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Inside American Politics 2021

Learn from experts and practitioners in order to gain an insider’s view of the American political system.

Past: Friday, November 5, 2021 2:00 pm
This is a virtual event
  • John Anzalone
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  • Joel Benenson
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  • Lisa Benenson
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  • Rob Collins
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  • Stephanie Cutter
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  • Karen Finney
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  • Elise Jordan
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  • Betsy Fischer Martin
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  • Jonathan Martin
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  • Kiki McLean
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  • Michael Steele
  • Doug Thornell
Inside American Politics 2021

Political experts and strategists join the John Brademas Center and the Brennan Center for a series of dialogues to discuss President Biden’s agenda, the current state of the GOP, looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election, and the current political landscape in Washington.

Produced in partnership with New York University’s John Brademas Center


2:00 PM Welcome & Introductions
Welcome to NYU DC / Kari Miller, NYU DC Program Director
Introduction to Inside American Politics and Participants / Ellyn Toscano, Advisory Board Member, John Brademas Center of NYU

2:10 PM Panel One: “The Biden Agenda: Bridging Democratic Policy Divisions Between Progressives and Moderates”
When Democrats won the White House and control of Congress in 2020 (albeit narrowly), progressives hoped to pass landmark legislation to address climate change, infrastructure needs, and a significant expansion of the social safety net, in terms of health care, child care, and education from pre-K to community college. A handful of moderates has been successful in downsizing those plans. Will this be a help or a hindrance for the party in the mid-term election? How do the Democrats move their agenda forward?

  • Moderator: Kiki McLean 
  • Panelists: Karen Finney, John Anzalone, Jonathan Martin

3:20 PM Panel Two: “The Grand Old Party (GOP): How Donald Trump Changed The Republican Party in His Image”
For generations, the Republican Party governed and campaigned on a pro-business, free market, limited government agenda. Since the 2020 election, Republicans have coalesced around a very different set of policies advanced during the Trump presidency: more populist and protectionist and less fiscally conservative. Going into the midterm elections, are we likely to see any change in the Republican Party’s agenda or strategy? If the 2022 election is a referendum on the Biden presidency, what can we expect in 2024?

  • Moderator: Betsy Fischer Martin
  • Panelists: Elise Jordan, Joel Benenson, Michael Steele

4:30 PM Panel Three: “Looking Ahead to the 2024 Presidential Election and the Issues That Will Drive the Electorate”
What are the issues that will motivate the electorate in the next presidential election?  Who will the candidates be: Trump vs Biden? Can we expect primaries in either or both parties? Will Black voters determine the Democratic nominee in 2024? Who runs, who wins and why? 

  • Moderator: Lisa Benenson
  • Panelists: Doug Thornell, Stephanie Cutter, Rob Collins

5:30 PM Closing Remarks & Thank You
Closing Remarks and Thank You / Lynne Brown, Executive Director, John Brademas Center of NYU


  • John Anzalone, Partner, ALG Research
  • Joel Benenson, Founder and CEO, Benenson Strategy Group
  • Lisa Benenson, Vice President for Communications and Strategy, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Rob Collins, Partner, S-3 Public Affairs
  • Stephanie Cutter, Founding Partner, Precision Strategies, and Former Deputy Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor to President Obama
  • Karen Finney, Democratic Strategist and Political Commentator for CNN
  • Elise Jordan, Political Analyst, NBC and MSNBC; Contributor, Time
  • Kevin Madden, Executive Vice President, Advocacy, Arnold Ventures
  • Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Director, Women & Politics Institute, American University and Former Executive Producer of “Meet the Press”
  • Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Kiki McLean, Walton Family Political and Communications Office
  • Michael Steele, Former RNC Chairman, Former Lt. Governor of Maryland
  • Doug Thornell, Partner, SKDK