Norms Upended? U.S. Post-Election Politics, from Hanging Chads in 2000 to Challenges in 2020

Date & Time October 29, 2020 5:30pm - 6:30pm
IGL General

Join two IGL alumni, Matt Bai (A90) and Daniel Feldman (A89), for a discussion of U.S. election norms, recent contested presidential election results, and what might happen after November 3.

This event is co-sponsored by the International Relations Program, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Tisch College for Civic Life.

Matt Bai is a nationally known journalist, author and screenwriter. Starting in 2002, he covered three presidential campaigns for the New York Times, where he was the chief political writer for the Sunday magazine and a columnist for the newspaper. He then spent five years as the national political columnist for Yahoo News. In January 2020, he became a contributing columnist for the Washington Post.  Bai’s most recent book, All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid looks at the ruinous scandal involving the presidential candidate Gary Hart in 1987 and how it shaped the political and media culture. It was selected as one of the year’s best books by NPR and Amazon and was one of ten books longlisted for the PEN Faulkner Award in nonfiction. Bai also co-wrote, with Jay Carson and Jason Reitman, the feature film adapted from the book, titled “The Front Runner.” The film was directed by Reitman and starred Hugh Jackman as Hart. Bai is also the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, which was a New York TimesNotable Book for 2007. Bai has appeared frequently on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and played himself in a recurring role on season two of the Netflix drama “House of Cards.” In his early twenties, Bai was a speechwriter for UNICEF, where he worked with Audrey Hepburn during the last year of her life. He began his journalism career as a city desk reporter for the Boston Globe and spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek. His international experience includes coverage from Iraq and Liberia.  


Daniel F. Feldman is Senior of Counsel at Covington in Washington, DC. Ambassador Feldman previously served as deputy and then Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the U.S. Department of State, where he was accorded the personal rank of Ambassador by President Obama. He was a principal advisor to Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding Afghanistan, Pakistan, and broader South, Central, and East Asian issues. In over six years at the State Department spearheading the Afghanistan and Pakistan portfolio, he oversaw all economic development initiatives, international engagement, strategic communications, Congressional outreach, and external stakeholder efforts. He frequently testified before Senate and House Committees, briefed Members and staff, engaged with dozens of Foreign and Finance Ministries in launching the International Contact Group, and served as principal interlocutor with international and regional media outlets, NGOs, and thinktanks. His distinguished government career also includes serving as Director of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the National Security Council in the Clinton Administration and as counsel and communications adviser to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He also was senior foreign policy and national security advisor to the Hillary Clinton, Obama, Kerry, and Gore presidential campaigns, as well as a senior campaign advisor to Sen. Mark Warner. In the aftermath of the 2000 elections, he was one of the lawyers for the Democratic Party sent to Florida to work on overseeing the recount. Ambassador Feldman has been awarded a White House Fellowship and a Henry Luce Scholarship and served as a clerk on both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the South African Supreme (Constitutional) Court.

Register here.