Politics, Policy and Journalism: The Nexus of Dysfunction led by Candy Crowley


A study group led by IOP FELLOW, Candy Crowley

Thursdays, 4:00-5:30pm

L166, 1st Floor Littauer Building


With the Presidential Election of 2016 in full bloom, my hope is to use weekly events as the background music for that week’s study-group.  Having spent 30 years as a political journalist, I’m pretty confident that every week will provide a number of examples and pose a number of questions that will fit nicely into the planned topic. If it’s an especially newsy and one-off kind of week, I’m hoping for the flexibility to dump the planned topic and proceed with another that may more aptly fit the moment at hand.

Session 1: The campaign trail so far, what it does and doesn’t tell us about where the 2016 candidates would take a country.  What we know and don’t know about the 2016 candidates to date and why we don’t know it.  Is anyone listening and if not, is this sound and fury signifying nothing? Guest: Amy Walter

Session 2:  Why do candidates run?  Is there a certain type personality that gravitates to public service, particularly elected public service?  It can be grueling, humiliating and ultimately defeating.  Who puts themselves through that and why?

Session 3: What do journalists want from politicians?  (a good story)  What do politicians want from journalists? (lots of stories that make them look good) The dynamic of the road warriors and whether it serves the public or are they served handfuls of smoke? Guest: Keating Holland

Session 4: No Study Group

Session 5: What do voters vote on? What’s the deciding factor? (of the 4 “values” listed in the exit polls, Mitt Romney won the majority of those who selected 3 of the 4.  He lost majorly in the 4th value “understands people like me”).  Of those voters who cited that as most important to their choice, 80 percent picked Obama.  We know who won.

Session 6: Tales from the Trail:  An Inside Out Look at Candidates from Reagan to Obama. With special guest Michael Roselli (Former Senior Producer and Writer at CNN).

Session 7: The debatable debates: They are not really debates, there is never enough time and what do we really find out anyway?  You will be horrified at what goes on behind the scenes in putting these debates together. Can we fashion a better way? Guest: Brent Colburn

Session 8: Is this any way to run a railroad?  Roughly one year from the time these classes take place, we’re going to elect a President.  How confident are we that the best man/or woman will win?   Did the best men/or women even run?  Why not?  Guest: LZ Granderson