Zerlina Maxwell has built a career around expressing her political opinions with wit and intelligence. I started here in February 2017, after the Hillary campaign. You have all this work to do and you’re sitting here in this meeting that is pointless. I don’t like conference calls either. Luckily, we don’t have a lot of meetings here. !” I’m Zerlina from the real world, but I also have a Twitter following. The first time I met Hillary Clinton, she said, “I love your tweets.” That’s what she said! Don’t back down ever.” I feel like my Twitter feed is my power. But I don’t want to give up yet. Donald Trump is not going to run me out of here.
Zerlina Maxwell has built a career around expressing her political opinions with wit and intelligence. Her Twitter feed gained the attention of President Barack Obama first, then Hillary Clinton, who hired her to lead the progressive-media outreach during her presidential campaign. Maxwell is now the director of progressive programming for SiriusXM, where she also has her own weekly radio show, “Signal Boost.” She regularly appears as a political analyst on prime-time TV, and speaks about sexual assault and other topics at colleges in engagements across the country. Here, she shares how she gets it all done.
On her morning routine:
I work out as soon as I wake up. I do Beachbody or Insanity videos on my iPad. I try really hard not to look at my phone until I’m done working out. My commute is at least 45 minutes, so I can listen to a good chunk of an audiobook in that time. I have an Audible subscription. I am reading a lot of books on communication and management because I’m in my first real management position right now. And I’ll catch up on the news. I’m flagging things, sending them to my producers so I can make sure we’re covering all the breaking stories. I’m always reachable en route — all the producers are on a group chat — because who knows how long the ride’s going to take. The subways are a hot mess.
On her day-to-day:
I’m the director of progressive programming at SiriusXM. I started here in February 2017, after the Hillary campaign. The majority of my day is managing my in-box, managing my team, talking to my producers. I hate meetings. I hate them. I hate meetings, because I like to do stuff. You have all this work to do and you’re sitting here in this meeting that is pointless. I don’t like conference calls either. I come from campaigns, where you’d have like 55 field offices calling in. Luckily, we don’t have a lot of meetings here.
On switching from media to politics back to media:
I think I’ve found a place in media where I…