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Patrick Haggerty

A Washington, DC political and journalism veteran, Haggerty informs and entertains audiences with his political punditry and insights

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  • Journalist covering Congress, the White House and Federal agencies
  • Press Secretary to two Members of Congress
  • Advanceman on U.S. Senate campaign
  • Consultant to two Presidential campaigns
  • Frequent guest on the Larry King Show
  • Washington, DC news consultant to ABC TV’s Good Morning America
  • Popular speaker combining content and humor on topics of election/political analysis; Grassroots legislative advocacy; Leadership

“Political humor funnier than Mark Russell but with a message and without a piano.”
Tom Dobbins, American Consulting Engineers Council

This is how political pundit, humorist and grassroots motivator Patrick Haggerty is described. A Washington, DC political and journalism veteran, Haggerty informs and entertains audiences with his political punditry and insights on successful legislative citizen grassroots advocacy, PACs, political candidates and election analysis. Pat has spoken to associations and corporations in 34 states and his hometown, Washington, DC. Displaying his delightfully disrespectful Irish humor, Haggerty says that his 34 years in Washington, D.C. have taught him that . . .

“The Difference between the Boy Scouts and elected officials is that the Boy Scouts have Adult Leadership.”

A journalist and raconteur, Haggerty covers Congress, the White House and the federal agencies. Haggertys career includes being the Press Secretary for three members of Congress, an Advanceman for a U.S. Senate campaign, an advisor to four presidential campaigns and the CEO of a trade association. He has seen everything that works and that doesn’t in the media, political and legislative arenas. Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, has awarded Pat a honorary membership.

Pats communication and political experience also includes being a guest several times on the Larry King Show, working as the Washington, DC political news consultant to ABC’s Good Morning America and as a legislative seminar speaker for Congressional Quarterly Magazine.

Pat has a Journalism degree from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis/St. Paul and worked at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune while earning that degree.

Pat is in the movie BORAT as the speech/humor coach who tries, unsuccessfully, to teach BORAT the “…NOT!…” joke

Election and Political Analysis / Inside Washington

Current political humor and patriotism are used in all Election Analysis/Inside Washington programs which make them engaging. Your audience will leave your meeting feeling they have the real “inside scoop” on current events in Washington, DC. This gives your people a reason to work harder on their Hill visits during your Washington, DC programs and get involved with election candidates. Lawmakers remember who got them elected and remember best who supported them early.

Republicans won big in the mid-term elections for many reasons. Senators elected by riding the coat tails of a winning Presidential candidate (Reagan in 1980, Obama in 2008, etc.) often have problems getting re-elected on their own six years later. Republicans also had a great ground game (which they copied from Obama’s 2012 re-election) and they played upon the electorate’s dislike of our countries problems. The Republicans “wave election” is a mandate as much as it is a directive to fix what the electorate feels is wrong with America; Obamacare, no realistic Ebola procedures, IRS abuses, Benghazi, the VA scandal, immigration, White House fence jumpers, etc. Voters are upset that Obama and the then Democrat controlled Congress proceeded with their agenda, health care, and not issues the public thought to be more important, jobs, the economy, ending the war in the Middle East, etc.

American voters often change the political party in the White House after eight years in office. The only time since the Korean War that voters elected the same party’s candidate to the White House was 1988 when voters elected then Vice President George H.W. Bush to the Presidency. Some Republicans are already talking about America not wanting “a third Barack Obama term.” Therefore, Republicans have a built in advantage in 2016 if they have a good candidate who runs a good campaign with a message that connects with voters.

The following Democrats are considering 2016 Presidential runs.

HILLARY CLINTON The nomination belongs to Hillary Clinton if she runs a good race. She will compete in the Caucus states this time. She skipped them in 2008 and it cost her the nomination. She has tremendous name ID and will have as much staff and money as she needs. She will have defend her actions in Benghazi, Libya while Secretary of State, the e-mail private server, foreign money that pours into the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Universal Health Care efforts early in her husband’s first term. Given the voters actions in the 2014 mid-term elections, Clinton will have to convince people she will not be four more years of Obama. She needs to draw distinctions between her and Obama. She also has to convince people she has “new” ideas, just as Jeb Bush will have to convince voters he is not his brother or father.

