AUSTIN, Texas—A well-known political strategist, a national advertising expert, a veteran political reporter and an Emmy Award-winning political filmmaker will teach a course this fall titled “The Modern American Political Campaign” at The University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.
The team is made up of Mathew Dowd, chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign; Mark McKinnon, who oversaw advertising for the 2000 and 2004 Bush-Cheney campaigns; Wayne Slater, Austin bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News and coauthor of “Bush’s Brain; How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential”; and Paul Stekler, a nationally recognized documentary filmmaker whose films include “George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire” and “Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style.”
The graduate-level course will examine how political campaigns are conducted, analyzed and covered, why campaigns operate the way they do and how political campaigns affect the overall political system. The course will feature a bipartisan lineup of guest lecturers who have been active in state and national political campaigns.
“This class will provide students a tremendous immersion into practical politics and will be led by practitioners from various fields,” said Dowd, who is a visiting lecturer in the university’s Department of Government. “Austin has such a wealth of political talent available, it wasn’t a difficult proposition putting this course together for the LBJ School.”
The course will cover everything from strategy, to media development, to press coverage, to all other aspects of a modern campaign, Dowd said.
“When the course is finished, students will have a healthy understanding of how campaign strategy and communication work in a political environment,” he said.
According to Stekler, head of the production program in Radio-Television-Film in the university’s College of Communication, it is fitting that the LBJ School offer this course because of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s political legacy and Texas’ influence on modern American politics.
“LBJ was one of our greatest legislative presidents but also somebody who was intensely political in terms of election campaigns,” he said. “This is hopefully the first step in a nonpartisan way to develop much larger coverage of American campaign politics at the LBJ School and at UT.”
The fall 2005 course will be held in Bass Lecture Hall on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The target for the class is 60 graduate students: 20 LBJ School students, 20 Law School students and 20 College of Communication students. Additional students will be put on a standby list. For more information, visit the Advanced Topics in Public Policy course description or contact Megan Scarborough at 512-471-8954.
For more information contact: Megan Scarborough, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 512-471-8954.