Donna Brazile to Speak at College

By Caroline Jaschke

Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile will be speaking at Middlebury on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in Mead Chapel. The event, titled “Political Outlook: Comprehensive Picture of What’s Going on in Washington,” will be free to attend and open to the public.

Brazile has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 to 2000. In 2000, she became the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign, serving as campaign manager to Al Gore.

Brazile is also an author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She comes to the College as the MCAB Speakers Committee’s spring speaker.

Head of the Speakers Committee Nick Orr ’15 explained the decision to bring Brazile to campus.

“When deciding on a speaker, we [kept] three questions in mind. What kind of voice would the campus like to hear? What’s relevant? What’s the budget? Donna Brazile fit all of these categories. She’s a very big personality and a good person to have as election season is approaching. We think the campus will really enjoy what she has to say,” he said.

With the recent announcements of presidential bids, Brazile comes at an appropriate time to answer some of the questions about the inner-workings of Washington. As former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute, she is very familiar with the election process and with Washington.

“I think she’ll provide a very high level view of what’s going on between Democrats and Republicans, and I hope she stays pretty even-keeled,” Orr said. “This is a fairly politicized campus, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, I’m unsure what the students’ sense is. I hope she really gives us an idea of what it’s like to be there, in Washington. Hopefully, people attend and find it interesting.”

At the conclusion of Brazile’s visit, the talk will allow for audience questions. Orr spoke about some of the questions that he’d like to see addressed.

He said, “There’s a sense that Congress is no longer representing the people’s voices. If that’s a problem, how do we correct it? Where does Brazile see the Democratic party going?”