately on the New York Times and Washington Post best seller lists.

Mr. Ornstein holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater in 2007 and was given the second annual “Above Average” Alumni Award (named for its first recipient, Garrison Keillor) by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association in 2013. He received the 2006 Goodnow Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association for service to the political science profession. Mr. Ornstein was spotlighted as one of 2012’s 100 Top Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine and has been profiled in the alumni magazines of both the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan.