Jonathan Miller, The Recovering Politician, has been elected twice as Kentucky’s State Treasurer; authored three books on faith, public policy and crisis management; graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with high honors from Harvard’s college and law school; practices as a crisis management attorney for Frost Brown Todd, a large regional law firm; serves as a Contributor to The Daily Beast and Kentucky Sports Radio; played straight man on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; reached the final table in the World Series of Poker; and with his summer camp sweetheart, raised two remarkable college-going daughters.
In his nearly two decades of public service, the RP held numerous senior positions in state and federal government, including two terms as Kentucky’s elected State Treasurer, serving in Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s Cabinet as Secretary of Finance and Administration, as Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Energy, and as Legislative Director for Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN).
The RP has waded knee-deep in the political muck from an early age, founding Students for Al Gore for President in 1988, reviving College Democrats of America in 1989, serving as a Deputy Political Director for the Clinton/Gore 1992 presidential campaign, chairing the Kentucky Democratic Party in 2007, and running successfully twice for State Treasurer (1999, 2003), and unsuccessfully for Congress (1998) and Governor (2007).
But while the RP learned everything he needed to know about this country through his public service, he learned most of all that to be the change he wanted to be in office, he’d have to stop campaigning for one.
That’s why the RP has left the arena for the private sector. He practices law at the Lexington office of Frost Brown Todd, a full-service law firm with offices in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana, and focuses on applying the crisis management tools he learned in politics to the legal, public relations, and regulatory challenges faced by his clients.
Fed up with the political system, the RP co-founded No Labels, a national grassroots movement involving nearly 600,000 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, promoting bipartisanship and problem solving in Washington and state legislatures across the country.
The RP is a Contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and has been a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and The Times of Israel, and has appeared on dozens of national news talk shows including: MSNBC’s The Cycle, Fox News’ Fox and Friends and Happening Now, CNN’s America’s Choice and Crossfire, CNBC’s Morning Call, NBC’s Dateline NBC, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and Bloomberg’s Market Makers; serves as a semi-regular American politics commentator for Canada’s CTV News and the Wall Street Journal’s Daily Wrap; and even played straight man to correspondent/comedian Al Madrigal on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has also testified before the U.S. House on energy efficiency and the U.S. Senate on student credit card debt.
And of course, he launched The Recovering Politician on April Fools Day, 2011. (Read The RP‘s mission statement.)
To compensate for his political obsessions, the RP has also devoted himself to his faith. As a high school student, the RP served as President of the North American Federation of Temple Youth, the Reform Jewish movement’s youth organization that his father headed a generation before. For more than a decade, the RP has taught Sunday School to high school students at Temple Adath Israel on the subject of Tikkun Olam, the Jewish mandate to help make the world a better place. And his faith journey led him to pen The Compassionate Community: Ten Values to Unite America (Palgrave MacMillan: 2006), in which he shares his vision of a political system based on the universal principle, in the words of the Scripture, “to love your neighbor as yourself,” and of a society where Americans of all faiths can build a stronger democracy.
In 2012, The RP published The Liberal Case for Israel: Debunking Eight Crazy Lies About the Jewish State, in an effort to clear up toxic misinformation about Israel and share with his fellow liberals and progressives the extraordinary liberal democracy that is the Jewish State.
In 2013, The RP edited and co-authored The Recovering Politician‘s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis, in which more than a dozen “recovering politicians” share their twelve step program on how to survive crises – from highly publicized and politicized scandals, to smaller, more intimate interpersonal struggles. They outline deliberate, focused and vigorous courses of action and reaction, gleaned from their own experiences – often dramatic, sometimes painful – under the piercing lights of the political arena.
The RP’s other passions include University of Kentucky basketball, Cincinnati Reds baseball, New York Times crossword puzzles, playing guitar, watching TV shows that range from Mad Men to The Office to Breaking Bad to The Daily Show to Homeland, and reading everything he can devour on his iPad, from classic literature to trashy pop culture magazines to Twitter feeds. When given the rare chance to play poker, The RP loves no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournaments; and in 2012, his first entrance into the World Series of Poker, he made the final table, finishing 8th in a $1000 buy-in tournament with a field of 4,620, winning nearly $70,000.
The RP and his wife of 23 years, Mrs. RP (Lisa, a published author on healthy body image and personal empowerment; and now a health and wellness educator), are most proud of their teenage daughters Emily (19) and Abigail (17), who have begun to follow their own policy passions, without too much noodging from their beaming father.