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Vail Symposium features ‘The Invisible Primary for President’ with Dr. Elaine Kamarck

December 9, 2023, 12:55 pm

The Vail Symposium recently announced the following upcoming event entitled “The Invisible Primary for President” with Dr. Elaine Kamarck set for 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Vail Interfaith Chapel:

Dr. Elaine Kamarck

With presidential primaries and caucuses just a few weeks off, Dr. Elaine Kamarck of the Brookings Institution, who focuses on the presidential nomination system and American politics, looks at the tea leaves and reveals some surprising history behind the electoral process, as well as the social media, press and fundraising measures that are tracked in the “invisible” primaries before the actual primaries themselves.

Soon, voters will select official candidates for the Presidency in primaries. The “invisible primary” is the period beginning approximately the winter before the election year, when candidates start seeking support, and ends when the official primary ballots are cast. Dr. Elaine Kamarck tracks the measurable data in this invisible primary period, following how candidates are doing and what factors influence the run up to eventual nomination. Dr. Kamarck will take us to Brookings live tracker.

In addition to tracking the lead up within primaries, she also tracks the candidates across political parties. Which candidate has the most followers on social media, and does it matter? Which candidate gets the most press, and does it matter if the press coverage is positive or negative? How important is campaign fundraising? She will take us through these complex factors and more as she tells the story of how America elects its Presidents.

Elaine C. Kamarck, Founding Director, Center for Effective Public Management; Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution

Elaine C. Kamarck is a Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies program as well as the Director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution. She is an expert on American electoral politics and government innovation and reform in the United States, OECD nations, and developing countries. She focuses her research on the presidential nomination system and American politics and has worked in many American presidential campaigns. Kamarck is the author of “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates” and “Why Presidents Fail And How They Can Succeed Again.” She
is also the author of “How Change Happens—or Doesn’t: The Politics of US Public Policy” and “The End of Government-As We Know It: Making Public Policy Work.”
Kamarck is also a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She started at the Kennedy School in 1997 after a career in politics and government. She has been a member of the Democratic National Committee and the DNC’s Rules Committee since 1997. She has participated actively in four presidential
campaigns and in ten nominating conventions—including two Republican conventions— and has served as a superdelegate to five Democratic conventions. In the 1980s, she was one of the founders of the New Democrat movement that helped elect Bill Clinton president. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1997, where she
created and managed the Clinton Administration’s National Performance Review, also known as the “reinventing government initiative.” At the Kennedy School, she served as Director of Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century and as Faculty Advisor to the Innovations in American Government Awards Program. In 2000, she took a leave of absence to work as Senior Policy Advisor to the Gore campaign.

Kamarck conducts research on 21st century government, the role of the Internet in political campaigns, homeland defense, intelligence reorganization, and governmental reform and innovation. Kamarck makes regular appearances in the media, including segments on: ABC, CBS, NBC, the BBC, CNN, Fox News Now New England Cable News, and National Public Radio. Kamarck received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Go to VailSymposium.org for more information or to purchase tickets.

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