Skip to Content

Latest News


U.Va. Center for Politics to host 16th annual American Democracy Conference


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, Nov. 20, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 16th annual American Democracy Conference. The conference, which will be held at Alumni Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, will feature panels of leading journalists and political experts focused on the results of the recent midterm elections and the upcoming presidential race.

The event, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html

The conference will also be livestreamed online at the following link: http://new.livestream.com/tavco/UVA-CenterforPolitics.

The panels are:

10:30 a.m. – noon: Panel I: The 2014 midterm

Moderator: Larry J. Sabato, director of the U.Va. Center for Politics

Panelists:

  • Alan Abramowitz, Sabato’s Crystal Ball senior columnist and Emory University professor
  • Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard
  • Chris LaCivita, Republican political consultant who worked on Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) successful reelection bid
  • Ali Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC, a Democratic Super PAC
  • Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics senior election analyst and Sabato’s Crystal Ball senior columnist
12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.: Panel II: What to expect in 2016

Moderator: Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Panelists:

  • Greg Jackson,national field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Chris LaCivita (noted above)
  • John Lapp, Democratic political consultant
  • Jill Lawrence, columnist for Creators Syndicate


Sergei Khrushchev to speak to U.Va. class in advance of evening panel discussion


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Dr. Sergei Khrushchev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, will speak to the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ 2014 fall internship class and answer student questions. Open to the media, the discussion with students will begin at 3 p.m. at the U.Va. Center for Politics, located at 465 Crestwood Drive in Charlottesville. The talk will take place prior to an evening panel about the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Khrushchev will be the featured speaker at a panel discussion Wednesday evening commemorating the quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Small Special Collections Library on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Khrushchev and other panelists will discuss the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and its impact on the policies and politics of Europe, Russia, and the United States. The evening forum, moderated by Dr. Andrew Bell, Senior Historian at the Center for Politics, is free and open to the public. Other evening panelists include:

  • Dr. Klaus Larres, Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations and professor of Cold War history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Dr. Allen Lynch, professor of politics at the University of Virginia and former director of the University’s Center for Russian & East European Studies (1993–2008).
  • Dr. Mary Beth Stein, professor of German and International Affairs at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

The panel, co-sponsored by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, is presented in partnership with the Virginia Film Festival. The event is part of the Center for Politics’ Anniversary Series, which commemorates landmark political events in American history through public lectures, programs, television documentaries, and teaching resources offered to a nationwide audience.


Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato & Crystal Ball team to present predictions for 2014 midterm elections


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- On Monday, Nov. 3, University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and his team will gaze into the Crystal Ball and share their thoughts about the 2014 election.

The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Sabato and his Crystal Ball team will discuss the possible outcomes on Election Day, Nov. 4. The discussion will focus on the battle for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the nation's governorships.

The event is free and open to the public with advance registration advance registration, and the press is invited to attend.


“Bombs Away” documentary to premiere in Richmond Explores LBJ, Goldwater, and the 1964 Election


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 30, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will host the premiere of their new documentary, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All, at the Library of Virginia.

The showing will take place at 7 p.m. and will feature introductory comments from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, and Community Idea Stations President and CEO Curtis Monk. Gov. McAuliffe will also present Prof. Sabato with the Emmy award for The Kennedy Half Century, the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Station’s previous documentary project. The Library of Virginia is located at 800 East Broad Street in Richmond, and there will be a reception beforehand beginning at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is extremely limited. Those interested in attending should email Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu or call (434) 243-3540. Media are also invited to attend.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts, Bombs Away is a one-hour documentary that marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 presidential contest between President Lyndon Johnson and Sen. Barry Goldwater. Polarized by very different personalities and ideologies, Johnson and Goldwater attacked each other with gusto – and in the process opened the door to a modern era of campaigning that features highly negative TV advertising campaigns.

A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Nov. 1, 2014, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world.

Bombs Away is the latest documentary produced by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. The last two documentaries produced by the pair won Emmy Awards from the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy, and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington

Bombs Away features interviews with, among others, former Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr.; Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, daughters of President and Mrs. Johnson; Pat Buchanan, former advisor to multiple Republican presidents; Joseph Califano, former special assistant to Johnson; Victor Gold, who worked on the Goldwater presidential campaign; Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer and presidential historian; Richard Goodwin, former advisor to Johnson; Joanne Bland, civil rights activist; Sid Davis, journalist who attended Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One; Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee; Robert Mann, author of Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds; and Prof. Larry J. Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics.



