Political strategists, experts to discuss America at war

For Immediate Release

Contact: Janet Gilmore
(510) 642-5685

What: “The American Presidency at War,” a daylong conference co-sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and the UC Berkeley School of Law.

The conference will examine what role the courts, the U.S. Congress, and the public historically have played in checking presidential actions, and what role they should play in the Iraq War and beyond in a world where the opponent in a military conflict may not be a sovereign state. Panelists will discuss how the president’s standing with the public is affected by wartime actions; the presidential powers that the Constitution grants the president during times of emergencies; and whether conditions in the post-9/11 world mandate a change in our thinking about presidential powers.

When: Friday, Sept. 19, 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Lipman Room, 8th floor, Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley. See map at:

Who: The keynote address, “The View from the White House in Time of War,” will feature a joint appearance by two former White House officials: Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former White House director of public affairs under President George W. Bush, and John Podesta, White House chief of staff from 1998 to 2001.

Jonathan Cohen, director of polling for The Washington Post, who will speak at lunch on “War and Terrorism in the 2008 Election.”

Participants also will include distinguished political science, law and public policy professors from UC Berkeley, MIT, Stanford University, Yale University, Columbia Law School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

To learn more about the event, go to:


NOTE: For more information, contact Ethan Rarick at the Institute of Governmental Studies at (510) 642-5158 or erarick@berkeley.edu. Journalists wishing to arrange interviews with conference participants can contact Rarick for assistance.