Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Political party: Non-affiliated
Relationship status: Married
Claire Shipman juggles multiple roles in her daily life: motherhood, best-selling author, reporter for ABC News and sounding board for her husband, White House press secretary Jay Carney.
She’s the first to say that it’s not a perfect balancing act.
“There’s no perfect solution. There’s just not,” she told The Hill. “The idea of balance — things are never perfectly in balance.”
Shipman’s second book, The Confidence Code, which will be out next spring, will focus on women and confidence. She’s teamed up with her writing partner, the BBC’s Katty Kay, for the follow-up to their first book, Womenomics.
She credits ABC News, which lets her work part time, for her ability to do so much, saying it has helped with her kids and with Carney’s demanding job as President Obama’s chief spokesman.
“It had this benefit of when my husband decided he wanted to work in politics, it worked much better,” Shipman, a former White House correspondent, said. “When he was working for [Vice President] Biden I was still covering politics, but once he took the press secretary job we all agreed that me covering politics was just — it was just too hard to navigate.”
She is still reporting — mainly on women’s issues and baby boomer issues — with an occasional political piece thrown in, such as a recent one on the New York City mayoral race.
But she and Carney try not to bring their work into their home life, and Shipman said she rarely watches her husband’s daily briefings at the White House.
“At the beginning I watched his briefings a lot, especially when he was learning and I thought, oh, I should give him advice. But then I realized that was not going to be a good thing,” she said. “When he goes through his hot periods I watch and try to say ‘great job’ or give him some boost.”
She will occasionally be a voice for reporters.
“I try to be a voice of reason sometimes representing journalists at home when he’s grousing about something, and I will step in and say, ‘Well, I can see why people would want a picture of the president and Tiger Woods together, honey.’ ”
When she’s not reporting, writing or spending time with their kids, Shipman said she likes to decompress with a good book.
“I love to read, so I read a lot,” she said, noting she doesn’t have a favorite genre. “I like to read all of it. I don’t discriminate. I just finished the Stephen King book about the day [President] Kennedy was assassinated.”
— Emily Goodin