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Newsweek political analyst Clift to speak at Miami Hamilton

April 4, 2011

Eleanor CliftThe Harry T. Wilks Lecture Series and Miami University Hamilton announce political reporter, television pundit and author Eleanor Clift will speak to campus and community at 7:30 p.m. Tues., April 19, in Parrish Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public; no tickets required.

Clift writes on the Washington power structure, currently assigned to follow the jockeying over policy and politics in a divided Congress where the two parties share power and where President Obama faces major opposition. She has been a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine since 1994.  

“She is interesting, knowledgeable and very insightful,” Wilks said of Clift. “She knows what she’s talking about. She will bring her political perspective to analyze what lessons Obama and the newly empowered Republicans have learned, and how both sides are gearing up for the 2012 presidential election,” Wilks said.

“She also will discuss the political implications of U.S. involvement in three wars simultaneously (Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya), and a whole lot more,” Wilks said.

Clift is a regular panelist on the syndicated talk show, The McLaughlin Group. She has appeared as herself in several movies, including Dave, Independence Day, Murder at 1600, Rising Sun, and the CBS series Murphy Brown.

Clift and her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, who was a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote two books together, War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics, and Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling. Clift's book Founding Sisters is about the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

Her most recent book, Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics, published in 2008, is about the loss of her husband together with an examination of how we deal with death in America.

Formerly Newsweek's White House correspondent, Clift also served as congressional and political correspondent for six years. She was a key member of the magazine's 1992 election team, following the campaign of Bill Clinton from the start to inauguration day. In June 1992 she was named Deputy Washington Bureau Chief.

As a reporter in Newsweek's Atlanta bureau, Clift covered Jimmy Carter's bid for the presidency. She followed Carter to Washington to become Newsweek's White House correspondent, a position she held until 1985. Clift began her career as a secretary to Newsweek's National Affairs editor in New York. She was one of the first women at the magazine to move from secretary to reporter.

Clift has covered every presidential campaign since 1976, and was part of Newsweek's special project team following the 1984, 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections. Evan Thomas’ 2009 book, A Long Time Coming, is based on the Newsweek team's reporting and chronicles the history-making campaign of Barack Obama.

Clift lives in Washington, D.C., where she is on the board of the International Women's Media Foundation, the Center for Politics and Journalism, and the National Hospice Foundation.

The Harry T. Wilks Lecture Series brings to Miami University Hamilton national and international speakers who shape the policies and ideas of the human endeavor. Previous speakers include Mario Cuomo, Tony Snow, Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Bryant Quinn, Mark Shields, Patrick J. Buchanan, Leonard Pitts, Jr., and Lee Hamilton.



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