CNN commentator Alice Stewart’s shocking death sparks tributes from both sides of the aisle

An avalanche of sorrow swept down both sides of the political aisle this weekend as friends, colleagues and politicians reacted to the shocking death of CNN commentator Alice Stewart, who passed away suddenly Saturday at the age of 58.

“I am stunned and saddened by the news of Alice Stewart’s passing,” former New Jersey governor and GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie wrote on X.

“She was a political pro and a wonderfully nice person to just have a conversation with on any topic,” Christie added.

“I will miss Alice and will pray for her family.”

Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist and fellow CNN commentator, spent years debating Stewart on the network. But that didn’t stop the two from developing a deep, almost-familial bond.

“Alice was like a sister to me,” Cardona said on CNN, her voice breaking as she spoke. “Every time that she and I were on, we never pulled any punches in terms of the debate that we were having on politics … but what always stood out was that we did it with civility and respect and love.”

“Alice loved. She loved. She loved her family, she loved her dog … she loved what she did for CNN,” Cardona said. “She loved communicating her passion about politics, about the importance of what she held dear, in terms of doing these really difficult conversations — especially in today’s environment.”

A Georgia native, Stewart had been a fixture on CNN since she joined the organization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Before that, she worked as a local reporter and producer, then as the communications director for Mike Huckabee when he served as governor of Arkansas — and moved into the same role when he ran for president in 2008, according to CNN.

Four years later, she worked as the communications director for both former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum when they ran for the nation’s highest office in 2012.

“Alice was like a sister to me,” Cardona said on CNN, her voice breaking as she spoke. “Every time that she and I were on, we never pulled any punches in terms of the debate that we were having on politics … but what always stood out was that we did it with civility and respect and love.”

“Alice loved. She loved. She loved her family, she loved her dog … she loved what she did for CNN,” Cardona said. “She loved communicating her passion about politics, about the importance of what she held dear, in terms of doing these really difficult conversations — especially in today’s environment.”

A Georgia native, Stewart had been a fixture on CNN since she joined the organization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Before that, she worked as a local reporter and producer, then as the communications director for Mike Huckabee when he served as governor of Arkansas — and moved into the same role when he ran for president in 2008, according to CNN.

Four years later, she worked as the communications director for both former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum when they ran for the nation’s highest office in 2012.

An avid runner, Stewart often posted pics of her races on social media, CNN said. That included shots of the TCS New York City Marathon, which she ran in November, and the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-mile race, she ran in April.

She also worked on the senior advisory committee for the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, CNN said.

Jim Acosta, another network colleague, said his “heart is broken” over Stewart’s passing.

“We’ve been friends going back to the 2012 campaign,” Acosta wrote on X.

“We spent so many weekends talking politics with the wonderful @MariaTCardona — they always spoke so passionately but with kindness and civility. Alice was my friend and I loved her.”

Kristen Soltis Anderson, a pollster with the GOP-aligned polling firm Echelon Insights, echoed the comments in her own social media post.

“She was beloved by so many of us in this field, was uniquely kind and gracious — always,” Anderson wrote. “Don’t want to tell someone how much you appreciate them.”

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