Stephanie Cutter lives up to her reputation, in some ways. Known in the political world as abrasive, tough, decisive, and sometimes even hostile, she is a force to be reckoned with. Even in a relaxed atmosphere, the beautiful Villa Sassetti, her eyes are still perceptive, and even when she is in casual conversation, everyone can sense the fierceness she possesses.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with Ms. Cutter after a day of panels discussing the political future and past of the United States. We discussed everything from the future of the democratic party, to being a woman in her position, to what it takes to get where you want to be in Washington D.C.
Ms. Cutter believes that the best way to be successful in Washington is to do every job you are assigned to the best of your ability. “If you are working on a campaign, and you are tasked with changing the printer ink, and you don’t do that, then when it comes time to print pamphlets that are going to be used to enlist voters, and the pamphlets cannot be printed on time, that’s a big deal. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your job.”
On the future of the Democratic party, and the lack of hope democrats may be feeling now, after a crushing mid-term election and the feeling of a fractured party, she said the democrats are going to have to work hard over the next two years to improve their image. The democratic voters are also going to have to do their part, and turn out to vote, so that there is a chance for democrats to make the changes that will give the party back the hope it had in 2012.
As for being a woman in her position, she attributes her success to seizing opportunities presented to her. “I could never have planned this, being where I am today, but I worked hard, and when an opportunity presented itself, I took it.”
As fierce as Stephanie Cutter is, she was still gracious and informative on the panels for La Pietra Dialogues, and one must admire her work, and her tenacity.