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Beav’: Insiders talk politics

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Washington insiders will discuss the presidential election with local residents, news organizations, and political leaders at a weekend forum.

The Political Perspectives weekend, sponsored by the Vail Symposium, will feature meals and discussion with financial expert Roger Altman, politics and foreign relations expert Robert Guttman, and White House reporter Edward Luce.

Now is a good time to bring the presidential discussion to the area, especially with Denver hosting the Democrat Convention, said Dani Janklow, the Symposium’s marketing and development director.



“Colorado has become a hotbed for political discussion,” she said. “It’s an exciting time to be in Colorado.”

Several ambassadors and members of national and international press organizations such as The Financial Times and Al Jazeera are expected to attend.



“It’s really the pre-convention convention,” said Fraidy Aber, executive director of the Vail Symposium, “It will be a tremendous opportunity to be with notable political leaders and dignitaries.”

The speakers will discuss where our new president might lead the nation in environmental and energy policies, the economy, health, international security and foreign policy. They will look at the roles Republicans and Democrats will play, and give predictions on who will be the next president and who will fill their cabinet.

Altman will kick-off the forum Saturday night with a talk on “the brutal challenges facing our next president.”



Altman, who has made a career in investment banking, is a potential candidate for treasury secretary should Barack Obama become president. He has served at the U.S. Treasury as deputy secretary and assistant secretary, and also as economic advisor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Guttman, the director of the Center on Politics and Foreign Relations at Johns Hopkins University, and Luce, the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, will discuss what they expect to happen at the conventions, what the role of the new vice-presidential candidate will be, and what will be the key issues of the campaign.

Both speakers have unique perspectives on the conventions, Janklow said.

Luce has been covering the candidates on the road, so he will talk about traveling with presidential candidates and the journalistic challenges that come with the job. Guttman, who has attended seven Democratic conventions and three Republican conventions, will discuss the issues and compare this year’s conventions to previous ones.

“Most conventions in the last 20 years have been pretty programmed, but this year, there is an unknown factor by having Hillary Clinton’s name going into nomination,” Guttman said. “It could get out of hand and lead to people saying, ‘I want Hillary!’ It will add interest to the convention, but it’s not good for Obama because it will add attention to the Clintons.”

Foreign policy and potential running mates will be sure topics of discussion, since they seem to be making a different in the polls, he said.

“McCain is evening the field with Obama, who was leading the polls by a strong margin,” he said. “It looks like this foreign relations emphasis is helping McCain. Obama has to get his act together.”

Saturday

What: Future Policy Perspectives with Roger Altman, dinner and discussion

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Ford Hall, Beaver Creek

How much? $95/$85 for Vail Symposium contributors

Sunday

What: Political Predictions with Robert Guttman and Ed Luce

When: 8:30 a.m., Breakfast and Discussion.

Where: Ford Hall, Beaver Creek

How much? $45/$35 for Vail Symposium contributors

Attend the entire weekend for $125, or $100 for Vail Symposium contributors.

Call 476-0954 or visit http://www.vailsymposium.org for more information. All tickets must be reserved by Friday.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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