Election 2020

  • American Crossroads: What’s Next with Norman Ornstein

    Air Dates: January 18-24, 2021 A lot of people believe our politics are broken.  Dr. Norman Ornstein says the fault lies squarely with one political party—and will likely shape the course of the Biden administration. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies politics, elections, and the U.S. Congress.  He is a cohost of AEI’s “Election Watch” series, a contributing editor and columnist for … Read More

  • The Lame Duck Insurrection

    I moved to Washington, DC, when I was 22 years old to go to graduate school at Georgetown University.  I used to visit Capitol Hill regularly to use the Library of Congress.  Every chance I had, I would walk across the street and walk the grounds of the Capitol.  In those days—before Capitol Police officers were murdered in the line of duty in 1998 and before 9/11—you could enter through … Read More

  • Enough

    This week, the notes I take to write this essay were marked by a terrifying consistency: American democracy is under assault.  And just as in some of the worst/best horror movies that I watched as a teenager, the calls are coming from inside the house: in this case, the White House. Let’s be crystal clear: the president of the United States has locked himself on a path in which he … Read More

  • Recap: “What’s Next? Discussing the 2020 Election Results with Evelyn Farkas and David Shuster”

    The American people may be as divided as they ever have been politically, but there is one thing that all people in this country can agree on: the 2020 Election was an emotional rollercoaster. On Tuesday, November 12, Pell Center Executive Director Dr. Jim Ludes met with David Shuster and Evelyn Farkas via a Facebook live event entitled, “What’s Next: Discussing the 2020 Election Results” to debrief the Election of … Read More

  • Recap: “2020 Election Security: Threats, Strategies, and Solutions”

    The security of our elections has been an issue of great importance following the 2016 election. Many fear that interference from foreign powers in our elections, specifically from Iran, Russia and China could threaten our democracy and the democratic process. The threat to our elections continues to be an important topic following the 2020 election and it appears this will be a topic of discussion for years to come. During … Read More

  • “They Bought Us Time to Do Better”

    One week before D-Day, on May 29, 1944, Britain’s air chief marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory approached General Dwight Eisenhower with a warning.  As commander of the airborne assault on D-Day, Leigh-Mallory’s paratrooper and glider units would be among the first to assault Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and the British general was worried.  The Germans had been reinforcing parts of the region targeted by U.S. airborne forces.  By his calculations, glider forces would … Read More

  • Back to the Future

    Every four years we have a presidential election that sets the agenda for the country for the following four years.  Theoretically, the election is the culminating moment of a national dialogue.  In the ideal, the vote is an expression of the nation’s opinion, not necessarily on the fitness of candidates, but on the major issues of the day. Growing up, I loved campaigns because of that Capra-esque idealism.  I reveled … Read More

  • What If We Talked About Foreign Policy?

    Presidential campaigns are rarely won or lost on foreign policy.  In the last 50 years, probably only two—Ronald Reagan’s 1980 victory over incumbent President Jimmy Carter and President George W. Bush’s re-election win against my old friend then-Senator John Kerry in 2004—would qualify.  In 1980, American hostages were held captive in the old U.S. embassy in Tehran following the Islamic revolution that swept the old, pro-American regime from power.  In … Read More

  • The Breakdown of Politics

    On the 22nd of May, 1856, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina entered the old Senate chamber shortly after the Senate concluded its business for the day.  After sitting for a moment in an empty seat on the floor of the chamber, Representative Brooks offered to a member of the Senate staff that he hoped the attractive woman sitting just outside the Senate chamber would leave.  Despite such chivalrous concerns, … Read More

  • Power and Values

    We live in a cynical time. The president of the United States boasts that his pandemic response warrants a grade of A+ in the same week that deaths from the pandemic exceed 200,000 Americans. A GOP-controlled committee of the U.S. Senate released a preliminary report on an investigation into the son of Vice President Joe Biden that tracks with rumors spread by Russian agents the same week that the U.S. … Read More