She has the built in advantage of allowing people to vote for the first female President, just as Catholics were excited to have the first Catholic President in 1960 and Blacks were thrilled to have the first Black President in 2008. Incidentally, Bill Clinton predicted that America will have a Gay President one day.

JOE BIDEN. The Vice President badly wants to be President, he has run two times before and is a good fund-raiser. He probably will not run against Hillary because he knows the odds are against him and he will be 73 on Election Day 2016.

MARTIN O’MALLEY The Maryland Governor has very little name recognition outside of his home state. However, he has 12 staffers on the payroll in Iowa. Winning or finishing near the top in Iowa and New Hampshire will lessen his money and name ID problem. Very few people outside of Georgia and Arkansas had heard of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton before their strong finish in Iowa and New Hampshire. His Liberal policies as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor will make him popular in the Primaries, but less acceptable to voters in the general election. His Lt. Governor, Anthony Brown, just lost the Governor’s election in deeply blue Maryland. The winning Republican, Larry Hogan, repeatedly said the “O’Malley/Brown administration raised your taxes over 40 times.” You’ll hear lots of that when Primary season comes around.

ANDREW CUOMO The Governor of New York comes from a political family (his dad was a former NY Governor) and a state that can provide him with lots of money and votes. However, a lot of things would have to fall into place for him to take the plunge. He recently toured Afghanistan and Israel. Presidential hopefuls almost always tour some foreign countries to enhance their foreign policy credentials. Remember Barack Obama’s trip to Berlin when he was chasing the 2012 nomination.

ELIZABETH WARREN The Massachusetts Senator is the darling of the far left wing of the party and the stated enemy of Wall Street and the financial services industry. He supporters repeatedly urge her to run, but she will have a tough time in the primaries and will be hard to elect in the general election. She has said several times she is not running and her supporters keep asking her to run. However, a recent trip to Israel and other countries might mean she is weighing her options. The push to have her run for the nomination might shove Hillary Clinton further to the left. That could be costly in the General election.

JIM WEBB the former Secretary of the Navy and former US Senator is the author of ten books and recently said he is thinking about running. Like everyone else, he will be in Hillary’s shadow. His is taking just the first steps in a Presidential run.

LINCOLN CHAFFE the former RI Governor who once said, “I am tired of campaigning” and he was glad to “no longer plow the snow and fill the potholes” has just announced he is thinking about running for President.


The Republicans will have to choose a candidate among the four wings of its party; Libertarian, main stream, Tea Party and evangelical

TED CRUZ is the articulate, bombastic and very conservative freshman Senator from Texas. He tells a compelling story about his father escaping from Castro with money hidden in his underwear. This will help the Republicans with Latino votes. When he spoke to a group a Clergy, he earned high marks for his emotional content delivered without notes. His efforts to close the government in order to achieve budget reform and repeal Obamacare will endear him to the most conservative voters while working against him with other voters. He has deep support in the Tea Party, which is a will show up in droves for him at the Iowa Caucus and early Primary states.

RAND PAUL is the son of two time Presidential candidate Ron Paul and is the Jr. Senator from Kentucky. He, like his father, is more of a Libertarian than a Republican. He is already traveling to Iowa, the site of the first in the nation Caucus, South Carolina and New Hampshire. He has staff in all three states. He is working hard on his brand as a independent non-conformist. Some of that staff is from his father’s unsuccessful presidential run. In his announcement, he worked to establish himself as electable and not his father.

PAUL RYAN is the Republican’s 2012 V.P. Nominee and new Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee has announced he will not run for President and concentrate on his duties as the Chair of the very influential House Ways and Means Committee .

CHRIS CHRISTIE is the Republican Governor of very blue N.J. who balanced the state’s budget with tough love and tough talk. His blunt talk enables him to connect with the average guy. However, he can go overboard sometimes as he did recently when told an audience member to “shut up and sit down” and when called some NJ Journalists “children.” He was re-elected Governor with a 21 point margin and supported by blacks, Hispanics, women and independents. Whomever is the 2016 Republican nominee for President, will need those voting blocks to win. However, he will have problems with the most conservative voters in the Primaries.

