Last Tuesday night, Stanford University kicked off a big course on the 2012 Election. 600 students packed into a crowded auditorium, filling every seat, waiting for the course to begin. Led by David Kennedy (Pulitzer Prize-winning historian), Rob Reich (Political Science, Stanford), and James Steyer (CEO, Common Sense Media), the course brings together “experts from Stanford’s faculty, along with distinguished participants in and analysts of American politics.” And, together, they’re examining major issues at stake in the election — foreign policy, the economy, the Supreme Court, campaign financing, campaign strategy, etc.
The first week featured conversations with two seasoned campaign strategists — Mark McKinnon and Chris Lehane — who put away their daggers and had an unusually civil conversation about the Obama-Romney contest, and the state of American politics more generally. Also joining the conversation was Gary Segura, a Stanford expert in polling, who offered up some firm predictions about the election.
Although the course is filled to capacity, you can attend the course virtually on iTunes and YouTube for free. (It will be added to our collection of 500 Free Courses Online.) A complete list of upcoming speakers can be found here.
Full disclosure: This course was partly organized by Stanford Continuing Studies where I happily spend my working days. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should check out our amazing program.