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Amy Walter

AMY WALTER YOU DIDN’T KNOW: HER MARRIAGE, CHILDREN, PODCAST

Amy Walter is an American political analyst known for having served as national editor of The Cook Political Report. She is also known for having served as the political director of ABC News working out of Washington, DC. Walter married her longtime partner, author Kathryn Hamm, in 2013.

QUICK FACTS

Full Name: Amy E. Walter

Date of birth: October 19, 1969

Education: Colby College (‎BA‎)‎

Occupation: Political analyst

Spouse: Kathryn Hamm ​(m. 2013)​

Children: 1 (adopted son Caleb, born in 2006)

Social profiles: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

EARLY YEARS

Amy Walter was born on October 19, 1969 in Arlington County, Virginia. She graduated summa cum laude from Colby College.

Amy
Amy Walter throughing a ball at a baseball game

AMY WALTER’S CAREER

Walter began working at The Cook Political Report in 1997. Between then and 2007 she served as a senior editor covering the United States House of Representatives. She has also served as the Editor-in-Chief at the National Journal’s The Hotline.

Walter’s work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. She has also been featured on numerous broadcasts, most recently Gwen Ifill’s Washington Week, Face the Nation (CBS), PBS Newshour (PBS), Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Andrea Mitchell Reports (MSNBC), the Daily Rundown (MSNBC), the Chris Matthews Show (MSNBC), and Meet the Press (MSNBC). She has also made numerous appearances on Special Report with Brett Baier (FOX) both as a contributor and on the panel.

Walter was also part of the Emmy-winning CNN election coverage team in 2006. She was the recipient of The Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award and in 2009 was deemed by Washingtonian magazine one of the 50 top journalists in DC.

On July 30, 2021, Amy was named editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, and the publication was retitled The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter.

Amy Walter's Podcast, The Takeaway, a Politics with Amy Walter show on NPR

PERSONAL LIFE

Amy Walter is married to Kathryn Hamm, an Education Expert for WeddingWire, in 2013. According to some sources, the couple first met through a mutual friend in 1993 and started having affection with each other.

They got married twice in their life. They married for the first time on a Labor Day Weekend in 1999, before same-sex marriage was legal in Virginia. Again, they got married in 2013 in Washington, DC. After two decades together, Kathryn and Amy finally got a marriage license in DC.

Their 2013 wedding was a way for them to achieve more legal benefits. “To me, marriage is a civil right,” says Kathryn Hamm, Amy Walter’s wife. “It’s a set of government-sanctioned benefits. But, being married to someone — or committed to someone — is a lifelong investment of work and love. Amy and I had our wedding in 1999 and that was when we made our promises to one another and I have honestly felt “married” to her since then. We wouldn’t have had another ceremony had it not have been something we needed to do in order to get the legal benefits, which, I might add, are still only partial benefits for us since our home state — Virginia — does not recognize our marriage.”

Kathryn Hamm (left) and Amy Walter (right) getting married at the courthouse

While their first wedding held more traditional trappings of a wedding, their second was much more relaxed. “We felt strongly that this was more of a punctuation mark and a legal necessity, not the wedding. That, we feel strongly, happened back in ‘99. We would have had one aisle in a garden ceremony but Hurricane Dennis drove us inside. We did have a friend trumpet us with humor down the aisle as we were escorted by our siblings — she played two rounds of “Here Comes the Bride” with a big pause between the two. As favors then, we did offer personalized water bottles for our Bride Ride, a bike ride, and croquet tournament. We didn’t have bouquets, cake or a traditional first dance. Basically, we only did what we thought felt right to us as a meaningful ritual for our commitment and celebration. So we avoided most wedding traditions unless we saw a meaning in it or an opportunity for humor.” For the first wedding, the brides wore dresses and slacks and sweaters for the legal marriage. “I liked to call our most recent style, ‘courthouse casual!’”

For their 2013 marriage, Kathryn asked a friend of hers from college, who also is a judge for the D.C. Superior Court, to officiate. “We did it on a Saturday morning at the courthouse and then walked a few blocks for a delicious barbecue lunch. […] I think Amy summarized it best during a toast. For our legal marriage ceremony, there were more wrinkles, more gray hair and more kids!”

Perhaps most touching is the way Kathryn and Amy incorporated their son, Caleb, then 7 years old, into their wedding. “We added in a sand ceremony to reflect our commitment as a forever family since our son was too young to remember his adoption ceremony. It was really powerful and, call it a mother’s intuition, but I get the sense that something internally shifted in him as he understood our commitment as a family and his role in it in a new way.”

Son
Kathrym Hamm (left), Amy Walter (right) and their son Caleb (middle) during a sand ceremony at the courtcouse in 2013.
Wedding day
Amy Walter (left) kissing her wife Kathryn Hamm outside of the courthouse in 2013.
Amy Walter hugging her wife Kathryn Hamm at the courthouse ceremony in 2013.

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