Gore campaign manager to lecture
Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign manager will come to Syracuse University Sunday.
Donna Brazile will be the keynote speaker at the African American Male Congress’ eighth annual Talented Tenth Leadership Institute. She will deliver the keynote address at the convocation at 4 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. Brazile is now chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.
‘She’s one of the most influential African American women in politics aside from (those in) elected office,’ said Travis Mason, president of the AAMC. ‘We’re honored to have her come speak Sunday.’
Brazile’s speech will center on black people in politics.
‘I will focus on the importance of reviving the modern civil rights movement and the new leadership that is urgently needed on the political scene,’ Brazile said in an e-mail.
Brazile will send an important message of perseverance, according to Mason, to anyone who attends the speech. Mason said he is encouraged by Brazile’s rise in politics not just because she is black, but also because she is a woman.
‘This is not just an event for African Americans,’ Mason said. ‘She offers a unique message. She’ll be speaking on behalf of the same issues and trials we face when we make it in our own professions.’
Brazile will encourage students to join politics in her speech, she said.
‘My advice to young people everywhere is to make a commitment to serve our country,’ Brazile said. ‘I am looking forward to attending the convocation and to challenge the students to ‘make their move’ into the political arena.’
It is especially important for black people to think about politics as a profession, Brazile said.
‘It’s important that we tap every community to provide leadership and not solely rely on past models that exclusively focused on white males,’ Brazile said. ‘This is an opportunity to transform American politics.’
Sam Eschenbrenner, a member of the SU College Democrats, sent out a mass e-mail to other members of the organization asking them to come to Brazile’s speech.
Eschenbrenner said he is looking forward to Brazile’s appearance ‘because of her work for Al Gore, her being the first African American to run a major campaign, and one of the only women to run a major campaign.’
Coming to see Brazile should not be confined to those interested in politics, Eschenbrenner said.
‘You should come see how political campaigns work,’ Eschenbrenner said. ‘People have issues, they have things they want, and they need to know how to fight for them.’
Brazile can also give a unique perspective on both sides of the political spectrum, Eschenbrenner said.
‘It’s a good thing to learn to run a campaign that was successful and at the same time unsuccessful,’ said Eschenbrenner, referring to Gore and President George W. Bush’s disputed election.
Brazile said politics will become more racially integrated in the coming decades.
‘The nation is changing,’ Brazile said. ‘Now, more than ever, the American people are looking for leaders with a vision of the future.’
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