GW Experts analyze 2012 Election

Frank Sesno moderates a conversation between (from left to right) Jonathan Alter, Dana Bash, and Joe Lockhart

On April 26, over 100 alumni, parents, and friends gathered in a New York City conference center overlooking Times Square to listen to GW experts handicap the 2012 presidential election.

Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, moderated a panel consisting of GW parent Jonathan Alter of  Bloomberg ViewDana Bash, CCAS B.A. ’93,  senior congressional correspondant for CNN; and SMPA National Council for Media and Public Affairs member, Joe Lockhart, vice president of communications for Facebook and former White House Press Secretary.

The experts seemed to come to a consensus that it would be a tight race but said it is still too early to know exactly how the election will shape up.

“This could be a great campaign, because we have two opposing theories of how to run government. Or it could be a horrible campaign that involves both sides saying ‘What they believe is wrong’ not ‘What we believe is right,’” Lockhart explained.

While answering an audience member’s question, Alter analyzed each of the candidates’ strengths: “We know that the president will dominate on the ground, but his super PAC efforts are lame. This is going to be a ground versus air election.”

Marisa Kabas, SMPA B.A.’09, was originally drawn to the event because of her experiences at GW.

“I was a senior at GW during the 2008 presidential election, and I really miss the energy and enthusiasm that comes with an election year. When I saw that Professor Sesno was moderating this…event, I jumped at the chance to feel like I was back on campus and part of the GW political discussion again,” Kabas said.

Audience members weren’t the only ones enjoying the event. “I’m having a great time,” Lockhart said. “I’m going to be the last one to leave.”


GW and Politics: On the 2012 Campaign Trail – New York City, was the second of five events taking place around the country. More than 60 alumni, parents and friends attended the first event in March in Philadelphia. Future events will be held in Chicago on May 17, Los Angeles on May22, and in Orange County, Calif.,on May 23.

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