Institute of Politics to host second panel before official opening

The new Institute, scheduled to take full force in January, will hold a panel later this month about the presidential election.

By Noah Weiland

The University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), slated to officially open in January 2013, announced this morning that it will host a bipartisan panel on May 29 at International House on the state of the upcoming presidential election.

Titled “Campaign 2012: A Halftime Update,” the event will be hosted by the Institute’s inaugural director, David Axelrod (A.B. ’76), who also serves as communications director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, and will be moderated by Meet the Press host David Gregory.

The panel will feature Jennifer Granholm, television host and former governor of Michigan; Steve Schmidt, MSNBC commentator and senior strategist for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; John Heilemann, national affairs editor for New York Magazine; and Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist for The Washington Post.

With the presidential election less than six months away, the panel’s speakers and subject are meant to reflect multiple views on a relevant topic, according to Axelrod.

“This important moment for our country also presents an exciting opportunity to hold another IOP forum,” Axelrod said. “I’m thrilled by the program we have put together, which promises to be insightful, respectful, and entertaining.”

In addition to bringing prominent speakers to campus, Axelrod hopes that the Institute will serve to connect students with the political world through internships and small workshops led by current public figures.

Axelrod first unveiled the IOP in January at a panel moderated by journalist George Stephanopoulos, which featured Mayor Rahm Emanuel, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, and New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. ’83).