Catherine Elise Jordan is an American journalist, NBC News/MSNBC political analyst, and podcaster. She makes regular appearances on the NBC News show ‘Weekend Today’ as well as the MSNBC show ‘Morning Joe’. She also co-hosted the popular centre-right podcast ‘Words Matter’. A native of Mississippi, Jordan developed a keen interest in journalism quite early in her life. After graduating from high school, she attended Yale University, from where she earned her degree in history in 2004. She subsequently embarked on her professional career. Her first job was as a researcher at the White House. Later, she started writing articles and columns for The Daily Beast and the Time magazine. In 2008, she joined the United States National Security Council, serving as one of the directors of communications and a presidential speechwriter. One of her earliest television appearances was on the talk show ‘Red Eye with Tom Shillue’. Between 2011 and 2014, she was featured on ‘Hannity’. She has also served as a correspondent and panellist of MSNBC’s ‘Deadline: White House’. Since 2016, she has been a political analyst on ‘Weekend Today’ and a contributor on ‘Morning Joe’.
Education & Career
Elise Jordan’s interest in journalism developed quite early. Her uncle is also a journalist, and she grew up deeply inspired by his career. After graduating from Little Angels high school in New York, she enrolled at Yale University in 2000. In 2004, she left Yale with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. During her time there, she was associated with the Yale Daily News, an independent student newspaper run by Yale students in New Haven.
Elise Jordan has been a Republican for a long time. After graduating from Yale, she joined the Bush administration as a researcher at the White House in 2004. In May 2006, she started working under the then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a speechwriter. She held that position until February 2008 when she was made a Director of Communications of the United States National Security Council. During this period, she also served as the presidential speechwriter.
Democratic candidate Barack Obama emerged as the winner of the 2008 presidential election and was inaugurated in January 2009. Jordan, along with many other staff members of the previous administration, left the White House that month.
She subsequently went to work in the public sector. In February 2009, she was hired by Deloitte & Touche as a senior advisor for strategy, planning, and policy. She was associated with the USAID Capacity Development Project in Kabul, Afghanistan, serving as an advisor to 10 ministry communications offices. Jordan left that job five months later, in July 2009.
From June 2011 to January 2012, Elise Jordan was a columnist at National Review Online, the web version of the American conservative semi-monthly editorial magazine. She has also been a frequent contributor to notable political magazines like The Daily Beast as well as the Time. Between March 2013 and April 2015, she worked as the chief of staff at H/2 Capital Partners, a financial consulting firm in Stamford, Connecticut.
In 2011, Elise Jordan made her first television appearance in an episode of the Fox News talk show ‘Red Eye with Tom Shillue’ as a guest panellist. Later that year, she was featured on ‘Hannity’ for the first time. In 2012, she was one of the guests on an episode of HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’. While Maher himself is a vocal progressive and Democrat, he has always welcomed guests from all sides of the political spectrum. In 2013, she appeared on ‘On the Record with Brit Hume’ and ‘Fox and Friends’.
Elise Jordan continued to make sporadic appearances on ‘Hannity’ until 2014 and then decided to try out a more challenging environment. Since she had left Yale, she had predominantly lived in a conservative bubble. Her tenure in the Bush administration and at Fox News did not really test her personal beliefs and agendas. That changed when she joined NBC News and MSNBC in January 2016. Especially at MSNBC, which is now regarded as the progressive equivalent of Fox News, she is regularly challenged by the hosts themselves, something that she had rarely experienced during her time at Fox.
Elise Jordan and her co-host, political consultant Steve Schmidt, started doing the ‘Words Matter’ podcast in 2018. It did not take them long to find an audience for their centre-right content. However, in February 2019, Schmidt himself was interviewed by Jordan and the Words Matter executive producer Adam Levine for an episode. Facing tough questions for his work with the former CEO of Starbucks and aspiring politician, Howard Schultz, Schmidt walked out of the interview. He and Jordan subsequently quit the podcast.
Despite being a Republican, Elise Jordan is an outspoken critic of the Trump administration.
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Family & Personal Life
Elise Jordan was born on June 22, 1990, in Holly Springs, Mississippi, USA, to Kelly Jordan and Susan Boone Jordan. She has a brother named Russell Jordan. In 2016, her father passed away following a heart attack.
Between 2011 and 2013, Elise Jordan was married to journalist and author Michael Hastings. He died in a vehicular accident (Car) on June 18, 2013, in Los Angeles, California. In 2017, she tied the knot with digital director Mike Hogan.