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It’s Time to Rethink America’s Presidential Debates


The Democratic Party primary is effectively over. Now that Joe Biden has secured the nomination on the first ballot of the party’s convention, Democrats are pivoting towards a strategy to defeat President Donald J. Trump in the face of a global health pandemic and a crisis of confidence in the American justice system. Citizens and […]

Why Voters Should Care About a President’s Emotional Intelligence


BY JOHN SCIANIMANICO In their first debates on June 26 and 27, twenty candidates made the case for why they should be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. The candidates highlighted a number of tangible and compelling reasons, including their prior records in government, their well-conceived policy solutions, and their electability. But, while pedigree and experience […]


The evolution of political internet memes


BY OFRA KLEIN In 2000, during a presidential debate, then-candidate George W. Bush mispronounced the internet as “internets.” Four years later, he repeated this error in a debate with John Kerry (“I hear there’s rumors on the, uh, internets that we’re going to have a draft.”). This clearly was no mere mistake. And the internets […]

Why I Flew Across the Country to Cast My Vote for Hillary Clinton


BY AROHI SHARMA At 5:52 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, November 3, I put down the phone with the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office, devastated. After spending more than forty minutes waiting for someone to answer my call, I was told that the registrar’s office had not received my vote-by-mail application. I mailed my application […]

Presumptions, Prerogatives, and Power: Why Foreign Policy is Too Easy for Presidents, and Domestic Policy is Too Hard


BY JACOB SHELLY When President Obama stood outside the Blue Room on September 10th to announce a major expansion of airstrikes in the Middle East, he explained that he had no other choice. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), he warned, poses a threat to the entire region — including American citizens, personnel, […]


Shaping the Mainstream As An Asian American Woman: Politics Within Politics


Abstract This commentary illustrates how women of color, including Asian Americans, are rarely associated with having an active role in American politics. Based upon my experiences as the communications director for a state legislative race in Virginia, I shed light on hidden stereotypes associated with the intersection of gender, race, and nationality that emerge within political […]

Gender, Race and Identity

The Rise of a Narrative: Thomas Piketty at the Kennedy School


  BY JOSH RUDOLPH The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. – John Maynard Keynes Friday afternoons tend to be subdued affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. But the afternoon […]

Adventures in Presidential History


BY THOMAS TOBIN As the nation celebrates Presidents’ Day and students nationwide enjoy the long weekend, this holiday is a time to reflect on the nation’s highest office. U.S. Presidential history is rife with stories of political intrigue, personal triumph, and leadership in turbulent times. Yet while some presidents are carved into mountains or enshrined […]


Why We Need Corporate Tax Reform


BY ELLIOTT LONG  In 1943, corporate income tax collections accounted for 40 percent of total tax collections. By 2012, they accounted for just 9.7 percent—a 76 percent decrease in less than a century. An examination into the factors contributing to this decline reveals several alarming trends that, if left unchecked, will only lead to further […]

He Said, We Said: Breaking Down the State of the Union, Part 2


POLICY AREA: HEALTH CARE BY EMILY HARTMANN It is clear that President Obama wants to move the conversation forward on health care. In the State of the Union address he acknowledged the early struggles launching health care exchanges, but he quickly turned to the successes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Speaking directly to the […]

He Said, We Said: Breaking Down the State of the Union


Note: This post assesses President Obama’s State of the Union Address in 4 policy ares: K-12 Education, Higher Education, LGBTQ and Military Affairs. It is a follow up to KSR’s SOTU coverage here and here. POLICY AREA: K-12 EDUCATION BY ADRIENNE MURPHY As an education reform enthusiast, I was excited to hear the President kick […]

2014 State of the Union: Issue by Issue, Part 2


A Note of Explanation: For the first time, the Kennedy School Review has tapped into the policy expertise of students across the Harvard Kennedy School of Government to collect their perspectives on President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address.  For two days, HKS students are providing their analysis on a broad range of policy […]

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