Public Policy Lecture Series

Public Policy Lecture Series 2012-13

The Changing of the Guard? Public Policy and the 2012 Election

The Reed College Public Policy Lecture Series is pleased to invite you to a set of lectures addressing some of the most significant controversies of the 2012 election. Join us in the closing stages of the contest as these nationally known speakers—each of whom has had a major influence on shaping the debate—help us sort the claims and counterclaims of the candidates, sift the wheat from the chaff, and explore how politics might change in the next four years.

Ezra Klein, “Where Economics and Politics Meet”

Klein photo

September 28
4:30 p.m.
Vollum lecture hall

Candidly addressing the lack of consensus and bipartisanship in Washington during one of the most critical economic, social, and business crises in decades, columnist Ezra Klein outlines the implications for the 2012 elections. Klein is a columnist for the Washington Post and Bloomberg and oversees the Washington Post’s “Wonkblog.” He is a regular contributor and policy analyst for MSNBC, where his commentary focuses on, as Klein describes it, “domestic and economic policymaking, as well as the political system that’s constantly screwing it up.”

Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.

Sasha Issenberg, “The Victory Lab”

Issenberg photo

October 4
7 p.m.
Vollum lecture hall

Columnist Sasha Issenberg presents the secret history of the modern American campaign, revealing the groundbreaking tactics and strategies used by some of the era’s most important figures—including Barack Obama and Mitt Romney—to show us how new technologies are influencing not only who wins elections but also the fate of the nation. Issenberg is the “Victory Lab” columnist for Slate and the Washington correspondent for Monocle. His most recent book is The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns.

Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.

Jose Antonio Vargas, “Define American”

Vargas photo

October 24
4:30 p.m.
Kaul Auditorium (with reception to follow in the Gray lounge)

Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and founder of, addresses the politics of immigration. A highly successful journalist contributing to some of the country’s most prestigious news organizations, Vargas revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant in a New York Times Magazine essay in 2011. Vargas has been a senior contributing editor at the Huffington Post, where he launched the technology and college sections, and a reporter for the Washington Post, where he covered technology and video game culture, HIV/AIDS, and the 2008 presidential campaign.

Cosponsored by the David Robinson Memorial Fund for Human Rights, the department of political science, and the multicultural resource center.

Rick Hasen, “The Voting Wars”

Hasen photo

November 3
2 p.m.
Vollum lecture hall

Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, examines the partisan war over election rules that has emerged in the wake of the Florida debacle and the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore. Since then, election litigation as well as allegations of voter fraud and voter suppression have increased, shaking public confidence. Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation. His most recent book is The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown.

Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.