The Hill's 25 Women to Watch: Page 12 of 26

alt

CAMPAIGN

STEPHANIE CUTTER

DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER, OBAMA’S 2012 CAMPAIGN

Stephanie Cutter has emerged as one of the most visible members of President Obama’s reelection brain trust, known collectively as “Chicago.”

Cutter, Team Obama’s 44-year-old deputy campaign manager, is tasked with framing the president’s policy positions in a rapidly shifting and risk-fraught age of social media and cable news ubiquity.

Cutter takes her blunt and unapologetic messaging style — critics call her tone harsh and caustic — to the news shows, direct-to-camera Web videos and to Twitter. In a time when reporters and pundits have access to every small-town radio interview and can capture off moments on smartphone video, the job is not for the thin-skinned.

But Cutter has spent her career in this political hothouse, making 2012 just another election cycle for the veteran.

Her resume is a who’s-who of powerful Democratic pols: She’s worked in various positions for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), former President  Clinton, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), among others.

Nicknamed “The Ninja” for her stealth, Cutter has earned a reputation for making the toughest political sells, working to shape the administration’s messaging for the president’s healthcare law, the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the AIG bailout.

Cutter worked her way into Chicago’s famously closed-off inner circle after gaining the trust of Michelle Obama while helping with her “Let’s Move!” childhood obesity campaign.

Though she’s a fierce fighter in the political arena, Cutter isn’t one to personally seek out the spotlight — she was not available to speak with The Hill for this feature.

Where Cutter lands next will depend on whether her boss maintains his Pennsylvania Avenue address. Just don’t expect her to be rewarded with a cushy position after the election; Team Obama will likely send its Ninja back into the thick of things.

— Jonathan Easley

Pages