Joseph Lockhart (born July 13, 1959) served as White House Press Secretary from October 5, 1998 to September 29, 2000, during the administration of President Bill Clinton. He handled the press during the Clinton impeachment trials.
Born in the Bronx, Lockhart grew up in Suffern, New York. He is the son of Raymond Lockhart, a longtime NBC producer associated with the Huntley-Brinkley Report and special-events coverage. He volunteered for the Jimmy Carter 1976 presidential campaign, worked for NBC at the 1976 Democratic National Convention, and worked in Carter’s fall campaign press office. He worked for Dick Davis, a candidate for Lt. Gov. of Virginia. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1982. That year, Gannett hired him to do publicity for the launch of USA Today, in part utilizing his NBC connections.
He was press secretary for the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter Mondale, then worked for Paul Simon in the Senate. Stints with ABC and CNN followed, then the Michael Dukakis campaign. He moved to Robinson, Lake, Lerer & Montgomery with Mike McCurry, then back to ABC when they hired his (former) wife and colleague from the Mondale campaign Laura Logan. Another gig with NBC covering the Romanian Revolution preceded his first on-air job with Sky News reporting on the Gulf War and then business. Private practice with Robinson, Lake followed, where he handled publicity for the Al Nahayan family during parts of the BCCI scandal.
Bill Clinton Presidential Campaign and the White House
Eventually, Mike McCurry recruited Lockhart back to politics and the Clinton presidential campaign. He served as the campaign spokesman and, following President Clinton’s successful reelection, as Deputy Press Secretary to McCurry. After standing in for him on occasion to brief the press, Lockhart eventually succeeded McCurry and delivered his first briefing as Press Secretary on October 5th, 1998.
After the White House
John Kerry Presidential Campaign
Lockhart was brought on to the John Kerry presidential campaign as a senior advisor in September 2004.
On September 8, 2004, CBS News aired a controversial report on the program 60 Minutes about then presidential candidate George W. Bush’s military record. The authenticity of the Killian documents used in that report are under scrutiny. In the course of the next few days, it was discovered that Joseph Lockhart, then senior advisor to presidential candidate John Kerry, had made a phone call to Texas National Guard officer, Bill Burkett on September 4, 2004. Lockhart stated later that an unnamed female CBS producer asked him to contact Burkett. Lockhart has denied that the call with Burkett had anything to do with the National Guard issue.
Lockhart currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his daughter Clare and is Founding Partner and Managing Director of the consulting firm Glover Park Group.