What Does America Stand for Today? with discussants Michael Sandel, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Amy Gutmann, Theodore B. Olson, Sen. Arlen Specter and Alan Wolfe. Mickey Edwards moderates the discussion.
Some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world all gathered in a single place - to teach, speak, lead, question, and answer at the 2006 Aspen Ideas Festival. Throughout the week, they all interacted with an audience of thoughtful people who stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought, and discussion.
Mickey Edwards is vice president and director of the Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership at the Aspen Institute. Before joining the Institute, Edwards taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Law School, and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Edwards was a member of Congress for 16 years, serving as a member of the House Republican leadership and a ranking member on both the House Appropriations and Budget committees. He has been an advisor to the State Department, a director of the Constitution Project, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, and a regular political commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He has chaired task forces on foreign policy for the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations and is author of several books, most recently Reclaiming Conservatism.
Representative Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel has represented the 5th District of Illinois in the US House of Representatives from 2003 until his resignation in 2009. Rep. Emanuel serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees taxes, trade, Social Security, and Medicare issues, and he is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In January 2007, he was elected to serve as Democratic Caucus chair. He began his career with the consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action. He worked on Paul Simonâ€™s 1984 election to the US Senate and in 1989 served as a senior advisor and chief fund-raiser for Richard M. Daley. He also served as a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton. After leaving the White House, he returned to Chicago to serve as a managing director at a leading global investment bank.
Amy Gutmann became the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She is a political scientist and philosopher and currently serves as a professor of Political Science, with secondary faculty appointments in the Philosophy Department, the Annenberg School for Communication, and the Graduate School of Education. She teaches, lectures, and writes extensively on ethics, justice theory, deliberative democracy, and democratic education, and she has edited and written many articles and books, including Why Deliberative Democracy?, Identity in Democracy, Democratic Education, Democracy and Disagreement, and Color Conscious. Previously she served as provost at Princeton University, where she was also the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and founding director of the Center for Human Values.
Theodore B. Olson
Theodore Olson is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C., office. He served as the Solicitor General of the United States from 2001 to 2004 and as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Reagan Administration. He has argued fifty-eight cases before the Supreme Court, including Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His latest book is What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. Sandel’s other books include Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? and Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, among others. His work has been translated into 19 foreign languages. In 2010, China Newsweek named him the most influential foreign figure of the year in China. In 2009, Sandel delivered the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures, broadcast in the United Kingdom and worldwide on the BBC World Service. In the United States, Sandel has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; he is also on the Council on Foreign Relations.
Senator Arlen Specter
Arlen Specter is Pennsylvania's senior Senator, elected to the Senate and 1980 and currently serving his fifth term. He is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations and Veterans Affairs Committees. He also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, overseeing federal funding for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and many education programs.
He has also served as chairman of the Senate's intelligence committee. A champion of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and an advocate for veterans and for national security, he is a lawyer and a former Philadelphia district attorney.