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.” The Washington Post said that his early work in digital politics helped innovate “a whole new way of campaigning.”
Peter spent his youth in Lebanon during that country’s civil war, surviving years of violence and undergoing compulsory military training in his teens. He moved to New York to study philosophy at NYU and has gone on to attain national recognition in three fields: as a writer and activist; as a political strategist; and during the 1990s, as a producer/engineer.
He is the author of Digital Civil War: Confronting the Far-Right Menace.
Peter grew up in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, a brutal sectarian conflict that took an estimated 150,000 lives. He lived at the epicenter of some of the most intense urban warfare of the 20th century. At 15, he began three years of mandatory military training by the Lebanese Forces (a Christian militia). He attended the American University of Beirut, and amid ongoing strife, transferred to NYU to complete his education.
During the 90s, Peter was a sought-after producer, keyboardist, and engineer, featured on recordings by Bjork, Miles Davis, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, and Mariah Carey, among many others. An accomplished jazz pianist, he produced three #1 Billboard Club singles and was signed to Columbia (Sony) and MCA (Universal). He toured and performed with popular artists and was featured in Vibe, URB, Spin, Billboard, and TIME.
Peter gained prominence as a blogger and political activist in the aftermath of the 2000 election. His 2005 article, 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. In 2006, he became Hillary Clinton’s senior digital strategist and was later named Internet Director for her 2008 presidential run. Peter remains active in Democratic politics and works with his wife Leela Daou to raise awareness on important issues.
Peter has crafted digital strategies for the UN Foundation, AARP, Action Against Hunger, Planned Parenthood, Intel, Department of Energy, Urban Initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clinton Global Initiative, and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, among others.
Browse a selection of articles and clips referencing Peter’s political activism over the past two decades.
Peter appeared on The Beat With Ari Melber to discuss a new email scandal plaguing the Trump White House. He spoke about the mainstream media’s double standard with respect to Hillary Clinton. He also discussed Verrit, the media platform he launched in June 2017.
“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.
“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’s discography includes more than 500 recordings, from experimental jazz to deep house. Listen to highlights of his work.