If he is the nominee, he’ll probably carry blue NJ which helps with the Electoral College math. If all the traditional Blue states vote Democrat and the Red states vote Republican, the Democrat nominee only has to get 28 more electoral votes to win. However, 84% of the Tea Party votes in the primaries, which might make it hard to Christie to win the nomination.

RICK PERRY is running hard and as the ex -Governor of Texas can now run full time. He poor performance in his 2012 run haunts him and he wants to redeem himself. You will hear him say often, “running for President six weeks after major back surgery was not a good idea.” Being from Texas, he will have lots of money. However, his comments connecting homosexuality and alcoholism have hurt his credibility. If he has another mental stumble, as he did in 2012, he is done.

MITT ROMNEY announced that he was thinking about running for President again and then decided against it. He was told by the party elders, his staff and donors that he had his chance, didn’t do well and it is time to provide the voters with a fresh face and new message.

BOBBY JINDAL is the Governor of Louisiana with a deep resume and a background in health care. The centerpiece of his campaign will be his alternative to Obamacare. He is not very charismatic and will have to score some victories early in Iowa and New Hampshire to have any chance of success. He is of Asian Indian heritage which might help him with some minorities. He is bright, articulate and has a commanding use of the facts.

SCOTT WALKER is the Governor of Wisconsin and became a national hero to those who oppose the cozy (some would say incestuous) relationships between state legislators and public employee unions. He recently improved his “brand” and name ID with a well received speech in Iowa. He survived a spirited election challenge in 2014, which keeps him viable as a Presidential candidate. He likes to tell people that he was elected three times in four years in a state that has not voted for a Republican Presidential candidate in 30 years. In his recent address to his fellow Republicans, he repeatedly used words like “fresh” and “new” in an effort to set himself apart from people named Bush and Clinton. He also is part of what some Republicans feel are the fresh faced, Midwest Governors that can carry the party to victory in 2016.

JEB BUSH the former Florida Governor will be considered one of the front runners, when he runs. Incidentally, he is real name is John Ellis Bush, Jeb is his nickname formed by his initials. He will have lots of staff, lots of campaign experience and lots of money. He speaks Spanish and is married to a Latina which will help him in that growing and important voting block. He has long been considered the best politician in the Bush family. He also will certainly carry his home state of Florida, the most vote rich swing state. When released 250,000 e-mails from his time as Governor of Florida, is writing a book and has formed an exploratory committee. His rivals will say he is an old-school pol with a worn-out name and Americans needs fresh faces and fresh names.

He will be considered the “main stream” candidate and has pick up support and funding from those who would have supported Mitt Romney.

ROB PORTMAN is the Jr. Senator from Ohio with a deep resume. He was in Congress, OMB Director and US Trade Representative and before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He recently announced his support for same-gender marriage after learning his son Will is gay. He uses his support for single gender marriage as a bridge builder when speaking with non-traditional Republican groups. He says he is not a candidate for VP, but could be on everyone’s short list for V.P. The RNC’s decision to hold its Presidential nominating convention in Cleveland is a nod to Ohio’s importance as a wing state in 2016. No Republican has EVER won the presidency without winning Ohio.

MARCO RUBIO would be an articulate candidate. Like Jeb Bush, he speaks Spanish (his parents are Cuban) and can court that voting block. Also like Bush, he is from Florida which is the most vote rich swing state. If Bush runs, Rubio has to explore his options. He is an articulate speaker in Spanish and English. His immigration reform legislation is considered amnesty by the most conservative Republicans.

John Kasich The Governor of Ohio might become a Presidential contender if he feels he has a good chance to win. Ohio is a very important state to Republicans. No Republican has EVER won a Presidential election without winning Ohio. Kasich was just re-elected as Governor and could probably deliver the state in 2016 for himself. If he is not the Republican nominee, he will be on short list as the VP Nominee.

Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas is the darling of the Christian Right and has resigned from his Fox News program in preparation for his Presidential run. He said that he could not stay on the air while he was giving serious thought to running for President again. He has substantial support among Evangelicals.

Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator will appeal to the Conservative base of the Party. He dropped out of the 2012 race for lack of money. He hates fund-raising, which is a requirement to raising the big money needed to to well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senator has the built in advantage of being from a state that hold an early Primary. However, there are no guarantees, Former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (and current Secretary of Agriculture) could not win the Iowa Caucus. Graham is an unproven nation-wide candidate but unbeatable in South Carolina.

Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon has very loyal pockets of support among Conservatives and anti-Obamacare voters. As a doctor, he can speak with authority about the repeal or reform of Obamacare. He is an articulate speaker and can run as a Washington outsiders.

George Pataki, the former New York Governor, is making all the right noises about running. Like Cuomo, he will have lots of NYC money and a large staff. He has been out of office for a while and has little out-of-state name ID. As the former Governor of NY, he has experience connected with a large and diverse electorate.


Republicans achieved their goal to take control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections with net gain of nine seats. Six seats were needed to become the majority party.

States that are historically Republican, voted for Romney in 2012 and had a Democrat incumbent or open seat combined with a general public distrust/dissatisfaction with the government were the keys to victory.

Republicans finally learned from past mistakes and did not nominate un-electable candidates such as Todd Akin (MO) Richard Murdock (IN) and Christine O’Donnell (DE.) Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour worked hard to make sure Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran defeated Chris McDaniel in the primary. McDaniel might not have been able to win even in very Red Mississippi.

The “favorable map” that Republicans had in 2014 had will be reversed in 2016. in 2016, Republicans will have to defend 24 Senate seats and Democrats only have to defend 10. It is a Presidential year which brings more people to the polls.


Because of the huge Republican gains in state legislatures in the 2010 elections, many U.S. House of Representative seats were Gerrymandered to make them safe Republican seats. Therefore, Republicans will most probably maintain their majority status in the House of Representatives until 2022, the first election after the census of 2020. If Democrats win control of state legislatures, then they will Gerrymander U.S. House seats in their favor.


President Obama won the election with a combination of things. He advertised often and early to define himself as a regular guy who is working hard to dig the economy out of very deep hole. More importantly, he advertised often and early to define Mitt Romney as a Zillionaire who is out of touch with the average American, has bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, etc. This proves once again that in politics if negative advertising is not refuted, it is accepted as fact. The Swift Boat ads run against John Kerry is another example of this. Romney and his staff declined to do any “personality” ads to define him as compassionate and caring because it would shine a light on his Morman faith, which his staff thought would have a negative public reaction.

No matter how Romney chose to respond, campaign finance laws did not allow him to spend any money until he was the official nominee of his party. This kept him off TV until 10 weeks before the election, which was to late. The Republicans are considering changing the Primary election process and moving up the date of their convention so this does not happen again. Of course, if Republicans do this, Democrats will do the same thing because they also have to nominate a candidate in 2016.

Obama ran an EXCELLENT high-tech campaign and that got him re-elected even with 8% unemployment and gas that was $2.00 a gallon more expensive than when he took office. My friend and fellow election analysis pundit Charlie Cook said in October, “If Obama wins it is because of the campaign, despite the economy. If Romney wins, it is despite the campaign and because of the economy.” Obama ran a computer/digital based campaign that was able to pull together a coalition of young, Blacks, Latinos and independent voters, groups that supported him in BIG numbers in 2008 and again in 2012. The Democrats took the well oiled machine they won with in ’08, refined it and won again. It had campaign staff in the ten battleground states 12 or 13 months before the election. A luxury of being the incumbent and having no Primaries to compete in. Romney could only put staff in those ten states 3 or 4 months in advance.

In the 2012 election, the demographics of voters changed, Democrats figured that out, Republicans did not.

Black voters voted at a higher percentage that white voters for the first time ever. The number of white voters actually decreased from 2008 to 2012. In the 1992 election, Hispanics were 2% of the vote. In the 2012 election, Hispanics were 10% of the vote.

