GWU Issues Management

A blog established for the George Washington University School of Political Management's Issues Management course.

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Location: Washington, D.C., United States

A middle aged white guy, who likes to think, talk and, too infrequently, write about politics, religion and gadgets.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Sunday Paper: Issues Roundup

Some interesting issues raised in articles found not on front pages of today's Washington Post and New York Times. Take a position and comment, imagining that you are manging the issue for one side or the other:

-- A growing number of Americans are hitting the limits on their health care policies after experiencing chronic medical conditions. If you're an advocate for the chronically ill, what are your key points? What if you are an insurance company? What is their obligation to pay? Ought there be any limits at all?

-- Harvard and Yale (among others) have moved to make college more affordable by cutting costs for some students and substituting grants for loans. Isn't this laudable? Yet some colleges are grousing that it might force them "to use more of their financial aid dollars to compete for the best middle-income students rather than to bring in the neediest." If you represent Yale or Harvard, how do you position your school? What if you are the spokesperson for a college that has concerns with this approach?

-- The New York Times reports on a new Arizona law that disallows financial aid and in-state tuition rates to any college student who can't prove their legal residence status. In-state tuition runs $65 per credit hour as compared to $280 per credit hour for out-of-staters. Says a Republican state representative, "Denying the in-state tuition, besides being fair to residents, also deters illegal immigrants from coming here." But the Dean of Admissions at the University of Arizona says, "It’s likely that there are hundreds of high school senior or college-age students whose plans for college have been compromised... And it’s likely there are thousands in K-12 who will no longer make those plans because the cost of university is now out of reach or they fear deportation if they attempt to attend school." A fourth generation Mexican-American says simply, "I see it as a very cruel law." Imagine you represent an immigration control group. What are your key messages? What about a pro-immigration group? What are the various implications of this initiative?

-- Posted by Pat Cleary

Monday, January 21, 2008


Welcome to Issues Management, Spring 2008. Our first class bodes well for a lively and interest semester. I appreciate the class involvement I've seen so far. We are a small, but scrappy, group.

The word of the early stages of this campaign is "change" and maybe the word that carries us all the way to November. Read the article I've posted on The Blackboard which is a kind of rumination on the word "change."

Then discuss.

How do you react to the candidates chant of "Change, change, change?"

What "issue" is addressed by this approach to campaigning and does repeating the word change help "manage" that issue?

Which candidates are credible when promising change and which are not?

Address any of these questions or post some other reaction you might have to the article before class on Thursday evening.