Entries in Harvard (5)


Re-Living Election 2012: Campaign Comes Full Circle At Harvard

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- It’s been just over three weeks since Election Day 2012, but to many it already feels like an eternity.

President Obama’s victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney quickly gave way to an unfolding sex scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus, speculation about new Obama administration cabinet members — particularly the possible nomination of Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state — and the fiscal cliff negotiations that are now consuming Washington.

But after more than a year and a half of campaigning, the long road to Nov. 6 is coming full circle this week as representatives from the Obama and Romney campaigns, as well as top advisers to many of the GOP primary candidates and several influential outside groups, are gathering this week at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for a 2012 debrief.

On neutral ground in Cambridge, Mass., fierce rivals (think Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina) will meet for the first time since the election — and many for the first time ever.

The conference will culminate on Thursday night with a forum, organized by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, featuring Messina, Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod, Romney campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom and senior strategist Stuart Stevens.

Stevens, the eccentric advertising and message guru who was frequently at Romney’s side on the campaign trail, previewed his look-back at the race on Wednesday in a Washington Post op-ed in which he acknowledged that “Romney was never a favorite of D.C.’s Green Room crowd or, frankly, of many politicians.”

But his column amounts to a fierce defense of Romney the candidate, even arguing that the former Massachusetts governor sparked a “national movement.”

“When Mitt Romney stood on stage with Barack Obama, it wasn’t about television ads or whiz-bang turnout technologies, it was about fundamental Republican ideas versus fundamental Democratic ideas,” Stevens wrote. “It was about lower taxes or higher taxes, less government or more government, more freedom or less freedom. And Republican ideals — Mitt Romney — carried the day.”

In the end, however, President Obama won the day, scooping up almost all the swing states the Romney campaign hoped to capture and amassing 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206.

The Harvard gathering is taking place on the same day that President Obama plans to meet privately with Romney at the White House. Thursday’s meeting will be their first since the election. It also comes as Republicans continue to regroup after their loss this November and as chatter about potential 2016 presidential contenders has already begun.

When asked in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan Tuesday night whether it was a mistake for the GOP to nominate Romney, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus answered unequivocally, “No, I don’t think so at all.”

But, Priebus added that in order for his party “to get back in the game,” party leaders will need to “do a full autopsy of what happened.”

That autopsy is already taking both privately and publicly at venues like the Republican Governors Association conference in Las Vegas earlier this month where GOP governors from around the country offered an initial assessment of what went wrong. And it will continue next month when the RNC holds its annual winter meeting, which is sure to spark another round of soul-searching from party activists from around the country.

This week’s sessions at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics will include a who’s who of political bold-faced names from campaign 2012, including senior campaign aides like Romney political director Rich Beeson and pollster Neil Newhouse, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and digital director Teddy Goff, Rick Santorum adviser John Brabender, former Rick Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson and even Mark Block, who ran Herman Cain’s short-lived but much-talked-about presidential bid.

Representatives from the outside groups that had so much influence — and spent so much money — on the election will also be on hand, including Bill Burton, senior strategist for the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action; Steven Law, head of the pro-Republican group American Crossroads; and Tim Phillips, president of the conservative Americans for Prosperity.

In all more than three dozen campaign 2012 veterans will be on hand, along with some of the journalists who covered the election.

The closing forum with Messina, Axelrod, Fehrnstrom and Stevens will be streamed live on the Institute of Politics website Thursday at 6 p.m.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Article Cites Elizabeth Warren As First Woman of Color Hired by Harvard Law School

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A 1997 piece from the Fordham Law Review lists Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren as the “first woman of color” hired by Harvard Law School, according to reports.

The article, which was unearthed by Politico, was titled "Intersectionality and Positionality: Situating Women of Color in the Affirmative Action Dialogue.” The author, Laura Padilla, who now serves as the associate dean of California Western Law School in San Diego, CA., reportedly based her description on a phone conversation with then-Harvard Law spokesman Mike Chmura.

There is no evidence that Warren was aware of the article -- or that she necessarily ever read it.

Chmura is also the Harvard spokesman who described Warren as Native American in a 1996 Crimson article. Questions about Warren's ancestry and whether her career benefited from it have sidetracked the Massachusetts Senate race for weeks.

