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Kathleen Parker is a center-right[1][2] columnist for The Washington Post. Her columns are syndicated nationally and appear in more than 400 media outlets, both online and in print.[3] Parker is a consulting faculty member at the Buckley School of Public Speaking, a popular guest on cable and network news shows and a regular panelist on NBC's "Meet the Press" and MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews.

Kathleen Parker
ResidenceCamden, South Carolina, U.S.
EducationWinter Haven High School
Alma materFlorida State University (M.A.)
Notable credit(s)
Orlando Sentinel
Washington Post
Spouse(s)Woody Cleveland

Parker describes herself politically as "mostly right of center"[4] and was the highest-scoring conservative pundit in a 2012 retrospective study of pundit prediction accuracy in 2008.[5] Parker urged the 2016 Electoral College electors to be "unfaithful" to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President of the United States.[6]



Parker's journalism career started in 1977 when she was hired to cover Hanahan, Goose Creek and Moncks Corner by the now-defunct Charleston Evening Post.[7]

A columnist since 1987, she has worked for five newspapers, from Florida to California. She has written for several magazines, including The Weekly Standard, Time, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and Fortune Small Business.

She serves on the Board of Contributors for USA Today's Forum Page, part of the newspaper's Opinion section. She is also a contributor to the online magazine The Daily Beast. Parker is the author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care.

Starting in the fall of 2010, Parker co-hosted the cable news program Parker Spitzer on CNN with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.[8]

Parker was the 1993 winner of the H.L. Mencken Writing Award presented by the Baltimore Sun.[9] The Week magazine named her one of the nation's top five columnists in 2004 and 2005.[citation needed] She won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for a selection of political opinion columns.[10]

Parker defended the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had exposed American war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. She wrote that "Assange’s behavior makes one wonder about his mental health" and "If Assange is, indeed, of right mind, then we can only conclude that he’s a solid jerk. Certainly, his non-fans — including many in the U.S. media — long have viewed him as a sociopathic interloper operating under the protection of free speech."[11]


Parker made news during the 2008 U.S. presidential election when she called on the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin, to step down from the party ticket (the day before the Vice-Presidential debate), saying that a series of media interviews showed that Palin was "clearly out of her league".[12][13][14] Parker received over 11,000 responses, mostly from conservatives criticizing her.[15]

During the 2018 Brett Kavanaugh nomination to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Parker wrote a column advancing the theory that the alleged victim, Christine Blasey Ford, was mistaken in her identification of Brett Kavanaugh, and that there must be a Kavanaugh doppelgänger.[16] The doppelgänger theory[17] was denounced as ludicrous and madness by multiple other Washington Post columnists, such as Max Boot,[18] Eric Wemple,[19][20] Jennifer Rubin, E. J. Dionne, and Avi Selk.

Problematically for Parker, the theory, as referenced by Wemple, originated with a Republican political operative, Ed Whelan, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center think tank,[21] which, because Whelan baselessly identified a specific person, by then a Georgia teacher, as the teenage doppelgänger, was possibly defamation per se; there was at the time a strong suggestion that Whelan may have been coordinated with various figures connected with Kavanaugh, the Trump White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee.[22] Whelan tweeted out his story the morning after Parker's doppelgänger column.[23] As a result of the timing, there was and remains widespread speculation that Parker coördinated her story with Whelan's tweet.[24][25] Whelan later apologized for his "appalling and inexcusable" Twitter thread.[21] He then took a leave of absence "after peddling a conspiracy theory".[17]

Personal lifeEdit

Parker grew up in Winter Haven in Polk County, Florida.[26] Daughter of lawyer J. Hal Connor and mother, Martha, originally from Barnwell County, South Carolina,[7] who died when Parker was just 3.[26] Parker often spent summers with her mother's family in Columbia, South Carolina.[7] She is married to an attorney, Woody Cleveland, has one son and two stepsons, and resides in Camden, South Carolina.[7][27]


  1. ^ "Kathleen Parker: I'm 'Slightly to the Right of Center;' Fan of Obama". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. ^ Cillizza, Chris (May 18, 2016). "Yes, Hillary Clinton is beatable in the general election. Just watch this video". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ "Kathleen Parker". Newsmax. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  4. ^ "'Parker Spitzer' Preview; Tony Curtis Remembered". Larry King Live. 2010-09-30. CNN.
  5. ^ Media Relations. "Pundit - Executive Summary - Hamilton College". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  6. ^ Parker, Kathleen (6 December 2016). "The electoral college should be unfaithful". Retrieved 17 April 2018 – via
  7. ^ a b c d Monk, John (April 13, 2010). "A Pulitzer Prize with S.C. ties". The State Media Company. The State.
  8. ^ "Spitzer, Parker to host primetime CNN show". CNN.
  9. ^ "13th Mencken award goes to S.C. columnist". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Washington Post Leads in Pulitzers". The Wall Street Journal. 2010-04-13.
  11. ^ "Julian Assange isn't a journalist or a Daniel Ellsberg. He's just a 'cypherpunk.'". The Washington Post. April 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Mooney, Alexander (2008-09-26). "Palin should step down, conservative commentator says". Retrieved 2008-09-26. Prominent conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, an early supporter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, said Friday recent interviews have shown the Alaska governor is "out of her league" and should leave the GOP presidential ticket for the good of the party.
  13. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (2008-09-26). "Conservative Columnist Turns on Palin". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-26. Parker, after a scalding critique of Palin's readiness for high office, begs the Alaska governor to step down from the Republican ticket.
  14. ^ Parker, Kathleen (2008-09-26). "Palin Problem: She's Out of Her League". National Review. Retrieved 2008-09-26. Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
  15. ^ Reliable Sources, CNN, October 5, 2008. Transcript on Lexis/Nexis. Retrieved August 2009.
  16. ^ Is there a Kavanaugh doppelganger? Retrieved September 23, 2018
  17. ^ a b Forgey, Quint (September 23, 2018). "Ed Whelan taking 'leave of absence' after posting Kavanaugh theory". Politico. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  18. ^ The Kavanaugh doppelganger theory shows how far the right has descended into madness. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  19. ^ ,'Really': 'Fox & Friends' goes credulous on Kavanaugh conspiracy theory. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  20. ^ ,The Kavanaugh controversy meets fake news. Real fake news.. Retrieved September 26, 2018
  21. ^ a b Lockie, Alex (September 21, 2018). "Legal scholar apologizes for 'appalling' suggestion that Kavanaugh's classmate assaulted his accuser". Business Insider. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  22. ^ Kavanaugh Backer Presents Bonkers Theory: Christine Ford Was Assaulted by Judge's Doppelgänger. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  23. ^ Kavanaugh Defender Ed Whelan Just Distinguished Himself as the Stupidest Man on Twitter. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  24. ^ Did Ed Whelan Coordinate with Top Republicans When He Concocted His Kavanaugh Defense? Retrieved 23 September 2018
  25. ^ The Question That Remains About the Mistaken Identity Defense. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  26. ^ a b McMullen, Cary (April 14, 2010). "Winter Haven Native Kathleen Parker Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Commentary". The Lakeland Evening Ledger. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  27. ^ Ellen Belcher (May 15, 2005). "Beyond the Byline: Kathleen Parker". Dayton Daily News (Ohio).

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