Shaniqua McClendon, Political Director for Crooked Media


Geneva Mukundan welcome to the PODCAST. Thank you for having me. So tell me how did you come to work for crooked media because I think that I read that you were doing something completely different before you were working at the Obama Administration. And just kind of on a different path. Yeah. So it's the story. Always, it just was so simple how I got here that it doesn't even make sense but I was in graduate school I started in two thousand sixteen and my whole plan was to get out of politics completely I had been burnt out working on Capitol Hill and you know I just wanted to make some money for once you do not get paid a lot more on the hill. And I started to graduate school in fall of two, thousand, sixteen. So my first semester Donald Trump one and I just knew that. I couldn't get out of politics I felt like I had developed a skill set and I would feel I would go crazy if I was not using it to help get him out of office for years later. So now we're finally for years later. But you know as I was trying to discover what I wanted to do after school I knew I wanted to get a bit away from policy not because I don't like it I love policy but I realized working on the hill that if you don't have the right politicians in place, those policies are never going to be enacted so. You, know I thought. Okay. Where can I go? That will allow me to help elected good elected officials and so I told my friend that I either wanted to work at a media company or a company that had a lot of name recognition and could use their influence to increase civic engagement and so I told her this when she asked me what I wanted to do after school and then she sent me the Political Director job here at crooked and said Oh like this I said like literally this job So I applied to it Have you ever Newsham then after graduation I moved out here to start the job well. It's funny I was listening to you and we kind of the exact opposite kind of path because I was in an industry where it was making money I had a salary and. You know after trump won I decided to change my trajectory there a couple of other steps in between them. Fully in that direction, and now I don't have. So. It is the opposite. The opposite and I was just telling somebody the other day I was like you know we're down to the wire with the election I feel like. I haven't done enough and feeling guilty and they're like, well, you Kinda gave the job as we go. Yeah. That's right. I did do a big thing. What's it like there always wondered you know cricket media started it feels like the energy. There's kind of like the early days of a startup like twitter or something then skateboards and football tables instead anything like that. That is funny. You say that you now I only spent one day in the old office but. Office, was nothing like. Well know I don't know what those startups look like ours had the bathroom was in the kitchen how? God, and they could not use the bathroom. Guys were recording because you would hear the toilet slash in the. Studio. I heard stories about about mice, and so it was definitely like we are just getting our bearings but you know again, I only spent one day there and then we were moving over to the new office and our new offices. Beautiful. All now working from home you know we were starting to like finally fill it up. Yeah. It's just you know it's a really chill live I mean it's Chili's you can be working on politics. Coming from DC where everyday you know you had on like a suit or you address formerly, you can wear t shirts shorts to the office always you know at least three to five dogs running around the office. So you know we you know we watch things together. Some things are funny and tragic at the same time like watching trump give a speech but then you know We all watch the cavenaugh hearings together and you know not no parts of that were fun or entertaining it in any way. But I think being able to do all those things and you know they're important to our work but just being able to do all those things together has been great and specifically for me I'm used to being on the East Coast with people who? Lived in DC for seven years with people who care deeply about politics and that is not. You know what's happening in La at large, it's It's an entertainment industry town. So it's nice to have that space at work where we can all come together and Kinda obsess about these things

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