That tenacious Democrat you see debating on Sunday news shows? Her name is Stephanie Cutter, and only eight years ago her political career was all but dead, Politico reports. Cutter was communications adviser on John Kerry's 2004 campaign, and received much of the blame for its failure—with one Newsweek article even criticizing her wardrobe. But now she's a driving force on President Obama's re-election campaign, admired by politicos on both sides of the aisle.
Her straight-talking style personally impressed Obama, who twice convinced her to stay at the White House. And it's paid off in her consistent attacks on Mitt Romney's work at Bain Capital, even after Bill Clinton and Cory Booker second-guessed the strategy. Still, she was denied the one administration job she wanted—communications director—and her style can ruffle a few feathers: “I thought she didn’t like me," says a former Obama official who claims she would snap at him. "So I’ve basically concluded that her skills far outweigh any issue people might have with her style."