Political pundits open closed-door summit | VailDaily.com

Political pundits open closed-door summit

This year’s AEI World Forum will open today with a serious and sarcastic look at this year’s presidential election.”Election: 2004,” is a free – and free-form – public forum hosted by Comedy Central’s political pundit and pollster, Norman Ornstein, and television political commentator and author, Karlyn Bowman. The program will open with a few statements from Ornstein and Bowman, then a question and answer session for the audience. Both are resident scholars of the American Enterprise Institute. The organization’spresident, Chris DeMuth, will moderate. Doors open at 11 a.m. The event starts at noon.”In this critical election year, the topic is timely, and it’s a unique opportunity to hear and have an open dialogue with political experts who we wouldn’t typically find at the water cooler,” said Cara Herron of the Vail Valley Foundation, one of the event’s sponsors.The forum is an open element of an otherwise private event – the 23rd annual AEI World Forum, which is hosted by President Gerald R. Ford and runs Thursday through Sunday.The AEI World Forum is an informal summit attended by world leaders in government and industry. It was started by former President Ford in 1982, who will attend this year’s event.Vice President Dick Cheney will be part of the discussions as will Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his wife Andrea Mitchell, a foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News. Mitchell has covered every presidential election since 1976.Financier Michael Darling, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and Vail Resorts chief executive Adam Aron are also expected to participate.The United States, several European, Israel, Afghanistan, Spain and Portugal are expected to send representatives. Business leaders will come from such multi-national corporations as Pfizer, Merc, Dell and Exxon.Herron said participants will discuss matters of global importance, including the economy, commerce, finance and terrorism. The meetings are private and participants almost never discuss what they dealt with, though the discussions have been influential in driving national and world policy.”While it’s considered an informal summit, it’s not likely these people would take the time to have these conversations if nothing productive comes from them,” said Herron. “It’s also an opportunity for business leaders to have candid conversations with these international political leaders.”Election 2004Karlyn Bowman and Comedy Central’s Norman Ornstein open this year’s AEI World Forum with a free event at noon today at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek. Seating is on a first-come, first-serves basis. Doors open at 11 a.m. Parking at Village Hall and Villa Montane is free. For more information, call the Vail Valley Foundation at 949-1999.

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