Rudalevige: ‘Every President is a Minority Leader. Trump Will Be, Too’ (Monkey Cage)

Andrew Rudalevige

In his latest contribution of analysis to the Washington Post political science blog Monkey Cage, Andrew Rudalevige, Bowdoin’s Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government, looks at the beginning of the Donald J. Trump presidency, starting with what we might expect from his inaugural address.

Citing historic examples Rudalevige points out that while US presidents claim to speak for the nation, in practice they are more often minority leaders.

Rudalevige also shares insight from growing scholarship suggesting presidents “weight both their rhetoric and their policy proposals heavily toward their partisan base.” Read more in the Monkey Cage.

Bowdoin’s Rael on ‘Abraham Lincoln’s Speech Problem’

Patrick Rael

Patrick Rael

At the recent unveiling of the rare and historic photograph of President Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Professor of History Patrick Rael regaled the standing-room-only crowd with what was going on behind the scenes as President-elect Lincoln prepared to take the oath of office to become the sixteenth President of the United States. 

A month before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln had a speech problem. Soon the President-elect, a man with only two years of public service behind him, would take the oath of office in a time of crisis, and deliver the most important inaugural address ever given. Now the text of that speech, which since the election Lincoln had labored unceasingly to perfect, was missing. This was not just a personal crisis; the manuscript was a state secret. Broadcasting its contents far and wide before Lincoln could even enter Washington might easily shatter the fragile peace, and send the nation headlong into war. Read the whole story here.

New Global Coalition Aims to ‘Outsmart Epidemics’ (Fortune)


Army researcher fighting Ebola. File photo

A initiative has been launched to tackle the worldwide threat of epidemics. The news came out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others, to announce the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The group pledged an initial investment of nearly half a billion dollars to “outsmart epidemics,” including Ebola, which claimed more than 11,000 lives following its outbreak in 2014.

Leslie Anderson ’79 Receives NEH Grant for Democracy Research

Leslie Anderson ’79

Leslie Anderson ’79

Leslie Anderson, a University of Florida Research Foundation professor of political science, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support her research of democratic enclaves in Nicaragua and the “politics of resistance.”

Her primary research focuses on the development of democracy—how and why it develops and why it fails or breaks down. She also studies electoral politics, left and right social movements, and democratic values.

The award is part of $16.3 million the NEH recently presented to support humanities research and programs. Included in this year’s grants were NEH awards to 34 organizations that provide cultural programming to underserved groups, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, Minnesota Public Radio, and the Massachusetts College of Art.