Inside American Politics - Fall 2014
date: November 12, 2014
location: Villa Sassetti
 
Program
 

NOVEMBER 13

10.00 Conference Opening
Ellyn Toscano, Executive Director, New York University Florence

10:10 The Media’s Role in Voter Decision-Making
What role does the media play in driving voter decision-making? The 24-hour news outlets trend more toward entertainment and prognosticating than actual reporting. How does this influence the decision of the voter?
Moderator: Linda Douglass, Former ABC News Chief Capitol Hill Correspondent, former Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform in the Obama administration
Jonathan Martin, National political correspondent, The New York Times
Betsy Fischer Martin, President of Fischer Martin Media and former Senior Executive Producer and Managing Editor of NBC News political programming
Stephanie Cutter, Founding partner of Precision Strategies, CNN contributor, and former Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama 2012
Todd Harris, Media and communications strategist for Senator Marco Rubio and other top Republican elected officials
David Kochel, Founder of Redwave Communications and Redwave Digital and Senior Advisor to the 2008 and 2012 Romney for President campaigns


11:15 Coffee Break

11:30 The Midterm Results: What Can We Learn?
What were the biggest surprises during the 2014 election cycle? As expected, the Republicans gained control of the Senate and picked up seats in the House. However, the media and pollsters misjudged the decisiveness of the Republican victory and completely missed covering some close races altogether. Was this a “wave” election? Was this midterm similar in result to other midterms in a second term presidency?
Moderator: Steve McMahon, Co-founder of Purple Strategies, LLC and Democratic strategist and public affairs consultant
Maria Cino, Vice President for the Americas, Government Relations, Hewlett-Packard CompanyTodd Harris, Media and communications strategist for Senator Marco Rubio and other top Republican elected officials
Kiki McLean, Leading public affairs and political strategist and veteran of six presidential campaigns including the historic 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign
Stephanie Cutter, Founding partner of Precision Strategies, CNN contributor, and former Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama 2012

1:00pm Lunch

2:15 Money and Messaging in the Wake of the Supreme Court Campaign Finance Ruling
Money in politics is nothing new. In light of the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, third party groups are having a growing impact on the outcomes of elections. What effect does money have on the coherency of campaign messages? Is this dynamic here to stay? How can candidates overcome this dynamic and advance messages or themes? What are the prospects for campaign reform?
Moderator: Dale Hemmerdinger, Chairman of Atco Properties and of The Hemmerdinger Corporation
Kevin Madden, Partner at Hamilton Place Strategies in Washington D.C., Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign
Joel Benenson, Founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group and Democratic political strategist and pollster serving Presidents Obama and Clinton
Stephanie Cutter, Founding Partner of Precision Strategies, CNN contributor, and former Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama 2012
Betsy Fischer Martin, President of Fischer Martin Media and former Senior Executive Producer and Managing Editor of NBC News political programming
David Kochel, Founder of Redwave Communications and Redwave Digital and Senior Advisor to the 2008 and2012 Romney for President campaigns

3:45 Legislating: Is There Hope for Bi-Partisan Compromise in a Republican Controlled Congress?
Will the Republican and Democratic parties be able to work together to legislate? President Obama has already signaled a willingness to use executive orders to advance his agenda. How will Congress react? What is the legislative outlook for the next two years?
Moderator: Lynne Brown, Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs, New York University
Maria Cino, Vice President for the Americas, Government Relations, Hewlett-Packard Company
David Kochel, Founder of Redwave Communications and Redwave Digital and Senior Advisor to the 2008 and 2012 Romney for President campaigns
Kiki McLean, Leading public affairs and political strategist and veteran of six presidential campaigns including the historic 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign
Steve McMahon, Co-founder of Purple Strategies, LLC and Democratic strategist and public affairs consultant
Betsy Fischer Martin, President of Fischer Martin Media and former Senior Executive Producer and Managing Editor of NBC News political programming

NOVEMBER 14

10:00am Issues and Polling: What Will Matter to Voters Between Now and 2016?
With a divided government and a presidential election cycle beginning what issues are likely to be addressed? The midterms were dominated with talk of ISIS and Ebola, changing the conversation from issues like the economy, healthcare and immigration. How did this effect the outcome of the 2014 midterms and what can we expect in 2016? Was the polling data reliable? Were there indicators that may lead to changes in how campaigns organize for 2016?
Moderator: Joshua Tucker, Professor of Politics, New York University, co-Director of NYU Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) lab, and co-author of The Monkey Cage blog at The Washington Post
Kevin Madden, Partner at Hamilton Place Strategies in Washington D.C., Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign
Maria Cino, Vice President for the Americas, Government Relations, Hewlett-Packard Company
Steve McMahon, Co-founder of Purple Strategies, LLC and Democratic strategist and public affairs consultantJonathan Martin, National political correspondent, The New York Times
Joel Benenson, Founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group and Democratic political strategist and pollster serving Presidents Obama and Clinton

11:15 Coffee Break

11:30 The 2016 Presidential Election: Who Will the Likely Candidates Be?
What does the field look like for 2016 and what will be some factors that determine who runs and who doesn’t? Who are the likely Republican candidates and are there Democrats who will challenge Hillary for the nomination? What happens if Hillary doesn’t run? Will the tea party play a prominent role in picking the Republican candidate?
Moderator: Joe Pichirallo, Chair of Undergraduate Film and Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, former reporter for The Washington Post
Todd Harris, Media and communications strategist for Senator Marco Rubio and other top Republican elected officials
Kevin Madden, Partner at Hamilton Place Strategies in Washington D.C, Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign
Jonathan Martin, National political correspondent, The New York Times
Kiki McLean, Leading public affairs and political strategist and veteran of six presidential campaigns including the historic 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign
Joel Benenson, Founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group and Democratic political strategist and pollster serving Presidents Obama and Clinton

12:45pm Lunch