Peter’s journey has taken him from Beirut to the Beltway — from a war zone to the war rooms of two U.S. presidential campaigns. He has advised major political figures, including Hillary Clinton, Arlen Specter and John Kerry, and was described by the New York Times as “one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation.” A consultant to the Clinton Global Initiative from its inception until 2014, he has organized media roundtables for President Bill Clinton and has crafted digital strategies for the UN Foundation, Department of Energy, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Intel, AARP, and Action Against Hunger, among others. Peter grew up in Lebanon and lived through a decade of sectarian strife, undergoing three years of compulsory military service. He moved to New York City to attend NYU and has gone on to attain national recognition in three fields: as a blogger and activist, a political strategist, and, during the 90s, as a writer/producer.
Peter lived in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war and survived years of urban warfare, from artillery and gun battles to kidnappings and car bombs. He was steps away from the American embassy when it was demolished by a suicide bomber. At 15, he was conscripted into the Lebanese Forces (a Christian militia) and received combat training for three years. He moved to New York in the 80s to pursue his BA in Philosophy at NYU.
During the 90s, Peter was a sought-after keyboardist, engineer and producer, appearing on recordings by Bjork, Miles Davis, Diana Ross and Mariah Carey, among many others. An accomplished jazz pianist, he was signed to Columbia/Sony and Universal, producing three #1 Billboard Club singles. He toured and performed with prominent DJs, including Moby, and was featured in Vibe, URB, Spin, Billboard and TIME.
Peter rose to prominence as a political blogger in the aftermath of the 2000 election. His widely-read essay, The Triangle, was described by techPresident as “a seminal essay on the interaction between the blogosphere, the political establishment, and the press.” He has been cited by news outlets from the AP to the Wall Street Journal and has spoken at venues including Harvard Business School and the National Press Club.
Peter was among the first Internet staffers to work in a presidential campaign war room, directing online outreach and rapid response for John Kerry’s 2004 campaign. For his work in the political blogosphere, the Washington Post said Peter had helped pioneer “a whole new way of campaigning.” In 2007, he was named Internet Director for Hillary Clinton for President and remained an adviser until 2009.
Peter has served as a digital strategist to leading organizations and campaigns.
Peter has appeared in major publications as a digital media analyst and political strategist.
“One of the great misfortunes and injustices of this election is a complete marginalization of Hillary Clinton supporters,” Daou told BBC Trending. “You see all these profiles of Trump supporters and their anger and rage, yet somehow she’s winning. [LINK]
New York Times
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, viewed Shareblue more as a necessary voice in a world teeming with conservative radio, television and internet outlets that fire up the Republican base. Of Mr. Daou, he added, “He has a great sense of what’s moving around and where in the depths of the Twittersphere.” [LINK]
Daou says #HillaryMen is about having a comfortable forum for men to openly express their support of a female candidate. Daou was an early political blogger and a veteran of both John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and Clinton’s 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination, where he served as senior digital adviser. [LINK]
“After being diagnosed with pneumonia, Hillary Clinton ran a two-hour national security meeting, gave a press conference, and spent an hour and a half in the heat at a September 11 event,” said Peter Daou, who worked for Clinton in the past and now has a communications firm. [LINK]
Wall Street Journal
What helps drive traffic to the Huffington Post is its unusual mix of straight news stories and blog postings, such as Peter Daou’s musings on the role that the Internet played in the national elections. [LINK]
Campaign Internet strategists say the political engagement in cyberspace is reshaping the landscape. “It’s good for our democracy,” Peter Daou told ABC News. “You use the tools as a means to engage with people and to connect with them, and have them connect with one another.” [LINK]
C-SPAN: Google Election Panel
Panelists Peter Daou, Joe Rospars, Mindy Finn, and Mark Soohoo talked about new technology and communications tools being used in political campaigns. “Running the First 21st Century Campaign” held in the D.C. offices of Google. Ron Brownstein moderated. [VIDEO]