Hard evidence of Warren’s Native American ancestry has so far not turned up. The New England Historic Genealogical Society found secondary sources tracing Warren’s heritage to her great-great-great-grandmother, who was listed as Cherokee on an 1894 marriage license application, but that document has yet to be located, the society told ABC News in an email.

Warren’s campaign issued a statement through spokeswoman Alethea Harney: “There is nothing new in this report.  Elizabeth has been clear that she is proud of her Native American heritage and everyone who hired Elizabeth has been clear that she was hired because she was a great teacher, not because of that heritage.

“It’s time to return to issues -- like rising student loan debt, job creation, and Wall Street regulation -- that will have a real impact on middle class families. It’s also time for Scott Brown to answer serious questions about his votes to let interest rates on student loans double so our kids pay more while he votes to give oil companies -- some of the most profitable companies in the world -- tax breaks worth billions. There are plenty more, like his votes against jobs bills because they’d make billionaires pay their fair share, or his votes to water down rules to hold Wall Street accountable that have brought him millions in campaign contributions. Scott Brown’s explanation for these votes against Massachusetts families is long overdue.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Describes Mitt Romney’s ‘Trust Deficit’

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Jon Huntsman sounded more like an independent candidate for president (which he is not) than somebody who has endorsed Mitt Romney (which he has) in a speech Thursday at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

“The party is not in a good place right now,” Huntsman said, according to a write-up in The Harvard Crimson.

The former Utah governor and former presidential candidate cited the GOP's rhetoric on immigration in particular and a lack of leadership in general.  “Boldness is thrown out the window,” he said.  “Courage is not on display.”

“Here you are during a time of the great crisis for this nation,” Huntsman said, “and you say, this is all this great country can offer up?”

He didn’t mention Mitt Romney’s name, but was eventually asked about him and was less than enthusiastic.

“I think Romney will show leadership on the economy,” Huntsman said. “But on the trust deficit, I don’t see a whole lot of leadership.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


After Defeat by Rand Paul, Kentucky’s Trey Grayson Lands at Harvard

Photo Courtesy - sos dot ky dot gov(BOSTON) -- Where do former U.S. Senate candidates go after a painful defeat at the polls? In Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson’s case, the answer is Harvard.

Grayson, who lost to Sen. Rand Paul in the state’s GOP Senate primary last year, is heading to the university to run its prestigious Institute of Politics -- a gathering place for students, academics, politicians and activists based at the Kennedy School of Government.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Grayson, who received his undergraduate degree in government from Harvard College in 1994. While there he served on the Institute’s student advisory board.

“I am excited and humbled to be selected as Director. The IOP played a pivotal role in developing my interest and approach to politics and public service,” Grayson said in a statement on Friday. “I look forward to working with the staff, students, and my Kennedy School colleagues to inspire a new generation of undergraduates to pursue public service like I did.”

Paul, newly sworn in as a senator this week, defeated Grayson in one of the country’s most contentious primary fights, and one that amounted to an early test of the influence of the Tea Party movement.

Although Grayson enjoyed the support of key establishment figures in Washington, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, he ended up losing to Paul by a considerable 58 percent to 35 percent margin in the May primary. Paul went on to fend off a challenge from Democrat Jack Conway in the November general election.

In his new position, Grayson follows in the footsteps of other prominent political figures who spent time at the Institute of Politics before, after, or in between jobs in public office, including New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach, who now heads the National Endowment for the Humanities.

And in the spirit of bipartisanship, Caroline Kennedy called Grayson “exactly the right person to lead the IOP as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of my father’s Presidency,” in a statement issued by Harvard.

Grayson will take over on Jan. 31 for former U.S. Senator John C. Culver, an Iowa Democrat, who has served as interim director since July 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush To Serve As Visiting Fellow At Harvard's Institute of Politics

Photo Courtesy - PR News Foto(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government announced former Florida governor Jeb Bush will serve as a visiting fellow at the institute this fall. 

Visiting fellows traditionally meet with student groups; lead discussions on topical issues and their experiences in public service; and participate in policy classes with students and Harvard University faculty.   

"Jeb Bush's public service experience governing one of our nation's largest states will certainly be of interest to our students, faculty and university community," said Institute of Politics Interim Director John C. Culver.

Bush’s fellowship will occur the week of November 15.  The fellows program is central to the institute’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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