Matt Bai is the national political columnist for Yahoo News, where his “Political World” column appears every Thursday. Before joining Yahoo at the end of 2013, he was the chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, where he covered three presidential campaigns, and a columnist for the Times.
Bai’s most recent book, All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) looks back at the ruinous scandal involving the presidential candidate Gary Hart in 1987 and how it helped shape the political and media culture for decades after. It was selected as one of the year’s best books by NPR and Amazon and was one of 10 books long-listed for the PEN Faulkner Award in nonfiction. The New York Times Book Review called it a “miniclassic of political journalism.”
Bai is also the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics (Penguin Press, 2007), which was a New York Times Notable Book for 2007. He also contributed a personal essay to the anthology I Married My Mother-in-Law: And Other Tales of In-Laws We Can’t Live With—And Can’t Live Without, published by Riverhead Books in 2006.
Bai, 47, often explores issues of generational change in American politics and society. His notable stories for the Times Magazine included a 10,000-word cover piece titled “Who Killed the Debt Deal?” in 2012 and the 2008 cover essay titled “Is Obama the End of Black Politics?” He appears frequently on such programs as “Meet the Press” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” In 2013, he played himself in a recurring role on the second season of the Netflix drama “House of Cards.”
Bai is also a screenwriter, most recently as part of a team that developed a limited TV series based on the disappearance of the Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001. The project is produced by Sony and directed by the legendary writer/director Lawrence Kasdan.
Bai spent part of 2013 in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, where he was a public policy scholar. He has also been a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government and at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. He serves on the board of the Jonathan M. Tisch College for Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts.
Before joining the Times Magazine in 2002, Bai spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek. He began his journalism career as a city desk reporter for the Boston Globe. He spent three years in his early twenties as a speechwriter for UNICEF, where he worked with Audrey Hepburn during the last year of her life. His international experience includes coverage from Iraq and Liberia.
Bai is a graduate of Tufts and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, where the faculty awarded him the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.
A native of Trumbull, Connecticut, he now lives with his wife and two children in Bethesda, Maryland. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattbai.