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Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and political columnist Ezra Klein to speak at Miami University JANUS Forum


Ari Fleischer
Ari Fleischer
Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush, and Ezra Klein, a current political columnist for The Washington Post and Bloomberg, will respond to the question, "Is Democracy in America Working?," during the inaugural JANUS Forum Lecture 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the Taylor Auditorium, Farmer School of Business, Miami University.

The talk is free and open to the public. The public is also invited to a reception with the speakers following the event in the Farmer School’s Forsythe Commons.

“The JANUS Forum itself is designed to challenge students in a respectful, intellectual and honest way,” said Tyler Sinclair, a master’s student in political science and moderator for the discussion. “It is always important to challenge ourselves to think from different points of view and in a new way. That is what the JANUS Forum brings to Miami.”

During his time as the White House press secretary, Fleischer served as spokesman during the historic presidential recount, Sept. 11, two wars and an anthrax attack at a postal facility that handled government mail. Since leaving the White House, Fleischer has worked extensively in the world of sports as a media relations consultant. He is also the author of the best-selling book, Taking Heat, which recounts his years in the White House and reached No. 7 on The New York Times best-seller list.

Ezra Klein
Ezra Klein
Klein, who focuses on domestic and economic policymaking in his columns for The Washington Post, is also a contributor to MSNBC. He’s appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Charlie Rose,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “The McLaughlin Report,” “The Colbert Report” and many more. In 2011, Klein’s blog, Wonkblog, was the most-read blog at The Washington Post. That same year GQ named him one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington.

“Some believe that the ineffectiveness of Congress and the partisanship that seems to exist and inhibit government effectiveness may be evidence that the American model of Democracy is no longer working,” said Eric Buller, director of the Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute. “Though no one is advocating a different governance system, some argue that significant changes should be implemented and the U.S. Constitution be refined to meet modern issues. The two speakers, Ezra Klein and Ari Fleischer will provide informed opinions on this topic and participate in civil discourse with each other and members of the audience.”

“The JANUS Forum will provide a truly impressive and ongoing framework for our community to come together to discuss public affairs," said Patrick J. Haney, interim chair of political science. "I am proud of the students who have worked so hard to bring this forum to Miami, and grateful to our alumnus, Tom Smith, for being willing to invest in our students in this way.”

The JANUS Forum is a student-run organization that is a central component of the Thomas W. Smith Project on Liberty, Democracy and Citizenship at Miami University. The JANUS Forum is a catalyst for developing timely, interesting and rigorous discussion of public affairs. The JANUS Forum is sponsored by The Thomas W. Smith Project on Liberty, Democracy and Citizenship; the Miami University department of political science; the Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute, and the office of diversity affairs. It is made possible through the generous support of The Thomas W. Smith (Miami ’50) Foundation.


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