Kristen Hawn

Communications Director for the Blue Dog Coalition (since November 2006)

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Why She Matters

Hawn is the communications director for the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats in the House whose priority is fiscal responsibility.

The Blue Dogs generally support offsetting any new spending with budget cuts and a lean, no-pork budget.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Fleishman Hillard International Communications (2002 to 2006)
  • Birthday: January 1, 1980
  • Hometown: Austin, Texas
  • Alma Mater: University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 2002
  • Spouse: Single
  • DC Office: 404 Cannon House Office Building, 202-226-9782
  • Web site

Path to Power

Hawn is a Texas Democrat, which might be where she gets her moderate perspective. She says her father, who was a lifelong Lone Star State Democrat, taught her to listen to all sides of an argument before making up her mind. "He has taught me the importance of independent thinking and keeping an open mind. The political philosophy he imparted to me is probably the single biggest reason why I believe so whole-heartedly in the Blue Dogs and their commitment to open dialogue, bipartisanship, and promoting common-sense, middle of the road policies."

Hawn went to the University of Texas, and joined the Washington, D.C., office of Fleishman-Hillard International Communications after college.

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The Issues

Hawn is a moderate Democrat. She says she admires former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), an independent-minded Republican, and she points to a quote about responsibility from Bill Clinton's first inaugural address as one that best captures her political philosophy: "We must do what America does best: offer more opportunity to all and demand responsibility from all. It is time to break the bad habit of expecting something for nothing, from our government or from each other. Let us all take more responsibility, not only for ourselves and our families but for our communities and our country."

Hawn said she took a job in government in order to play a small part in shaping of the nation's fiscal policy. During Hawn's first two years with the coalition, the Blue Dogs were stuck between President George W. Bush, who saw the national debt double during his time in office, and a Democratic Party led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was expected to be a big government Democrat.

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The Network

Hawn works for all members of the Blue Dog Coalition, but she works directly with Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), who is co-chair for communications for the Blue Dog Coalition.

The other leaders of the Blue Dogs are Reps. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).


Additional Resources

  1. Biographical and career data taken from a WhoRunsgov.com questionnaire filled out by Kristen Hawn on November 3, 2008
  2. Palmer, Anna, "On Bailout, Blue Dogs' bark is worse than their bite," Roll Call, Oct. 3, 2008