PRESS RELEASE from the Institute of Politics at Harvard University


December 2008

Contact: Esten Perez
(617) 496-4009                           

Cambridge, MA – The principal campaign managers of the 2008 presidential campaign will gather this week at the Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, to discuss campaign strategies and tactics employed during the recent Presidential election.  The Institute’s “Campaign for President” series, a Harvard tradition since 1972, brings together presidential campaign managers, political journalists, and analysts – every four years in the weeks between Election Day and the presidential inauguration – to examine the electoral process and review campaign decision-making. 

“Hosting presidential campaign strategists for frank discussions at the Institute of Politics has been the preeminent postscript to presidential campaigns since 1972,” said Institute of Politics Director Bill Purcell.  “Our conference allows top campaign staff an opportunity to share the successes and the challenges faced during the 2008 presidential race.”

“Campaign for President: The Managers Look at 2008,” will run from Thursday, December 11th to Friday, December 12th at Harvard Kennedy School.  On Thursday evening, the conference will feature an open event in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum to discuss the 2008 presidential race.  The event, moderated by IOP Senior Advisory Committee member and managing editor of PBS’ “Washington Week” Gwen Ifill, will feature McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis and chief pollster Bill McInturff as well as Obama for America chief strategist David Axelrod and campaign manager David Plouffe. 

Campaign managers will also participate in closed-door sessions on Thursday and Friday covering the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, the Democratic and Republican Conventions, the general election and the Internet and presidential politics.  The sessions’ conversations are captured, edited, and then published by the Institute of Politics in an effort to allow future candidates, managers, journalists and scholars to better understand the nature of modern presidential campaigns.  

Presidential campaigns represented by campaign staff at the conference include: Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-52, R), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14, R), former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN), former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.


Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at Harvard Kennedy School, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy.  The IOP’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis and to stimulate and nurture their interest in public service and leadership.  The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs.  More information is available online at