Panel to consider ‘Who Destroyed American Politics?’

A donkey and an elephant pulling apart the American flag.

The deep partisan divisions in America and the question of whether we’ve reached a point of no return will be discussed in a panel discussion called “Hyperpartisan: Who Destroyed American Politics?” on Tuesday, March 6.

The panel will feature two former spokesmen who represented opposite sides of one of the most contentious issues in American politics: Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. Joe Lockhart and Charles Bakaly will be in conversation with “No Labels Radio” host A.B. Stoddard. All three will visit Yale as Poynter Fellows in Journalism. The discussion will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center at 53 Wall St. 

Lockhart served as Bill Clinton’s chief spokesman and senior adviser. On his first day on the job, the House Judiciary Committee recommended that the President be impeached. During the course of the trial, he continued to give two briefings a day in an aim to control the narrative surrounding the President. Lockhart began his career as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and Skye News, and he served as press secretary for the presidential campaigns of Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale. When he left the White House, he joined a Washington, D.C. communications firm. He worked at Facebook as vice president of global communications, and now he is the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.

Bakaly served as an aide to independent counsel Kenneth Starr during his investigation into the Whitewater inquiry and Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Bakaly counseled Starr to be more approachable to the media and helped raise his approval ratings. Bakalay began his career on Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, after which he worked in the White House for five years. He later returned to Washington as the spokesperson for an inquiry into former Agriculture Secretary Mike Epsy. Now, he is the senior counselor and lead of Edelman Litigation Communications Practice.

Stoddard is an associate editor and columnist at RealClearPolitics and the host of Sirius XM’s “No Labels Radio,” which works to create dialogue and eliminate the partisan divide in America. Stoddard started her journalism career as a reporter at a local paper in Virginia, and she has worked at ABC News, The Hills, and States News Services.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are John Brennan, Eric Lipton, and Susan Glasser.