Republicans could have hung this economy around Obama’s neck and won by ten points, if they had nominated the right candidate with the right message. They did not nominate the right candidate and Obama won.

Obama can also thank Bill Clinton who ran around the country doing his usual good job and delivering Obama’s message and connecting with voters.


When the Founding Fathers designed Congress, they made Members of the House of Representatives accountable to the people at the ballot box every two years. The concept is that, unlike the six year terms in the Senate, voters had short-term control over who represents them in the House.

Voters have used this electoral option more often in recent years than in previous election cycles. In 2006, voters threw out the Republicans and in 2010 voters threw out the Democrats. In 2012, the people decided to maintain the status quo?

It is exactly the measure of control the founders wanted. The people spoke at the ballot box and the newly elected Representatives carried followed their instructions.

Voters sent Tea Party candidates to Congress to accomplish one thing and one thing only, shrink the size and cost of government. House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama all knew, Tea Party (especially Freshmen) members of the House of Representatives were NOT going to abandon their principles and agree to ANYTHING that did not lower spending and NOT raise taxes. Many people believed that Conservatives and Liberals should both compromise and “meet in the middle.” In the view of Tea Party members of the House, years and years of “compromising” is why the U.S. Government is to large and to expensive.

Newly elected Republicans did not compromise, because if they did, they knew would have been thrown out on their ear at the ballot box in November 6, 2012. The hardest hard line Tea party members would lose for abandoning their principles on the only task they were sent to Congress to do. Tea party folks in traditionally Democrat or swing districts are at risk of losing their seats anyway. They never considered compromise because they are already at risk. Attaching budget reduction to the “must have” legislation to raise the debt ceiling forced the Congress to act NOW. No more, in the view of Conservatives, of passing off the vote to another time or place.

Many state legislatures are finding themselves in a similar quandary. The difference is that 47 states have a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, the US Government does not. California, Minnesota and Wisconsin are three examples of the pain of balancing a budget in a recession.

The main problem lies in the fact that for decades the U.S. Congress has ignored a fundamental rule of governance. If you are going to spend like a Liberal, then tax like a Liberal. The Scandinavian countries are an example, their tax rate is high so they can provide “cradle to grave” services to all. In America, we can’t want to be all things to all people but tax at a rate that represents restrained government.

Grassroots Citizen Legislative Advocacy

Empowers and informs your group on the very high value and rewards of citizen grassroots advocacy. This high content program is loaded with current political humor, patriotism and “Inside Washngton” information.

PAC Development

Most eligible members of a PAC (a) do not understand the role a PAC has in electing lawmakers who understand your agenda and/or (b) think PACs are “vote buying” with “dirty” money. PACs support candidates who share the donors philosophy of government and/or issues. This program uses logic and current examples that explain that participating in a PAC is as fundamental to democracy as letter writing and voting. Political humor and patriotism are used to engage the emotions and minds of the audience.

This program uses political humor and patriotism to demonstrate that PACs:
•are a fundamental part of democracy, like voting.
•do NOT buy votes, but support candidates who share your philosophy of government.
•evaluate all state and national candidates and know who does and doesn’t need election support.
•help elect public policy makers who will have a direct impact on your life and industry.
•tells the candidate who his/her friends are. Lawmakers never forget who got them elected.
•help people separate industry issues from social issues, eliminating the confusion that often causes single-issue voting.


One way to describe this program is when I look at the audience and say, “The most well known leader in America is President Bush. However, America’s most IMPORTANT leader is YOU!” I then go on to explain that America has the most economic and political freedom and success in the world because each day average Americans make it happen. Americans making positive efforts everywhere make this the great country it is. This leadership takes place on the job, in schools, at places of worship, in living rooms, kitchens and everywhere Americans exercise their skills, compassion and talents.

Quote from a meeting planner's supervisor
Thank you so much for being part of our program. I wanted to wait a bit before sending the “thank you” to share some of the comments our members send in with their program evaluations. As I suspected, your presentation was a hit. Very well received and they liked the patriotic & family tone to the message. You made my program be the best ever. A sincere “Thank You” from all of us here.
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