James Carville, Alex Castellanos and Ann Compton to speak
James Carville, Alex Castellanos and Ann Compton to speak

Carville, Castellanos and Compton talk politics and president

by Jason B. Barone, CAS communications director

Miami University is welcoming three prominent figures from the world of American politics at the biannual Janus Forum. James Carville, Alex Castellanos and Ann Compton will present “Is This Any Way to Elect a President?” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Wilks Theater at the Armstrong Student Center.

“With the primary season well underway and ongoing televised debates for both political parties getting massive ratings, the students could not have come up with a more timely or relevant topic for this semester’s Janus Forum,” said Patrick J. Haney, chair and professor of political science. “Our three guests each have unique perspectives and backgrounds that will make this event especially engaging.”

James Carville, the “Ragin’ Cajun” nationally-known for his Southern charm and wit, is a Democratic political consultant, columnist and co-founder of Democracy Corps, an independent nonprofit polling organization. He achieved national recognition in 1992 when he helped then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton win the presidential election. Carville is also a best-selling author, actor, producer, talk show host, speaker and restaurateur.

Ann Compton is a former award-winning White House correspondent for ABC News who has covered the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, numerous Republican and Democratic national conventions and the September 11 terrorist attacks. She has received praise from both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama for her 40+ year career as a professional reporter.

Alex Castellanos is a well-known media consultant and strategist for the Republican Party, having worked on seven presidential campaigns throughout his career. He helped elect nine senators and six governors, and in 2008 he was honored as a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is also co-founder of Purple Strategies, a public affairs communications firm.

“We are excited to give Miami students the opportunity to learn about presidential campaigns from three guests who have seen them unfold at the highest level,” said Andrew Geisler, project coordinator for the Janus Forum. “Like every forum we have had, the conversation is sure to be civil and entertaining for our students.”

Traditionally a two-speaker format, this Janus Forum will be the first time three panelists will participate in the discussion. Greta Hallberg, a senior journalism and economics double major says she’s excited to serve as the student moderator in the new format.

“The Janus Forum has always been a platform for national members of the community to discuss their opposing views on an important issue, but we wanted to try something a bit different this year,” said Hallberg. “Having three guests together on stage will offer fascinating insight into the current state of the U.S. presidential election process, which lately has been generating a great deal of passion, interest and controversy.”

The Janus Forum is sponsored by the Thomas W. Smith Institute for Political Economy, Miami University’s department of political science, and the office of diversity affairs.

Free tickets to the discussion are available at the Miami University box office (129 Campus Avenue Building), and a public reception will follow in the Armstrong Student Center Pavilion. For more information, contact Andrew Geisler at geisleaj@MiamiOH.edu.