Longtime Political Analyst Tackles State of American Politics

OGDEN, Utah – Norman J. Ornstein, a longtime political analyst, commentator and journalist in Washington, D.C., will present “The Sorry State of American Politics: A Searching Look at Our Dysfunction and What Lies Ahead” during the Weber State University College of Social & Behavioral Sciences’ 2014 Distinguished Lecture. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall.

A Washington fixture for three decades, Ornstein is known for his bipartisan approach to public policy. Today, he focuses on political shifts and trends, and argues that Congress has never been more polarized and unwilling to participate in bipartisan activity. Ornstein addresses that subject in his 2012 bestselling book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism,” which he co-authored with noted congressional scholar Thomas Mann.

“For decades, Norman Ornstein has been a vital contributor to the understanding of American politics,” said Frank Harrold, dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. “He will discuss why today’s Congress has so much difficulty tending to the nation's business, and some steps we can take toward solving this problem.”

Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. He is co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and a senior adviser for Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. He also serves as an election analyst for CBS News, writes a weekly column called “Congress Inside Out” for Roll Call newspaper and makes regular appearances on television programs such as ABC’s “Nightline”, PBS’ “Charlie Rose” and “NewsHour.”

This is the second year the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences has hosted the Distinguished Lecture series, which brings in experts to shed light on a variety of significant social issues. In 2013, psychology alumnus Brad Bushman gave the inaugural lecture, discussing the relationship between violent media and violent behavior.

“The social and behavioral sciences help us gain crucial understanding of many important issues facing our society,” Harrold said. “We can best solve problems when we understand them, and this series provides WSU students — and the broader community — with thought-provoking and invaluable learning opportunities.”

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Frank Harrold, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences dean
801-626-6232 • francisharrold@weber.edu
Ivonne Dabb, University Communications
801-626-7925 • ivonnedabb@weber.edu