Political Insider Speaker Series Kicks Off, Is Open to All

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Two men, one laughing, sit in seats in front of a small audience.
George Mason alumnus Danny Diaz, left, speaks during a First Tuesday lecture series in Fall 2018, moderated by Steve Pearlstein, right. Photo by Lathan Goumas/Creative Services

A new speaker series examining the run-up to the 2022 mid-term congressional elections will bring to the Fairfax Campus nine political insiders who will dissect campaigns, explain strategies, and explore breaking headlines, all the way up to the Tuesday before Election Day.

The series, “First Tuesday: A Weekly Speakers Series on the 2022 Congressional Elections,” is open to all George Mason University students, staff, and faculty, and takes place each Tuesday (except for October 11) at 9 a.m. in the Main Reading Room of Fenwick Library.

The series is moderated by Robinson Professor of Public Affairs Steven Pearlstein as part of his Govt 490: Polarization and the 2022 Election course.

A blond woman in a dark top smiles.
First First Tuesday guest speaker, Schar School’s Ashley Jardina

“The purpose here is to give students a sense of what campaigns and elections are like from the inside,” said Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the Washington Post. “I am particularly excited to have Bill Hamilton, who is the only person to have ever been the political editor of both the New York Times and the Washington Post.”

Pearlstein also expects intriguing insights from U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, one of the few Republicans who stood up to the previous president’s election challenge and, the professor added, “lived—politically—to talk about it.”

The series begins Tuesday, September 6, with guest Ashley Jardina, a new associate professor at the Schar School and author of the well-received book, White Identity Politics. She won the 2022 Emerging Scholar award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for her work in the field of racial politics.

The complete lineup is below.

September 6
Associate Professor Ashley Jardina

Mason Professor, Author of White Identity Politics

September 13
Jeff Horwitt

Hart Research, NBC-Wall St. Journal Poll

September 20
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)

September 27
Danny Diaz

GOP Media Strategist, George Mason alumnus

October 4
Mike Henry

Chief of Staff to Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.)

October 11
No Speaker

October 18
Rebecca Pearcey

Political Director, Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign

October 25
Kristin Davison
Strategist to Governor Glenn Younkin (R-Va.) campaign

November 1
Bill Hamilton
Former Washington Editor, New York Times