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10/9: Panel Brought Together by W&L and UVa to Discuss a Post-Partisan Presidency

Can’t we all just get along?

That may be the most important question facing President McCain or President Obama. Both candidates have promised to be “post-partisan” presidents. But, given the issues Americans face on the economy, health care and foreign policy, can either one deliver on this promise? And, as political parties have played a critical role in the development of American democracy, is it even sensible to pine for a post-partisan age?

A special panel, brought together by Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia, will try to get to the heart of these issues on Friday, Oct. 24 at 1:30 p.m., at UVa.’s Miller Center of Public Affairs on the UVa. campus in Charlottesville.

It is free and open to the public. Seating is limited so please RSVP to Anne Mulligan, coordinator for academic programs, 434-243-8726 or www.millercenter.org, to insure a spot.

The event – titled “Now What?: Can the President Rise Above Partisan Polarization to Govern Effectively?” – is being presented by the Miller Center’s Governing America in a Global Era (GAGE) Program and co-funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Sid Milkis, assistant director for Academic Programs at the Center and White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics at UVa, will moderate the panel, which features an all-star line-up of political observers:

  • William Galston – Former political advisor to President Bill Clinton and Senior Fellow and the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.
  • Edward Wasserman – Nationally distributed Miami Herald columnist and Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University.
  • Juliet Eilperin – National reporter for the Washington Post – currently on the campaign trail – and author of “Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives.”
  • Barbara Sinclair – Professor Emeritus of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of, among other books, “Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making.”

This event is a follow-up to W&L’s inaugural Politics-Media symposium which was held last spring at the National Press Club in Washington. Then, the subject was “Uncivil Wars: What’s So Bad About Political Partisanship?” Milkis was among the panelists at the Press Club and decided to return the favor by hosting the Miller Center event.

The event will be webcast live and archived online at www.millercenter.org.