Ex-presidential candidates to speak Tuesday at U of M
Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:00 pm
The Messenger 03.21.12
In a busy presidential election year, the University of Memphis Student Government Association will welcome two former presidential candidates to campus Tuesday for “Political Perspectives: Howard Dean and Fred Thompson.”
Dean and Thompson will discuss the upcoming election and other political issues at 7 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre. The public is invited to the free event.
Dean began his career in public service in 1982 when he transitioned from a full-time practicing physician to an elected representative in Vermont. He served as governor for 12 years, the second longest serving in the state.
He left office in Vermont to run for president in 2003, implementing innovative fundraising strategies such as use of the Internet. Afterward, he founded Democracy for America and became chair of the Democratic National Committee, where he is credited with helping the Democrats make historic gains in 2006 and 2008.
Thompson, who earned degrees from the former Memphis State University in political science and philosophy in 1964, sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He served as a U.S. senator from 1994 to 2002.
While in the Senate, he served on several committees, including the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, the Finance Committee and the Intelligence Committee.
Thompson also is a noted actor, appearing in such films as “The Hunt for Red October,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Die Hard II” and “No Way Out” and the television series “Law & Order.”
Before his election, Thompson maintained law offices in Nashville and Washington, D.C. In 1973, he was appointed minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, where he gained national attention for leading the line of inquiry that revealed the audio taping system in the White House’s Oval Office.
“We’re excited to bring them in,” SGA president Tyler DeWitt said. “Both are still influential in the political world and both had bids for president.”
DeWitt hopes the event will be the start of a yearly political speakers series at the U of M.
Parking for Tuesday’s event will be available in the Zach Curlin garage adjacent to the Rose Theatre.