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President James Wright's Symposium: "Reflections on the 2008 Campaign: Challenges for the New President"

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 10/29/08 • Media Contact: Sarah Gomez • (603) 646-3661 

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campaign buttonsPresident James Wright will convene a symposium on the 2008 election on Monday, November 10, 2008 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cook Auditorium (located in the  Murdough Center at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth).

The discussion, "Reflections on the 2008 Campaign: Challenges for the New President," will feature perspectives from Wright as well as prominent Dartmouth alumni/ae with professional expertise in American politics. Professor of Government Linda Fowler will present opening remarks.  The event is co-sponsored by the Office of the President and The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences.

Wright, a historian of American political history who has been a member of the Dartmouth faculty since 1969, will moderate. The panel includes two other historians, Annette Gordon-Reed '81, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Jim Kloppenberg '73, the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard. Other panelists include the Reverend Leah Daughtry '84, Chief of Staff of the Democratic National Committee; Rob Portman '78, a former congressman (R-OH) who held two cabinet positions in the current Bush administration and who, according to media speculation, was considered for the GOP ticket as McCain's running mate; journalist and trustee emeritus David Shribman '76 and New York Times media reporter Jacques Steinberg '88.

"I have always had a personal and professional interest in U.S. politics and political history," Wright said in announcing the symposium. "I first taught a course in U.S. political history at Dartmouth a year after President Nixon's inauguration-his first inauguration! Over the years I have enjoyed sharing books and observations on the state of politics with former students.  I am so looking forward to this opportunity to sit down with a group whose individual accomplishments I admire so much." He added, "I knew them as students and it will be a treat to reflect with them on this political campaign-and to speculate on its historical context. This old history teacher is delighted to join in this session."

Participant bios:

The Reverend Leah Daughtry, '84, chief of staff of the Democratic National Committee. Most recently, Daughtry served as CEO of the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver. Prior to her appointment by Howard Dean, she worked as chief of staff at the DNC, responsible for managing day-to-day strategy and operations of the national party. Daughtry also led the DNC's Faith in Action Initiative and Advisory Council, conducting faith outreach to diverse communities. Daughtry held various senior posts at the United States Department of Labor during the Clinton Administration, including senior advisor to the Secretary, chief of staff, and acting assistant secretary for administration and management. She oversaw development of the department's management programs and policies, and responsibility for the department's $35 billion budget. Daughtry also served on the Clinton-Gore 1992 Transition Team, as managing director of the 1992 Democratic National Convention, and as legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Edolphus "Ed" Towns.  She is pastor of The House of the Lord Church in Washington, D.C. Daughtry currently serves on the Board of Visitors for The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences.

Linda L. Fowler, professor of government, Frank J. Reagan '09 chair in policy studies. Fowler studies American political institutions and elections.  She has done extensive research on presidential primaries and congressional campaigns and is often sought by news outlets for her insight during national elections. Her expertise has contributed to stories by the BBC, CBS, NBC, National Public Radio and CNN's "Inside Politics." She is frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. Fowler recently completed a Guggenheim Fellowship to study congressional oversight of foreign and defense policy.  Having published some aspects of the research in scholarly journals, she is working on a book: Congress at the Water's Edge:  Senate Oversight of National Security Policy, 1947-2006.  Fowler is a former director of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College.  She received her B.A. in Political Science from Smith College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Rochester.  

