2015 spring seminar: 2016 Primary and Caucus Season (Presidential Election Part 1)

Moderators: Jay Russell and Chuck Gillies
Time: Tuesdays, 9:30 am–11:30 am
Place: Smith College, Dewey Hall, Common Room, Northampton
Parking: You will be issued a Smith campus parking permit

Exploring the spring 2016 presidential primary and caucus campaigns leading to the fall election

Every Presidential election year since LIR’s founding, it has offered a seminar in the fall on the general election. Many significant developments, however, occur during the spring before as candidates vie in primaries and caucuses to win the delegates needed to secure their parties’ nominations.

This seminar will examine, as much as possible from an actual “fair and balanced” perspective, candidates (their biographies, qualifications and experience, their positions on the issues, etc.), issues being discussed (or ignored) by the candidates, and aspects of the political process (e.g., the roles of the political parties in 2016, campaign finance, the role of social media, the impact and influence of Fox News, MSNBC and talk radio, etc.) that shape the conduct and perhaps determine the outcome of the campaign. The moderators will recommend one or two small books for members to read.

Format: Seminar

Role of participants: Each participant will give a 20-25 presentation on a candidate or on an aspect of the political process. Each meeting will consist of two presentations, a 10 minute question and discussion period following each presentation and, after a break, a round table session for all participants to discuss recent and upcoming developments in the various campaigns.

Number of participants (including the moderators): 18

Resources: To be finalized and listed in a handout at the Preview.

The Moderators: Both moderators are self-professed “political junkies.” Jay is a retired attorney who has been an LIR member since 2013. He has taken history and political seminars and is the co-moderator this fall of “Presidents at the Law’s Edge.” Chuck has participated in and moderated earlier election seminars. He is interested in politics and history and the connections between them.