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HKS in the News July 3, 2012

1. 2012 winner must unite America on ideals (Gergen) CNN

2. Provocateur and Chief (Masoud) Slate

3. Romney would support foreign friends, confront adversaries (Nye) The Washington Times

4. The politics of disaster (Kayyem) The Boston Globe

2012 winner must unite America on ideals


July 3

Commentary by: David Gergen, Center for Public Leadership

Topic: The U.S. presidential election

With July Fourth upon us, many are pausing to ask why America is special -- and how we see that reflected in our politics.

The Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin kicked off the debate early with his first episode of HBO's "The Newsroom." In a scene that has generated a lot of buzz, a young woman rises from a college audience to ask the protagonist (played by Jeff Daniels) what makes America the greatest nation on Earth. He shrugs her off: "The New York Jets." Pressed by the moderator to give a real answer, he dodges again.

Eventually the protagonist breaks -- and delivers a jeremiad, declaring that America is no longer the greatest country in the world, that it is losing its soul, but that it used to be great and, yes, can still right itself. …

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Provocateur and Chief


July 2

Commentary by: Tarek Masoud, Ash Center

Topic: Egypt’s new president Mohammed Morsi

Moments before Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s newly elected president, took the stage to address tens of thousands of jubilant supporters in Tahrir Square last Friday, a voice rang out over the loudspeakers entreating the revelers to stop setting off fireworks. Morsi clearly did not receive the message. For almost 40 minutes, the man many Egypt-watchers had derided for lacking charisma gave what could only be called a barn-burner. At one point, Morsi burst out from behind the podium, shouted “you are the source of authority” to the adoring crowd, and then ripped open his jacket to show that he wasn’t wearing a bullet proof vest.

But he saved the real fireworks—at least for Washington—for the last three minutes of his speech. As he began to wrap up, Morsi seemingly went off script. Pointing into the crowd, he said, “I see the family of Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman,” referring to the so-called “blind sheikh” who currently is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison hospital for blessing a foiled plot to blow up several New York City landmarks. “And I see the banners for civilians imprisoned on military orders, and those jailed during the course of the revolution from the beginning until now. […] It is my duty to exert every effort, from tomorrow, until all of them are free, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.” …

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Romney would support foreign friends, confront adversaries

The Washington Times

July 1

Quoted: Joseph Nye

Topic: Mitt Romney’s foreign policy platform

Call it the "friend-enemy" distinction.

Mitt Romney has assembled a foreign-policy platform rooted in the belief that adversaries such as Russia must be confronted for backsliding on democracy and that Israel must be supported in the face of common threats such as a nuclear-armed Iran. …

“What Mr. Romney is doing is trying to indicate that he’s accepting all the positions in the Republican Party and casting as wide a net as possible to gather as much support as he can in the primaries,” said Joseph Nye, who served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton administration.

“The question is, where is he really?” said Mr. Nye, now a Harvard University professor credited with coining the phrase “soft power” to describe the importance of nonmilitary foreign policy initiatives.

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The politics of disaster

The Boston Globe

July 2

Commentary by: Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Center

Topic: Debates over federal disaster relief

The road to the White House cuts across many swing states including Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Under intense speculation and never-ending polling, these states are hot, so to speak. But only one is really hot, literally hot, actually on fire. Blazing Colorado is finding that the politics of a campaign are made more caustic by the politics of disaster.

As President Obama visited Colorado on Friday, it was clear these are fires of historic proportions. The Waldo Canyon blaze has forced the evacuation of 35,000 people and burned 18,500 acres. The tragedy has required calling in firefighters and equipment from around the nation. It has also engendered questions about the sanity of building residential developments in areas prone to fire. …

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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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