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HKS in the News April 9, 2012

1. Why don’t Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum just quit? (Lerner, Renshon) Washington Post

2. The self-destruction of Arizona (Kayyem) Boston Globe

3. Asian Nations Seek Gender Equality (Norris) Bangkok Post (Thailand)

4. Experts urge support for farmers (Dapice) Vietnam News

5. To Bet or Not to Bet? Why Gambling on Elections Is Wrong (Bieber) Huffington Post

Why don’t Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum just quit?

Washington Post

April 8

Commentary co-authored by: Jennifer Lerner, Harvard Decision Science Laboratory; and Jonathan Renshon, Belfer Center

Topic: Political candidates' motivations

After nearly 40 primaries, Mitt Romney has more than twice as many delegates as Rick Santorum and more than four times Newt Gingrich’s tally. And Ron Paul’s count barely registers. So why is this still a four-man race?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that decisions to quit a presidential race have little to do with voters and delegates — and everything to do with what’s going on in a candidate’s head. Staying in when there’s no hope of winning can become a quest for a consolation prize, such as a future Cabinet appointment. But fighting a losing battle also reflects human beings’ tendency to gamble, no matter how long the odds.

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The self-destruction of Arizona

Boston Globe

April 9

Commentary by: Juliette Kayyem

Topic: Anti-immigrant policies in Arizona

WITH ALL the problems in education these days, Arizona’s state superintendent of public instruction, John Huppenthal, thinks he has the answer. He just completed a successful effort to suspend Mexican-American studies from the public schools in this city, claiming such classes teach students to resent Anglos. Now convinced that the universities that train public school teachers are also to blame for such biases, he is launching an effort to eradicate Mexican-American studies from the entire University of Arizona system.

Driving along these cactus roads towards the Mexican border, it’s hard not to think of all the energy being wasted by Arizona’s leaders on a false threat - multiculturalism - and how much the state is paying for it. It’s like a global party is going on, and Arizona’s Republican leadership is waiting by the phone, in an ugly dress, wondering why no one is paying attention.

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Asian Nations Seek Gender Equality

Bangkok Post (Thailand)

April 8

Quoted: Pippa Norris, Shorenstein Center

Topic: Gender equality in Asian politics

Thailand and 10 other Asian nations have pledged to find ways to enhance gender equality in politics, according to a statement from a regional conference in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia....

The issue of quotas for women in politics was a recurring theme throughout the conference.

"It is not just a simple formula of add women and stir," Pippa Norris from Harvard University said outside the meeting hall.

"There are many other windows of opportunity for countries to improve the situation of women in politics."

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Experts urge support for farmers

Vietnam News

April 7

Quoted: David Dapice, Vietnam Program

Topic: Agriculture policy in Vietnam

HA NOI — Experts yesterday called for Viet Nam to clarify policies that support farmers and agriculture enterprises instead of putting too much emphasis on growth targets. The call came as part of a draft proposal on restructuring the sector to become more sustainable and market-oriented by 2020....

In his paper sent to the consultation meeting, professor David Dapice, chief economist for the Viet Nam Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, wrote that with respect to environmental threats to the Mekong Delta, too little may have been written in the proposal.

"The combination of falling ground water levels due to over-pumping, disrupted hydrology due to upstream dams and rising sea levels could severely damage the entire ecosystem," he explained. "It would be better to work on salt tolerant crops and fish raising systems as well as recharge of groundwater and raised beds for higher value crops."

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To Bet or Not to Bet? Why Gambling on Elections Is Wrong

Huffington Post

April 6

Commentary by: Matt Bieber MPP/HDS

Topic: Gambling on presidential elections

InTrade -- which bills itself as the "World's Leading Prediction Market" -- is a website that allows users to create betting 'markets' and buy or sell 'shares' in any yes-or-no prediction they can dream up....

You can also bet on election outcomes. Will Rick Santorum win the Pennsylvania primary? Will Pat Toomey be the Republican VP nominee? Will Barack Obama be re-elected?

But as much fun as it can be to speculate about these questions, I can't bring myself to feel good about the idea of gambling on election outcomes. It's not because I oppose gambling in general; I think betting on how much money The Hunger Games makes on its opening weekend is just fine. (A little silly maybe, but fine.)

Instead, my objection has to do with a feeling that our elections are profound, even sacred opportunities to express our highest ideals, and that gambling profanes them.

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Broadcast Notes

David Gergen, Center for Public Leadership
CNN “Reliable Sources,” 4/8
Topic: GOP presidential race

This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley

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