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 John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, and was described by the New York Times as “one of the most prominent political bloggers in the nation.” He is the author of Digital Civil War: Confronting the Far-Right Menace.
An American who grew up in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, Peter survived some of the most brutal urban warfare of the 20th century. At 15, he was conscripted by the Lebanese Forces (a Christian militia) and underwent three years of military training. He attended the American University of Beirut, and amid ongoing strife in Lebanon, moved to New York to study philosophy at NYU.
During the 90s, Peter was a sought-after producer, remixer, and keyboardist, featured on recordings by Bjork, Miles Davis, Diana Ross, and Mariah Carey, among other popular artists. He produced three #1 Billboard Club singles and was signed to Columbia/Sony and Universal Music Group. He toured the U.S. and Europe, and was featured in Vibe, URB, Spin, Billboard, and TIME.
Peter gained national prominence as a blogger and online activist in the aftermath of the 2000 election. The Washington Post said his early work in digital politics helped innovate “a whole new way of campaigning.” His 2005 essay, “The Triangle,” was described by techPresident as “a seminal essay on the interaction between the blogosphere, the political establishment, and the press.”
Peter was one of the first internet staffers to work in a presidential campaign war room, directing online rapid response for John Kerry in 2004. He was Internet Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Peter has crafted digital strategies for leading organizations and has spoken at prominent venues, including Harvard Business School and the National Press Club.
Peter has appeared regularly on cable news and in major media outlets. Browse a selection of his media appearances below.
Peter appeared on The Beat With Ari Melber and spoke to guest host Stephanie Ruhle about the 2020 presidential race. He discussed the false equivalence between right-wing and progressive positions and expanded on the themes in his book, Digital Civil War.
“Daou, the Democratic strategist, said a political double standard was at play: ‘Why is it that a white, male Republican can largely get away with the same thing and this massive outcry happened over a Muslim, progressive woman of color? That’s something we have to grapple with,’ Daou said.”
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Peter has appeared on more than 500 recordings, from experimental jazz to deep house. He worked on several early house and electronic music classics. Listen to highlights below.