Expert Profile

Norm Ornstein
Resident Scholar
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He also serves as an election analyst for CBS News and writes a weekly column called "Congress Inside Out" for Roll Call newspaper. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and other major publications, and regularly appears on television programs like The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, and Charlie Rose. At the 30th Anniversary party for The NewsHour, he was recognized as the most frequent guest over the thirty years. He was the first “pollster” for the Comedy Central network working with Al Franken in 1992, and was the first guest to appear twice on The Colbert Report.

He serves as senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission, working to ensure that our institutions of government can be maintained in the event of a terrorist attack on Washington. He is currently also co-directing the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project. His campaign finance working group of scholars and practitioners helped shape the major law, known as McCain/Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. Legal Times referred to him as "a principal drafter of the law." He served for six years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and is currently on the boards of the Campaign Legal Center, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation, and UCB. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. He was the recipient in 2006 of the American Political Science Association’s Goodnow Award for distinguished service to the profession. His alma mater, the University of Minnesota, gave him an honorary doctor of laws in 2007.

His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future; Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy, both with Thomas E. Mann; and Debt and Taxes: How America Got Into Its Budget Mess and What to Do About It, with John H. Makin. The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, co-authored by Thomas E. Mann, was published in August 2006 by Oxford University Press. It was picked both by The Washington Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of the best books of 2006.

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