Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hey! I’m Betsy Klein. I’m a Washington-based producer and reporter for CNN, covering the White House and the First Family. Before that, I spent nearly two years on the road covering the 2016 election, including almost a year in Iowa. I get to travel across the country and the world, asking questions and telling stories.
When I’m not at work, I’m exploring DC, spending time with friends and fam, cooking, eating, running (slowly!), doing yoga, or catching up on sleep.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always follow up. I’ve been fortunate to have built and grown my career with the help of some incredible role models and mentors, and much of that is attributable to hard work and good timing, but also a lot of follow-up.
When I was in college, I got a dream summer internship with the TODAY Show. I called their intern coordinator every day for weeks to see if she had time for an informational interview, and when she finally did, I sent her a handwritten thank you note with specific takeaways from our conversation. That gesture set me apart from the other candidates, made a huge difference, and I got the internship.
Likewise, if someone in a field you’re interested in makes the time to advise or coach you, be proactive and follow up! You never know how much someone is willing to help you or how they can expand your network until you ask.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to doubt. It’s so easy to get caught up in impostor syndrome, this idea that you don’t deserve your accomplishments and success, and pretty soon someone’s going to figure that out and the jig will be up. It can make me hold myself back from taking on new opportunities, and sometimes I just need to give myself a little pep talk. The fact is that you are enough. You are exactly where you need to be, and you deserve to be there. Sometimes we need a reminder.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself. This is applicable to work, friendships and family, and it’s so important to make the time to sleep, exercise, and to reset, and sometimes, to ask for help and resources so you don’t burn out. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
This was especially true during the campaign -- we were working all the time, seven days a week. It’s important to make time to rest and think; coming back refreshed made me better at my job (and way more fun to be around).
What do you love most about yourself?
When I was in high school, an adviser told me I make people feel comfortable enough to be honest and it was truly the greatest compliment I’ve ever received.
What motivates you most?
We’re living in an extraordinary time in this country right now and my colleagues and I have a responsibility to report the truth. I’m grateful to have a front row seat to history and to be part of an organization that strives to bring our viewers and readers the facts. That charge is incredibly motivating, as well as the great team that I get to work with each day. Our coverage is the result of a huge group effort, from our talented correspondents to our hardworking news assistants.
What is your favorite meal?
Some favorite campaign meals from around the country:
-Iowa: Best steak of my life at Archie’s Waeside in Le Mars (honorable mention to the roast chicken at Django in Des Moines)
-New Hampshire: Pancakes at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester
-Texas: Torchy’s Tacos, period. Pueblo Viejo in Austin is great, too
-Wisconsin: The Bloody Mary with the fried chicken on top at Sobelmans in Milwaukee
-Michigan: Cheeseburgers at Miller’s Bar in Detroit
-Alabama: Ribs at Dreamland BBQ in Birmingham
-Indiana: Shrimp cocktail at Harry & Izzy’s
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
One thing I’m trying to do in 2018 is to take time at the end of each day for reflection, to make a conscious effort each day to look back and think about what I was grateful for today and what isn’t serving me and how the next day can be better.
What is something on your bucket list?
I’m six states away from visiting all 50 – comin’ atchya, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont!
More About Betsy
Betsy Klein is a producer and reporter with CNN, covering the White House and the First Family. She was a 2016 campaign embed, covering the Iowa caucuses, the Republican primary campaign of Ted Cruz, and Tim Kaine’s vice presidential candidacy.