We kicked off our conversation this morning by asking about the importance –- or irrelevance – of foreign policy accomplishments for presidential candidates. We used the political science metaphor of “waltzing before a blind audience.” To learn more about this theory and the challenges to it, read Aldrich, Sullivan and Borgida’s classic 1989 piece, “Foreign Affairs and Issue Voting: Do Presidential Candidates “Waltz Before A Blind Audience?” from The American Political Science Review.
We had an extended conversation about the difficulty and the promise of building lasting strategic coalitions among African American civil rights organizations and LGBT rights organizations. For an insightful and exquisitely researched take on how difficult and important this issue really is, read Cathy Cohen’s “The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics.” During this conversation, I mentioned Bayard Rustin, architect of the March on Washington. Read his collected writings in “A Time on Two Crosses.”
It was terrific to share the table with the University of Pennsylvania’s Kathleen Hall Jamieson today – so terrific that she’s coming back tomorrow! Jamieson is the co-author of “The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election,” a must-read as we prepare for the 2012 elections.
Finally, we really did have fun theorizing about the lessons of love and politics that can be gleaned from President Obama’s youthful missives. But there is no better way to get to know the man who is the president than to read his autobiography, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, when we’ll welcome groundbreaking ballerina Misty Copeland to #nerdland! Happy reading!