Two Highly Distinguished Political Experts Participate in the College's Political Roundtable

By: Alicia Cook

On April 25, Bloomfield College was home to an exciting political roundtable with POLITICO Editor, Susan Glasser, and New York Times’ Chief White House Correspondent, Peter Baker.

“It is culturally important for students to hear from experts with a long range view of politics,” Bloomfield College President, Richard Levao said to a packed crowd in the Van Fossan Theatre.

The event was moderated by a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, CBS News Correspondent, Jim Axelrod.

“We don’t have B-listers or A-listers sitting here,” Axelrod said in his opening remarks as he shared the stage alongside Baker and Glasser. “We have A-plus-listers here tonight.”

The discussions during this lively and engaging night circled primarily around the upcoming presidential election. Both Baker and Glasser provided their professional opinions on all things Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.

“This is not an election year where either side benefits very much by debating on ethics,” Glasser stated, candidly. Laughter echoed through the theater.

“The old rules of the race are gone,” said Baker. “Those rules don’t apply here.”

Also deliberated within the short hour were gender gap, Cleveland, pop culture influences, the 24-hour news cycle, and the possibility of one day being able to cast votes online. Baker and Glasser announced their imminent plans to be foreign correspondents for the next three years in Jerusalem.

“The politics are much more civilized there,” joked the couple.

The last fifteen minutes of the roundtable welcomed questions from the audience. Hands throughout the audience shot up immediately including questions from students, like a first-year Bloomfield College student who attended the event with his government class.

“I thought it was a terrific evening,” said Axelrod. “It was smart, enlightening, and informative. It was everything you could want. I walked out of the room feeling smarter about the political landscape than I felt walking into the room.”

A small reception immediately followed the roundtable and the room was abuzz with chatter that echoed Axelrod’s sentiments.

“I felt like I had heard everything about this election already,” said Maureen Grant, a member of the Board of Trustees. “Yet, I learned so much tonight. This event was just so refreshing.”

For anyone who may be unfamiliar with Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, prior to joining The New York Times in 2008, Peter Baker was a reporter for 20 years at The Washington Post. In between stints at the White House, Baker and his wife, Susan Glasser, spent four years as Moscow bureau chiefs. Baker also covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He later spent six months in the Middle East, reporting from inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

He won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Coverage of the Presidency for his reporting on Bush, and the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for his coverage of Obama.

In October 2013, Baker published Days of Fire, which was listed as one of the top ten books of 2013 by The New York Times. His previous book which was co-written by Glasser, Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution was named one of the Best Books of 2005 by The Washington Post Book World.

Susan Glasser is the Editor of POLITICO. She was also the founding editor of POLITICO Magazine, the award-winning publication featuring both long-form reporting and opinion journalism.

Glasser joined POLITICO after several years as editor-in-chief of the award-winning magazine Foreign Policy.

Before that, Glasser worked for a decade at The Washington Post, where she was a foreign correspondent, editor, and political reporter. Glasser also covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a correspondent for the Post, including the battle of Tora Bora and the invasion of southern Iraq.

“This was a perfect example of the quality of the people connected to Bloomfield College,” Axelrod noted. “I would love to see many more similar events like this at the College.”

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