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A Dialogue with top American politics experts and insiders. 

The conference will be live streamed on the LPD website.
November 12 - 10:30AM - 5:00PM CET
November 13 - 10:30AM - 1:00PM CET 

Live-tweet the event using #uspol_lpd

 
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Program
 

NOVEMBER 12, 2018 

10:00 am Registration/Coffee

10:30 Opening Remarks / Welcome
Ellyn Toscano, Executive Director, NYU Florence and Founder and Director, La Pietra Dialogues

10:45 Panel 1 - The Mid-term Recap and What Happens Next
With the Democratic Party seizing control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 mid-term elections, this panel will examine how the party will attempt to govern while preparing for the 2020 general election. Will Speaker-elect Pelosi be forced by the liberal wing of the party toward impeachment proceedings? Or will House Democrats ultimately assume a more traditional oversight role while attempting to set a progressive policy agenda that appeals to independent voters?
Moderator: Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and member of The Washington Post editorial board
Joel Benenson, Democratic Pollster and Political Strategist; founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group
Stephanie Cutter, Founding Partner, Precision Strategies, and Former Deputy Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor to President Obama
Rob Collins, Republican Political Strategist and Partner in S-3 Public Affairs
Michael Steele, Former RNC Chairman, Former Lt Governor of Maryland, Host “Man of Steele” podcast
Todd Harris, Republican Strategist and Partner, Something Else Strategies

11:45 Break

12:00pm Panel 2 - Challenges within the Democratic Party
As the Democratic Party organizes its leadership, the centrist vs progressive divisions remain. With the average age of the House Democratic Leadership being 72 years old and the average committee leader being 68, does the party also have a significant age issue? This issue is further amplified by Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren likely being strong contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2020. With so many newly elected Democrats in Congress, how and when will the party begin transitioning to a more youthful leadership? WIll the age issue be a factor in energizing the youth vote? Is there still a Clinton-Sanders divide in the party?
Moderator: Lynne Brown, Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs, New York University
John Anzalone, Democratic Pollster
Karen Finney, Political Consultant and Media Commentator; Senior Advisor to Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign
Bettina Inclán, Communications and Republican Strategist; Executive Director of RightNOW
Kevin Madden, Republican Strategist and Partner, Hamilton Place Strategies
Catherine “Kiki” McLean, Leading Public Affairs and Political Strategist and Director of the Walton Family Political and Communications Office 

1:00 Lunch 

2:30 Panel 3 – The Trump Administration: Years Three and Four
By virtually all measures, President Trump has a completely different leadership style compared to recent U.S. presidents. He seems to make most policy decisions by gut instinct, maintains hostile relationships with key members of his administration, shows disrespect toward many democratic institutions and aggressively challenges foreign allies while showing deference toward leaders of authoritarian regimes. This panel will address the President’s unorthodox leadership style and focus on the question of what policy and political issues emerge and who he will tap to fill key leadership positions as his campaign begins to focus on 2020?
Moderator: Catherine “Kiki” McLean, Leading Public Affairs and Political Strategist and Director of the Walton Family Political and Communications Office
Todd Harris, Republican Strategist and Partner, Something Else Strategies
Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent, The New York Times
Maria Cino, Vice President for Americas, Corporate Affairs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Joshua Tucker, Professor of Politics, Director of Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia, co-Director of the SMaPP Laboratory and co-editor of award-winning blog The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post 

3:30 Coffee Break 

3:45 Panel 4 – 2018, The Year of The Woman?
Much like 1992, following the Anita Hill hearings, 2018 saw a dramatic increase in the number of female candidates for federal office. As women voters tend to skew more toward the Democratic Party, this panel will examine what this trend means for the electoral future of both parties. How will the Republican Party seek to attract more college educated women, or will they double down on recreating President’s Trump’s successful 2016 coalition? The panel will examine what having more women in elected office will mean for governance. Will having more women leaders help make a dent in the hyper-partisanship that we have seen in recent years?
Moderator: Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Director, Women & Politics Institute, American University; Former Executive Producer of “Meet the Press”
Maria Cino, Vice President for Americas, Corporate Affairs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Stephanie Cutter, Founding Partner, Precision Strategies, and Former Deputy Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor to President Obama
Steve McMahon, Democratic Strategist and Co-founder of Purple Strategies
Kevin Madden, Republican Strategist and Partner, Hamilton Place Strategies
Karen Finney, Political Consultant and Media Commentator; Senior Advisor to Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign 

5:00 Conference Ends for the Day 

NOVEMBER 13 

10:00am Registration/Coffee 

10:30 Welcome from U.S. Consul General Benjamin Wohlauer 

10:35 Panel 5 – Politicization and Polarization - Influence of Mass Media on American Views and Voting Behavior
As U.S. political discourse becomes increasingly polarized and toxic, this panel will explore the role of the media in this ongoing trend. Does the media effectively create partisan audiences and strengthen existing viewer stances? How does the media’s choices of what to cover and how to cover it affect Americans’ knowledge and understanding of important political and socio-economic issues? How has social media changed the journalism profession and what can traditional media outlets do to maintain influence? The panel will also explore the concept of “fake news,” manipulation of information, and the role of the media as watchdog.
Moderator: Steve McMahon, Democratic Strategist and Co-founder of Purple Strategies
Michael Steele, Former RNC Chairman, Former Lt Governor of Maryland, Host “Man of Steele” podcast
Jonathan Capehart, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and member of The Washington Post editorial board
Betsy Fisher Martin, Executive Director, Women & Politics Institute, American University; Former Executive Producer of “Meet the Press”
Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent, The New York Times
Joshua Tucker, Professor of Politics, Director of Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia, co-Director of the SMaPP Laboratory and co-editor of award-winning blog The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post

11:35 Break

11:45 Panel 6 - Political and Policy Forecasting: What’s Ahead on the Road to 2020?
This panel will attempt to forecast the primary policy issues that will define the lead up to the 2020 elections. Will foreign policy issues such as North Korea, NATO and trade policy with China be central issues? Will the Democrats attempt to make the results of the Mueller Russia investigation the primary issue, or will they be able to coalesce around a set of progressive policy alternatives? With President Trump’s success as a non- traditional candidate, are the Democrats likely to nominate someone from the business or entertainment world? Who are the strongest challengers, in both parties, to President Trump in 2020?
Moderator: Lisa Benenson, Vice President for Communications and Strategy, Brennan Center for Justice
Rob Collins, Republican Political Strategist and Partner in S-3 Public Affairs
Joel Benenson, Democratic Pollster and Political Strategist; founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group
Kevin Madden, Republican Strategist and Partner, Hamilton Place Strategies
John Anzalone, Democratic Pollster
Bettina Inclán, Communications and Republican Strategist; Executive Director of RightNOW

12:45pm Final Remarks

1:00 Conference Closing

 
 
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