Carl Cannon

  • Spring 2007

Carl Cannon is White House correspondent for National Journal, Washington's authoritative, non-partisan weekly journal on politics and government. Before joining the magazine in 1998, Cannon worked for six newspapers over a 20-year span. Prior to coming to Washington during President Reagan's first term, he covered police, courts, politics, education, and race relations at newspapers in Virginia, Georgia, and California.

Cannon's reporting on a 1937 Los Angeles murder case helped secure a pardon based on innocence for the man wrongfully convicted, then-80-year-old Pete Pianezzi. While on vacation in San Francisco in 1989 for the World Series, Carl found himself covering the Loma Prieta and was a member of the San Jose Mercury News staff awarded the Pulitzer Prize for that coverage.

Cannon has covered every presidential campaign and major political convention since 1984, and was hired in 1993 by the Baltimore Sun to cover the White House. He remained on the beat after moving to National Journal in 1998. The following year, he was honored for his White House coverage by winning the prestigious Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting of the Presidency. In 2006 Cannon received the Aldo Beckman award for "excellence in presidential news coverage." Cannon is a past president of the White House Correspondents' Association, and serves as in-house writing coach at National Journal.

He has participated in presidency conferences at Princeton and the University of London, and has lectured on journalism and politics at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, George Washington University, Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Aspen Institute, and to numerous student and civic groups. He is a three-time fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a contributing editor on the Bush presidency for, the teaching website operated by the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Cannon has been a contributor to National Public Radio and wrote a presidency column for George magazine. He is a co-author of Boy Genius, a 2005 biography of White House aide Karl Rove. He also wrote The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War, a 2003 book exploring how presidents and other American leaders have employed the language of the Declaration of Independence in times of national crisis. Along with his father, Reagan biographer Lou Cannon, he is currently working on a book about the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Cannon has also written for numerous magazines in addition to National Journal, including Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, California Journal, Forbes, Reader's Digest, Brill's Content, Mother Jones, National Review and Washingtonian.