The inaugural Nelson W. Polsby Congressional Conversation will be hosted by Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and feature Representatives Barney Frank and Tom Davis.
It is a candid conversation between prominent congressional leaders of opposing political interests on finding ways to build bridges, find solutions and govern effectively in a highly partisan environment.
The Polsby series aims to honor the late Berkeley congressional scholar Nelson Polsby by enabling substantive discussion between politically opposed leaders.
Polsby was noted for his ecumenical approach to divisive political issues and his efforts over many decades to expand our understanding of political institutions and to make them work better- The New Republic
Thomas M. "Tom" Davis III is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Virginia's 11th congressional district in Northern Virginia.
Davis was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by five-term incumbent and fellow Republican John Warner in the 2008 election, but he decided against running. He announced by January 30, 2008, that he will not seek reelection to an eighth term.
Barnett "Barney" Frank is an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives. From 2007 to 2011, Frank served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Brian Gruber is Founder and Executive Chairman of FORA.tv.
Gruber has twenty years experience successfully building and marketing media enterprises. As the senior marketing officer for a range of respected media institutions, he has managed billion dollar revenue budgets and large and small marketing teams.
As the first marketing director for C-SPAN, he built its affiliate sales and marketing organization, launching C-SPAN II with the largest subscriber base ever for a cable network at launch. As director of marketing for News Corp's FOXTEL, he helped build the cable television brand in Australia, going from number three to number one in cable subscriptions, brand equity and consumer awareness.
As the head of marketing of the largest urban divisions of 3 top ten cable companies (MSO's), he turned flat or negative subscriber growth into substantial gains. And as president of g/media and Principals.com, he has helped more than twenty new media companies develop brands, marketing strategies, and consumer products.
He also acted as the media adviser and new media producer for the World Affairs Council of Northern California, the nation's most prolific presenter of quality world affairs events.
Norman J. Ornstein
Norman J. Ornstein is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. An election analyst for CBS News, he writes a weekly column called "Congress Inside Out" for Roll Call.
His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs, and he appears regularly on television programs like The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, and Charlie Rose.
He serves on the board of the Public Broadcasting Service and several other nonprofit groups. Like Mann, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Barney Frank argues that Newt Gingrich transformed the dynamic between Republicans and Democrats from cooperation to antagonism, creating a sharp divide that has led to partisan politics and inefficient government.
Barney Frank expresses his views on government and democracy, specifically his concerns with the "Permanent Campaign" mentality that distracts politicians from governing, the lack of reliable information that leads many voters to misunderstand the dynamics of many hotly debated issues, and "post-partisan depression."
Virginia Congressional Representative Tom Davis compares the government of the 1960s to the government of today and explains some of the factors that have rendered the government today ineffective and "dysfunctional."
Congressional Representative Tom Davis describes how both the majority and minority party respectively work towards retaining or gaining majority status - often with little regard for legislation that doesn't advance their strategy.
Virginia Representative Tom Davis predicts balance of power and decision-making in the House of Representatives and the Senate depending on whether John McCain or Barack Obama wins the 2008 presidential race.