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November Surprise?


In 1845, the United States Congress chose a single date for all national elections in all states. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen so that there would never be more than 34 days between Election Day and the first Wednesday in December. This year the first Monday happens to be November 2nd, and the Coudert Institute will make the most of it with a spirited ELECTION EVE primer featuring The Hill's Editor at Large Steve Clemons and a 20-year veteran of Time Magazine, Margaret Carlson. Over three courses, these two well-seasoned political journalists will tackle multiple aspects of the most extraordinary election season in recent history. Coudert Institute Member Tickets and Non-Member Tickets are now available through this LINK. Please note that remote attendance is available for this program.


Throughout history, the race for the United States presidency has delivered its share of hotly contested elections between the Democratic Party, Republican Party and various third-party candidates. But, in terms of drama, 2020 may just take the cake? "President Trump is running like no one before, save himself in 2016," says Carlson. "He’s turned Biden into the incumbent." As Clemons and Carlson slug it out over the presidential race, during the program they'll also dive into Mitch McConnell and his first worrisome race in decades, against former pilot Amy McGrath. Will he remain Senate Majority Leader... or Senator? On the menu for "dessert", the two septuagenarians will tackle Trump’s threat to reject the election results and the dystopian nightmare that would follow.


Speaking on the nature of the historical pattern known as "October Surprises", in a recent appearance with Chip Reid on CBS Sunday Morning, Carlson suggests that some are carefully orchestrated, but some come out of the blue. "Is it a man-made (or woman-made) surprise, or is it an event beyond anyone's capacity to control... or, is it something in an ongoing scandal?" Although the phenomenon historically occurs in October, given this head spinning election season's volatility, could we also be in for some November surprises?



Margaret Carlson was Time Magazine's first woman columnist, and a panelist for 17 years on CNN's Capital Gang. She began her journalism career after graduating George Washington Law School at the Legal Times, a halfway house for unhappy members of the DC Bar. She also worked at Bloomberg News and The New Republic.



Prior to assuming his current role at The Hill, America's most read political media platform, Steve Clemons served as Editor at Large of The Atlantic.  He is proprietor of the popular political blog, The Washington Note.  He also founded and serves as Senior Fellow of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation where he previously served as Executive Vice President.  He appears frequently as a political commentator across major news networks in the U.S. and around the world and is also host of the popular weekly news show, The Bottom Line, which appears on the Al Jazeera English global network.


For this event, we are delighted to stream both Steve and Margaret in from the center of ALL the action, the nation's capitol... Washington D.C. This is an event not to be missed, and we hope that you'll join us for this historic kick-off to our Coudert Institute 2020 - 2021 Season!

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