Will members of Congress change their minds about compromise, or do voters need to change the members of Congress? Eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompson speak with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell about their forthcoming book The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It, which explores whether government leaders can overcome partisan divides for the benefit of all citizens."
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.
Andrea Mitchell is NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent and the host of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” She currently covers foreign policy, intelligence, and national security issues, including the diplomacy of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for all NBC News properties. Mitchell’s extensive reports include a 2010 interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a series of exclusive interviews, over the years, with Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Mitchell’s travels for NBC have included exclusive reports from North Korea, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, Pakistan, and Haiti. Mitchell covered the entire 2008 presidential campaign for NBC News and MSNBC. She is the author of Talking Back, a memoir about her experiences covering five presidents, Congress, and foreign policy. Mitchell received several awards including the prestigious Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Leonard Zeidenberg Award for her contribution to the protection of First Amendment Freedoms.
Dennis F. Thompson
Dennis F. Thompson, Professor of Public Policy, is also the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy in the Government Department in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and founding Director of Harvard's university-wide ethics program, now the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.
His books include: Just Elections: Creating a Fair Electoral Process in the United States; Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business and Healthcare; Political Ethics and Public Office; and Ethics in Congress: From Individual to Institutional Corruption. He is also the author (jointly with Amy Gutmann) of Why Deliberative Democracy? and Democracy & Disagreement.
Professor Thompson has served as a consultant to the Joint Ethics Committee of the South African Parliament, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
He received his BA in philosophy summa cum laude from the College of William and Mary; took first-class honors in philosophy, politics, and economics at Balliol College, Oxford; and holds a PhD in political science from Harvard.