Inside American Politics
October 25, 2016
The NYU Brademas Center, in collaboration with NYU La Pietra Dialogues, joined NYU DC Dialogues for a discussion with a group of American political insiders as they covered the current electoral scene in the lead up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Republican and Democratic strategists assessed current political dynamics on the horizon of election day. The panel explored American voter behavior, trends and expectations, insights and perspectives and also considered how recent domestic and global events, dominating the news cycle, have influenced public opinion. This discussion was moderated by former host of NBC's Meet the Press, David Gregory.
This event wass part of a larger series, Inside American Politics, providing students of New York University with the opportunity to learn from political experts and gain an insider view of the American political system.
David Gregory, former moderator of NBC News’ Meet the Press, shares with audiences his insights on the latest Washington headlines, the current events facing our country and the upcoming 2016 race for the White House. He regales audiences with first-hand accounts of asking tough questions of some of the most powerful, influential—and infamous—people in the world.
Prior to his Meet the Press duties, Gregory served as chief White House Correspondent for NBC News. Washingtonian magazine named Gregory one of Washington's 50 best and most influential journalists, labeling him the "firebrand in the front row" for his tough yet fair questioning at press conferences. Before joining NBC News in 1995, Gregory served as a correspondent based in Chicago and Los Angeles covering the OJ Simpson trials and the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. He first came to Washington in 1998 to cover the Clinton impeachment story for MSNBC. Gregory has covered three presidential campaigns and reported extensively on the aftermath of September 11, 2001, including the run up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from both Washington and around the world. He recently released a new book, How’s Your Faith?, which focuses on how the spiritual journeys people take in their lives are always worthwhile. In March, 2016, Gregory joined CNN as a political analyst.
S.E. Cupp (Gal '10), Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Author and Commentator
S.E. is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and commentator. She is author of the book “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal media’s Attack on Christianity” and co-author of the book “Why You’re Wrong About the Right.” She is a CNN contributor.
S.E. is a columnist at the New York Daily News. She has been published in the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the American Spectator, Politico, the Daily Caller, Slate, Maxim, NASCAR.com, Sports Illustrated, Human Events, FoxNews.com, CNN.com, and elsewhere. She is a consultant on the HBO program, “The Newsroom.”
She has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows, including Real Time with Bill Maher, the View, Fox & Friends, Hannity, Glenn Beck, the Dennis Miller Show, the Fred Thompson Show, the Mike Huckabee Show, the Daily Show, Chris Matthews, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, Morning Joe, Larry King Live, and others. S.E. is also a public speaker.
Steve McMahon, Co-Founder and CEO of Purple Strategies
Steve is an attorney and co-founder of Purple Strategies, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer. He got his start in politics in the Senate and on the political staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and has worked on dozens of Senate, Gubernatorial and Mayoral campaigns across the country.
Steve has served in senior roles in three presidential campaigns, and produced the advertising in support of then Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic National Committee in the 2008 presidential campaign.
For the past twelve years, Steve’s principal focus has been on providing comprehensive reputation, brand image, crisis management and issue advocacy campaigns to companies and industries operating in challenging environments, including BP, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Caterpillar, Bayer, PhRMA, and the American Chemistry Council. He and his colleagues have also handled numerous initiative and referendum campaigns on a wide range of subjects, and helped develop litigation communication strategies for major companies facing significant litigation threats.
Steve appears regularly as a political commentator on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews and other MSNBC programming. During the past four campaign seasons, he was a frequent political commentator on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and FOX NEWS. Steve is married to Cynthia Alksne, a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst. The couple has four daughters.
Doug Thornell, Managing Director Washington, D.C. at SKDKickerbocker
Doug Thornell is responsible for developing and executing sophisticated communications, crisis management, and earned and paid media campaigns for political candidates, major non-profit organizations and Fortune 100 companies at SKDKnickerbocker. Doug has worked on civil rights and social justice, voting rights, taxes, telecommunications and health care issues. He has launched multiple coalitions, worked closely with companies and organizations to communicate on complicated legislative and regulatory issues, managed corporate and political crisis situations, and worked directly with CEOs and candidates on media training, reputation management and strategic visioning. He currently serves as the firm’s on-the-record spokesman.
Doug brings years of experience working on Capitol Hill and political campaigns to his current work. He has served as the Congressional Black Caucus’ communications director, traveling press secretary for Gov. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, deputy political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, lead spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a top adviser to Rep. Chris Van Hollen. While working for Rep. Van Hollen, Doug was integral in developing press and messaging strategies to pass the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street reform and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He started his political career on the Gore for President Campaign in 2000.
In 2015, he was named one of PRWeek’s top young communicators in the country on the 40 under 40 list. In 2007, he was named a Politico to Watch by POLITICO for his messaging expertise. He is a frequent political analyst on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel and his opinion pieces can be found in the Huffington Post, CNN.com, Roll Call and The Hill. Doug serves on the board of Stone Soup Films and the Sidwell Friends School Alumni Association. Doug is proud to hail from the Washington, D.C. area and has a degree in Government from Cornell University, where he played varsity football.
Crystal Wright, Author and Principal Owner of the Baker Wright Group, LLC
Crystal Wright is author of the newly released book Con Job: How Democrats Gave Us Crime, Sanctuary Cities, Abortion Profiteering, and Racial Division. As a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C, some would say she is a triple minority: woman, black and a Republican living in a Democrat dominated city. She’s contemplating moving back to her home state of Virginia, where her vote would count for something. By day, Crystal is a communications consultant and editor and publisher of the blog Conservative Black Chick. Crystal earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Georgetown University and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Wright is the principal owner of the Baker Wright Group, LLC , a full service public relations firm, specializing in communications counseling, media relations, message development, media training and crisis communications. The firm’s approach is straight forward: an unvarnished approach to public relations.
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