Institute of Politics Releases Audio Recordings from Thirteenth Edition of Campaign for President: The Managers Look at 2020

For Immediate Release - Friday, August 13th, 2021

Press Contact:
Setti Warren
setti_warren@hks.harvard.edu

Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School Releases Audio Recordings from Thirteenth Edition of Campaign for President: The Managers Look at 2020

Oral History of 2020 Presidential Campaign Moderated By PBS News’ Yamiche Alcindor, New York Times’ Alex Burns, CNN’s David Chalian, Washington Post’s Toluse Olorunnipa, and Axios’ Margaret Talev

Audio Recordings of the Conference are Available Here

CAMBRIDGE, MA Today, the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School (IOP) released audio recordings from its Campaign for President: The Managers Look at 2020 conference, which was held on June 26th. The proceedings mark the thirteenth edition of the quadrennial Campaign for President: The Managers Look Back series, which has produced an oral history on each presidential campaign cycle since 1972. 

For nearly fifty years, political practitioners involved in presidential campaigns have participated in the Institute of Politics conference to exchange candid views about the strategies and tactics employed during the election while still fresh in their memories. The conversations are recorded and then published by the Institute of Politics in an effort to allow future candidates, managers, journalists and scholars to better understand the nature of presidential campaigns. The book will be released in early 2022.

The audio recordings of the moderated conversations are available here.

“After an historic election marked by protests for racial justice, a global pandemic, and economic crisis, a substantive and accurate account has never been more important for scholars, practitioners, and historians,” said Mark Gearan, Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. “The IOP is proud to continue our nearly 50 year tradition of creating a first draft of history and we are grateful to the many campaign officials and moderators who contributed to this effort.  We look forward to the publishing of the book Campaign for President: The Managers Look at 2020.”

In light of Harvard University’s remote learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proceedings were held virtually for the first time. The general election campaign managers for former President Trump and for President Biden were invited to participate. President Biden’s campaign manager agreed to participate and selected other advisors to be included in the discussion; former President Trump’s campaign manager did not respond to multiple requests to participate. Campaign managers for the Democratic primary candidates who qualified for the October 15, 2019 debate were invited to participate in the moderated discussion. A full list of conference participants is below.

Campaign managers for all the 2020 presidential candidates were also invited to submit a written 500-word “theory of the case,” where they could provide their candidate’s initial campaign strategy, rationale for entering the race, and the anticipated path to victory.

The Institute of Politics independently identified journalists who covered the 2020 campaign to moderate these discussions, including: New York Times journalist and member of IOP Senior Advisory Committee, Alexander Burns; PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor; Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa; Axios’ Managing Editor of Politics, Policy and Polling, Margaret Talev; and CNN Political Director David Chalian.

The newly released audio recordings include the following panels:

A Conversation with the Biden Campaign on the Democratic Primary
Moderators

  • Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent, PBS NewsHour; Moderator, Washington Week, PBS News
  • Alexander Burns, National Political Correspondent, New York Times; Member, Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Committee

Participants

  • Kate Bedingfield, Deputy Campaign Manager
  • Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Campaign Manager 
  • Mike Donilon, Chief Strategist
  • Anita Dunn, Senior Advisor
  • Bruce Reed, Senior Advisor
  • Steve Ricchetti, Campaign Chairman
  • Congressman Cedric Richmond, Campaign Co-Chair
  • Symone Sanders, Senior Advisor

Democratic Primary Roundtable
Moderators

  • Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent, PBS NewsHour; Moderator, Washington Week, PBS
  • Alexander Burns, National Political Correspondent, New York Times; Member, Institute of Politics Senior Advisory  Committee

Participants

  • Mayor Michael Nutter, Co-Chair, Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  • Mike Schmuhl, Campaign Manager, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Maya Rupert, Campaign Manager, Secretary Julián Castro
  • Rohini Kosoglu, Senior Advisor, Senator Kamala Harris
  • Justin Buoen, Campaign Manager, Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • David Wysong, Senior Advisor, Congressman Beto O’Rourke
  • Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Heather Hargreaves, Campaign Manager, Tom Steyer
  • Roger Lau, Campaign Manager, Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Zach Graumann, Campaign Manager, Andrew Yang

A Conversation on the Democratic Convention
Moderator

  • David Chalian, Vice President of Political Coverage and Political Director, CNN

Participants

  • Stephanie Cutter, Democratic Convention Program Executive Director
  • Addisu Demissie, Senior Advisor for the DNC
  • Anita Dunn, Senior Advisor for the Biden Campaign

A Conversation with the Biden Campaign on the General Election
Moderators

  • Toluse Olorunnipa, Political Investigations and Enterprise Reporter, Washington Post
  • Margaret Talev, Managing Editor for Politics, Axios; Fall 2018 Resident Fellow, Institute of Politics

Participants

  • Bob Bauer, Senior Advisor
  • Kate Bedingfield, Deputy Campaign Manager
  • Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Campaign Manager
  • Mike Donilon, Chief Strategist
  • Anita Dunn, Senior Advisor
  • Bruce Reed, Senior Advisor
  • Steve Ricchetti, Campaign Chairman
  • Congressman Cedric Richmond, Campaign Co-Chair
  • Julie Rodriguez, Deputy Campaign Manager
  • Symone Sanders, Senior Advisor

For more information and access to the audio recordings, visit: https://iop.harvard.edu/get-inspired/campaign-managers-conference/campai...

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