On Saturday, April 25, 2009, Professor Charles Ogletree ’78 moderated a panel discussion entitled “Forecasting President Obama’s Impact on America’s Political and Economic Agenda” as part of the weekend’s HLS Reunion program.
Panelists included the Hon. John Adler ’84, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-NJ); Neil Chayet ’63, of Chayet Communication Group, and host of WCBS’s “Looking at the Law;” Sharon Jones ’82, president of Jones Diversity Group; Robert Tubman ’69, an attorney living and working in Sweden; Leila Kern ’84, Massachusetts Superior Court judge; Eric Osterweil ’59, a resident of Brussels and self-described as one of the two leading experts in Belgium on President Obama; Geoffrey Shephard ’69, a Republican and former White House staffer during the Nixon and Ford administrations; Kami Chavis Simmons ’99, a former assistant U.S. attorney and an assistant professor of law at Wake Forest University; and Philip Burling ’69, a partner at Foley & Hoag and the Covington & Burling Distinguished Visitor and Lecturer on Law at HLS.
Ogletree asked questions across a broad range of issues, eliciting the panelists’ opinions on how President Obama has performed during his first 100 days in office and ideas about what to expect.
Panelists discussed Obama’s apparent shift to the middle, and whether or not there has been disappointment among some of his more progressive supporters.
“At the election, there was a lot of hope,” said Jones. “In the first hundred days, we’ve had to face the reality that he’s also a president and a politician, and there are compromises that have to be made.”
The panelists also discussed how President Obama’s performance has and will affect the international community, both economically and in matters of security. They also shared opinions on how the President and Congress have interacted during the first 100 days.