Four distinguished political analysts will discuss the impact of the 2012 election on the Midwest in a Nov. 13 forum presented by Monmouth College as part of its “Midwest Matters” initiative.
Sponsored by Security Savings Bank of Monmouth, the free forum will be held at 7 p.m. in the college’s Wells Theater.
Participating panelists will be David Wilhelm, manager of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and former chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC); Rick Pearson, political reporter for the Chicago Tribune; Mike Glover, former political reporter for the Associated Press; and communications strategist Thom Serafin, founder and CEO of Serafin & Associates.
MC political science lecturer Robin Johnson will moderate the forum, which will dissect the results of the Nov. 6 general election, from congressional races to the presidency, and discuss from a Midwest perspective potential trends or policies emerging from its wake. Johnson, a former councilman for the City of Monmouth, is a governmental relations, public policy and political consultant with experience as a consultant or manager for dozens of state and local campaigns in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Monmouth College and a master’s degree in public administration from Western Illinois University.
Wilhelm ran the day-to-day operations of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, directed its Electoral College and political strategy, and spearheaded the post-convention bus tour of the American heartland. Upon his election in 1992, President Clinton nominated Wilhelm to serve as chair of the DNC, making Wilhelm the youngest person to ever serve in that role in either political party.
In addition to managing Clinton’s campaign, Wilhelm has also managed campaigns for Vice President Joe Biden, Chicago mayor Richard Daley and Sen. Paul Simon. More recently, Wilhelm co-chaired the successful campaign to renew Ohio’s innovative “Third Frontier” job creation program and, in 2008, was one of the first superdelegates to support the candidacy of then-Senator Barack Obama for the presidency.
An award-winning journalist, Pearson has been the Tribune’s political reporter since 1998. He was the newspaper’s chief correspondent covering the 2000 and 2004 campaigns of President George W. Bush, and he also covered Sen. John McCain’s 2000 GOP bid for the White House. For the 2008 campaign, Pearson was the Tribune’s chief Iowa correspondent for that state’s caucuses, beginning in July 2007. Two years ago, Pearson began doing political reporting and analysis for WGN-TV.
Glover got his start in the newspaper business in 1974, working three years in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and three years in Bloomington, Ill. In 1980, he went to work for the Associated Press in Des Moines, Iowa, covering the legislature and politics. Recently retired, he was a panelist for 30 years on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program. He is currently writing a book about his 40 years as a journalist. The book will cap off with this year’s election, which he has been covering for two years.
With a deep knowledge of the Illinois business and government landscapes, Serafin has shaped and implemented successful public affairs strategies for hundreds of corporations and other organizations over the last three decades. His expertise as a political communications analyst follows years of hands-on experience, first as a network radio political correspondent, later as press secretary for several U.S. Senate campaigns, a presidential campaign and on the Washington, D.C., staff of U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon. Over the years, he has served as a strategist for some of the country’s most high-profile politicians. Serafin is a regular contributor on PBS, WGN and Chicago’s ABC, NBC and Fox network affiliates.
Through its “Midwest Matters” initiative, Monmouth College seeks to be a catalyst for innovation and change that will add value and enrich lives. By exchanging ideas about the region’s economy, culture and future potential, the college hopes to not only educate its students about important Midwest issues, but to be a part of the solution, as well.