In a special event Wednesday, February 2, 2011 sponsored by the Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at New York University, Senators Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, former leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in the U.S. Senate, will discuss their historic roles when the chamber was evenly divided and power, committee leadership and the floor agenda was to be shared by both political parties. They will also discuss the current Congressional composition and what it means for the American people and the President's agenda. The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A session.
The event – from 7 p.m.–to-8 p.m. at NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall, Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Square South, New York, N.Y. – will be moderated by Rogan Kersh, associate professor of public policy and associate dean for academic affairs at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Media coverage is invited. Journalists must RSVP to the NYU press officer listed with this release.
Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Tom Daschle graduated from South Dakota State University in 1969. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force where he served as an intelligence officer in the Strategic Air Command until mid-1972.
Following completion of his military service, Daschle served on the staff of Sen. James Abourezk (D-SD). In 1978, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served for eight years. In 1986, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and eight years later became its Democratic Leader. Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic Leaders in history and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader. During his tenure, Daschle navigated the Senate through some of its most historic economic and national security challenges.
Mr. Lott was born in Grenada, Miss., in 1941, and attended the University of Mississippi as an undergraduate and as a law student. After serving as a Congressional aide, he ran for the House seat being vacated by a retiring Democrat in 1972, winning it handily as Republicans across the South took office on Richard Nixon's coat tails. He became House minority whip in 1981 and was elected to the Senate in 1988. He became majority leader in 1996 after Bob Dole resigned to run for president.
Trent Lott entered Congress as one of the first of a wave of Republicans winning seats in Southern states that had been solidly Democratic for a century, rose to the position of Senate majority leader. On Nov. 26, 2007, he unexpectedly announced that he would be retiring before the end of the year.
The Brademas Center for the Study of Congress sponsors public lectures, symposia, conferences, roundtables and briefings that address the question of Congressional capacity for decision making -- whether, how and why that capacity has declined; and what measures can be taken by Congress to strengthen and enhance its ability to make good public policy. Events covering a range of policy and procedure issues are held in New York City, Washington, DC, and at various NYU international sites.