Katie Levinson: The Woman Behind Rudy Giuliani

Most Popular

Katie Levinson sits in Andrew's Coffee Shop, two blocks from her office on New York City's busy Fulton Street, nibbling on white melba toast and gearing up for the afternoon ahead. As communications director for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, she has to be prepared for anything.

Levinson, 32, has a professional and personal stake in getting Giuliani elected. She was on Capitol Hill the day of the terrorist attacks; after the jet flew into the Pentagon, just four miles from her office, she remembers driving home and seeing "guys with machine guns on every corner." She believes Giuliani is the right man for the job and that he'll "keep us safe."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

To that end, Levinson is working long hours on his behalf. Each day, she leaves her one-bedroom apartment at dawn, stops at Dunkin' Donuts for coffee ("half-decaf, half-caf — black"), and plows through a 2-inch stack of newspaper clippings at the office. She attends a 7:30 a.m. staff meeting, fields reporters' calls, and receives hundreds of e-mails by the hour. "Three in the afternoon is generally when something pops," she says. That often means an attack from an opponent. It's part of Levinson's job to fire back at presidential hopefuls, like Joe Biden ("I, Katie Levinson, have a better chance of becoming president than he does") and John Edwards ("You almost have to feel sorry for the guy") when they criticize her candidate.

Most Popular

She's used to the fray. She was raised with two older brothers in Connecticut; their father, who worked on Wall Street, "would scream at the TV and fax the White House" if he was unhappy about politics. Later, she earned a master's degree from the London School of Economics, and eventually went on to serve as communications director for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign.

For Levinson, the idea that female voters have special concerns, different from men's, is "curious," she says. "One of the things that's appealing about Mr. Giuliani is that he has the exact same conversation if he's sitting in front of a group of women as he would have in front of a group of men." He is "a genuine guy," she continues, noting that he doesn't act one way in public and another in private.

Giuliani speaks plainly, "from the gut," she says, adding that she has a very clear idea of what he believes in. "There's not a lot of gray." Some people say that style might backfire when it comes to foreign policy. But it works for the campaign. "Black and white is a lot easier to communicate," Levinson says. In other words, Giuliani is a communications director's dream — at least according to the woman who has the job.

More from Marie Claire:
Politics
Share
First Woman Enters Training to Become a Navy SEAL
Politics
Share
Sean Spicer's Legacy, as Told by Melissa McCarthy's Best Impressions
Sean Spicer
Politics
Share
The Best Twitter Reactions to Sean Spicer's Resignation from the White House
Politics
Share
Did the Japanese Prime Minister's Wife Pretend Not to Speak English to Avoid Talking to Trump?
GOP senators vote against Obamacare repeal
Politics
Share
Three GOP Women Just Tanked the Latest Effort to Repeal Obamacare
Politics
Share
Get Ready to Feel Every Single Feeling: Justin Trudeau Met a Child of Syrian Refugees Who Was Named After Him
Politics
Share
Ivanka Trump's Clothing Company Has Been Accused of Hiring Low Wage Workers Abroad
Politics
Share
Betsy DeVos's Approach to Sexual Assault on Campus Is Terrifying
Politics
Share
Defunding Planned Parenthood Will Be Disastrous for the HIV Epidemic—Why Aren't We Talking About That?
Politics
Share
Trump's Goodbye Handshake with President Macron Was Basically a Deranged Tug-Of-War