C-SPAN: New Yorker Political Panel
Ken Auletta moderated, “The Impact of the Internet on the Presidential Race.” Panelists Arianna Huffington, Peter Daou, and Mark McKinnon talked about the ways in which elections have been changed by the Internet that will probably increase in future elections. [VIDEO]
C-SPAN: Personal Democracy Forum
Panel discussion on the internet strategies used by the 2008 presidential candidates. Topics included candidates’ internet skill levels, social software applications, and how social software can be applied to governing. Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry moderated. [VIDEO]
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton pulled off a major coup in her evolving relationship with the liberal blogosphere. She hired Peter Daou, author of the Daou Report (a blog on Salon.com) and the director of blog operations for the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry. [LINK]
“The right’s messaging apparatus — talk radio, Fox, Drudge — is remarkably sturdy in the digital age and Democratic leaders and strategists are still at a loss about how to deal with it,” lamented Peter Daou, an online strategist and former Hillary Clinton adviser. [LINK]
New York Magazine
The Colbert speech, which was broadcast on C-span, was all over YouTube within an hour, and the clips were viewed 2.7 million times over the next two days. Peter Daou on Salon called it “a biting rebuke of George W. Bush and the lily-livered press corps.” [LINK]
I’ve spent 15 years as a progressive activist working within the Democratic Party. In the aftermath of November 8th, I’ve shared some of my thoughts on the way forward in two tweetstorms, compiled below. First, I want to dispense with all the hand-wringing and overwrought analysis of Hillary’s Electoral College loss. The reality is painfully simple: Her […]
Tobacco companies sell death and disease to the public. Smokers pay tobacco companies to murder them. Cigarettes are sticks of poison that wreak havoc on humans and the earth. If current trends continue, tobacco will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century. Trillions of filters, filled with toxic chemicals, are discarded every […]
The New York Times writes: Solitary confinement can be psychologically damaging for any inmate, but it is especially perverse when it is used to discipline children and teenagers. At juvenile detention centers and adult prisons and jails across the country, minors are locked in isolated cells for 22 hours or more a day. A recent […]
Over the course of the past year, I have been subjected to some of the most aggressive trolling and personal attacks of my 15 year political career. Virtually all of it stems from my advocacy for Hillary Clinton. In recent months, those vicious attacks on my character have taken a very dark turn. And I intend to […]
I spent the summer of 2015 chronicling the avalanche of attacks against Hillary Clinton at #HillaryMen. My co-founder Tom Watson and I dedicated ourselves to the task of wading through the myriad insults, smears, character attacks, negative frames, sexism and misogyny that have marked the 2016 presidential race. In November, we put HillaryMen on hiatus as […]
I love America. I love America because it afforded me the opportunity to start a new life when my old life fell apart in a torrent of bombs and bullets. I’m the son of a Lebanese father and an American mother. I’ve had the great privilege of being born a U.S. citizen while also having roots […]
A personal epiphany about race and gender, to my fellow white males: No matter how sincerely we think we get it, we don’t really get it. I’ll explain. It started in 2012 when I met Leela at the iconic Greenwich Village jazz club Smalls. Leela (pictured right) is of Indian heritage but is ethnically ambiguous and is regularly […]
UPDATE (1/6/17): I wrote this in the aftermath of the Charleston massacre and updated it after subsequent mass shootings. Now we hear of a slaughter at Fort Lauderdale airport. The points I make below apply in each case. This is the age of fame for fame’s sake, the strange loop of becoming famous for becoming famous, […]
Our individual perspective on race and justice is a product of our background, our upbringing, our experiences, our identity, our own moral code. I see America through the eyes of a Lebanese-American, married to a woman of color, raised in a war zone. I have spent the past two decades as a progressive activist and […]
In the early months of 2004, I sent an alert to the senior staff of John Kerry’s presidential campaign. I was alarmed about a growing online movement questioning his Vietnam service. Sites like Winter Soldier, Free Republic, and others were buzzing with anti-Kerry activity and I sensed a storm heading Kerry’s way. My role as […]