Annette Gordon-Reed, '81, professor of law at New York Law School and professor of history at Rutgers University. Gordon-Reed teaches courses on property, legal history, American slavery and the law, and politics in the early American Republic. Her publications include: Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy and Vernon Can Read!: A Memoir, with Vernon Jordan, Jr. She edited Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History, a book of 12 original essays that illustrate how race often determines the outcome of trials and how trials that confront issues of race provide a unique lens on American cultural history. Her most recent book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, September 2008), is nominated for the National Book Award. Gordon-Reed spent her early career as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, and as counsel to the New York City Board of Correction. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Jim Kloppenberg, '73, Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard, 2008-2009 Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge in England. Kloppenberg's central interest is in American democratic theory and practice. His publications include The Virtues of Liberalism; A Companion to American Thought, edited with Richard Wrightman Fox; and Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American Thought 1870-1920, which was awarded the Merle Curti Prize in intellectual history by the Organization of American Historians. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Rob Portman, '78, former Ohio congressman, former U.S. Cabinet member and according to media accounts was considered for the GOP ticket as McCain's running mate. Portman served on the White House staff of the first Bush Administration, as the U.S. Congressman from Southwest Ohio for 12 years and in two Cabinet-level positions in the current Bush Administration. Prior to Portman's appointment as director of the Office of Management and Budget, he served in the president's Cabinet as the United States Trade Representative. Previously, he served as a representative of the Second District of Ohio in the United States Congress. During his time in Congress, Portman served as the chairman of the House Republican Leadership and was the liaison between the House Leadership and the White House. He was as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and was vice chairman of the House Budget Committee. Portman also served in the first Bush White House from 1989-1991 as associate counsel to the president and later as director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Today, Portman works at the Ohio law firm of Squire, Sanders and Dempsey. Earlier this year he was awarded the Nelson A. Rockefeller Distinguished Public Service Award from Dartmouth's Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences and has also served on the board of the Center. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan.

David Shribman, '76, executive editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After ten years as the Washington bureau chief of The Boston Globe, Shribman became executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2003. Shribman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1995 for his coverage of Washington and the American political scene. His column, "National Perspective," is syndicated to more than 50 papers nationally through Universal Press Service of Kansas City, and he is a contributing editor of Fortune magazine. Before joining The Globe he served as national political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, he covered Congress and national politics for The New York Times and was a member of the national staff at The Washington Star. He began his career at The Buffalo Evening News, where he worked on the city staff before being assigned to the paper's Washington bureau. In 2002, Shribman published, I Remember My Teacher, a collection of personal reminiscences about America's greatest teachers from various former students.

Jacques Steinberg, '88, New York Times media reporter. Steinberg has been a staff writer for The New York Times since 1990. For the last five years, he has covered media issues for the newspaper, primarily television and talk radio. Steinberg's chief responsibilities have included chronicling what has arguably been the most tumultuous period of history of network and cable news. He has written about the passing of NBC anchor chair Brian Williams from Tom Brokaw; the death of Peter Jennings, and the prolonged effort to replace him; Dan Rather's rocky departure from CBS News; the bolting of Katie Couric from NBC to CBS; and the death of Tim Russert. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he has focused on the increasing viewership of CNN and MSNBC-as well as the tilt to the left in the prime-time programming of MSNBC in particular-and the diminishing influence of FOX News, at least relative to its competitors and the last presidential campaign. For nearly a decade, he wrote about education for the paper and was awarded the grand prize of the Education Writers Association for his nine-part series on a third-grade classroom on Manhattan's Upper West Side in 1998. A year later, he spent time at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where he documented the school's highly-selective admissions process in, The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, published in 2002.  At Dartmouth, he served as editor in chief of The Dartmouth, during his junior year.

President James Wright, 16th President of Dartmouth College. A noted historian, Wright has been a member of the Dartmouth faculty since 1969, and has held numerous leadership posts at the College including Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Provost and Acting President. A specialist in American political history with a focus on the history of the American West, he is the author or editor of five books: The Galena Lead District: Federal Policy and Practices, 1824-1847; The West of the American People; The Politics of Populism: Dissent in Colorado; The Great Plains Experience: Readings in the History of a Region; and The Progressive Yankees: Republican Reformers in New Hampshire. With his research interests, he has been awarded a Social Science Research Council Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Charles Warren Fellowship at Harvard. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Western History Association. He received his B.A. in history from Wisconsin State University-Platteville and his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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