Donna Brazile, the interim chairperson of the Democratic National Committee hashed it out with Margaret Hoover, a political analyst for Republicans and board member of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, during the second installment of the Distinguished Speakers Series this semester on the effectiveness of Millennials’ roles in the political process.
Tanya Washington, a professor of law and member of the Center for Access to Justice at Georgia State’s College of Law, gave Brazile and Hoover room to set the tone by making several positive statements about Millennials and summarized some events that catalyzed the fracturing of the Republican party.
Included in many instances of praise and passion was Brazile challenging Millennials to take the mantle and lead the change for a better America.
“What will your generation do to change the lives of all Americans?”, Brazile asked the audience after conveying the feats of previous generations amidst severe events, including a stirring example about her contemporaries and elders crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge during height of the Civil Rights Movement.
Brazile told students to not only vote, but eventually run for public offices themselves because she will leave her position after this due to the energy and commitment necessary for doing the job well.
Both Brazile and Hoover also encouraged women to be assertive and take positions of leadership through public office because, they said, there is no perfect time or a perfect collection of credentials needed. Brazile summarized most women’s hesitancy towards leadership roles as the expectation for multiple degrees, certifications, levels of experience, and ability to raise a lot of money. Hoover co-signed the sentiment by using Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” principle, an ode to Sandberg’s book Lean In.
In the latter stages of the panel discussion, Brazile hammered the Republican party for not making adjustments to supporting basic human rights of health care and the Voting Rights Act.
Hoover responded by providing specific examples of bipartisan partnerships within those same areas, including Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s vetoing HB 757, also known as the Religious Liberty bill, and South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s collaboration with New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, and two other Senators, to sponsor the Investing in the Opportunity Act. Hoover also told the audience that “Trump got a plurality, not a majority, Republican primary voters.”
Hoover said that “those who have known Clinton for a long time like her the most, but for Trump, those who have known him the most like him the least.”
Brazile, however, expressed frustration towards Clinton for not directly going after Trump for his blatant sexism, racism, and xenophobia, so much so that she suggested Clinton “pulled her earrings off” once Trump finished. She trivialized the email scandal when asked about the issue. Brazile was under suspicions of tipping off Clinton about campaign plans for Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign but said, “Part of what I did as a television commentator was communicate with both campaigns”.
“Whenever I receive information from a campaign, and I don’t know exactly what the emails said because I refuse to open up any of those [Podesta] emails, I don’t read those emails, they’re earmarked for Russia,” she said. “But as a political commentator, I communicated with all the candidates. The reason I got that email is because I donated to Bernie’s campaign. I also donated to Hillary’s campaign…So it wasn’t as egregious as Wikileaks or Julian Assange would like you to believe.”