New Online Lessons Accompany Expanded Paperback Release of The Kennedy Half Century


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Ahead of the 51st anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, the University of Virginia Center for Politics has launched a series of new online classes to accompany the new, expanded paperback edition of Professor Larry J. Sabato’s The Kennedy Half Century. The online lessons are now available to students anytime, via iTunes U and the new on-demand platform of Coursera.org.

The Kennedy Half Century online lectures begin with the early legislative career of John F. Kennedy and progress through the 50 years since Kennedy’s death. Legacy lessons focus on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video instruction consisting of 45 lessons averaging 10-20 minutes each in length.

Professor Sabato’s latest video lectures were based on new research from the expanded paperback edition of The Kennedy Half Century released earlier this month, and include:

  • Revelations by a well-placed CIA employee about what really happened inside agency headquarters on Nov. 22, 1963.
  • New analysis, empirical evidence, and video reenactments that further demonstrate the unreliability of the police Dictabelt audio evidence from Nov. 22, 1963, that the House Select Committee on Assassinations used as proof that two shooters were present in Dealey Plaza.
  • Interesting new anecdotes and information about Nov. 22, 1963, from a diverse group of individuals.
  • A retrospective review of the events and impact of the 50th anniversary ceremonies in Dallas last year.

The first edition of The Kennedy Half Century became a New York Times Best Seller in 2013, and the PBS/Center for Politics television documentary based on the book received an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary, which will be presented during the 2014 Virginia Film Festival. Since the release of the first version of the online course last October, more than 150,000 students from around the world have accessed the lessons.

The online course is accessible, on-demand from either Coursera or iTunes U . The JFK Half Century App, produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, can also be downloaded for Android and Apple devices. The app features the complete Dallas police recordings from Nov. 22, 1963, which the Center acquired from the National Archives and is now available to the public in one easily accessible format.



Center for Politics to host “Bombs Away” panel on legacy of 1964 presidential campaign


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold “Bombs Away,” a panel discussion focusing on the legacy of the 1964 presidential campaign. Marking the 50th anniversary of the election, panelists will examine the ramification of the contest between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, which greatly influenced the tenor and style of modern campaigns and shaped the partisan conflicts we still see today.

The event will run from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Small Special Collections Library (map) on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://forms.hoosonline.virginia.edu/cfp64campaign.

Moderated by U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, the panelists will include: Sid Davis, a White House correspondent during the John F. Kennedy and Johnson administrations; Monique Luiz, who starred as a child actress in the controversial “Daisy” spot run by the Johnson campaign, perhaps the most infamous TV ad in American political history; and Prof. Robert Mann, a journalist and Louisiana State University professor who wrote Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds.

Following the event, there will be a book signing by Sabato and Mann. The newly-released paperback edition of The Kennedy Half Century, featuring new interviews, scientific studies, and empirical data, will be available for purchase. Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds will also be available for purchase.

The legacy panel is a part of the Center’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1964 presidential campaign. Later this fall, the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will release a new documentary about the election, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All. Scheduled for nationwide release beginning Nov. 1, the one-hour documentary looks back at a presidential election that not only redefined both political parties but also ushered in a new age of highly negative television advertising. A new trailer for the documentary is available here.

As a part of the Virginia Film Festival, there will be a special screening of Bombs Away on Nov. 8. The showing will take place at Culbreth Theatre at 5 p.m. and will include special guests Barry Goldwater Jr., the 1964 Republican nominee’s son, and Skip Humphrey, son of Hubert Humphrey, Johnson’s vice president.


“Bombs Away” tackles LBJ, Goldwater & 1964 Election

Ushered in age of negative campaign ads, highlighted by “Daisy” spot


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Marking the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1964 presidential campaign, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have released the first trailer for their latest documentary, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All. Scheduled for nationwide and international release later this fall, the one-hour documentary looks back at a presidential election that not only redefined both political parties but also ushered in a new age of highly negative television advertising.

A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Nov. 1, 2014, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts, Bombs Away is a one-hour documentary that examines the 1964 presidential contest between President Lyndon Johnson and Sen. Barry Goldwater. Polarized by very different personalities and ideologies, Johnson and Goldwater attacked each other with gusto – and in the process opened the door to a modern era of campaigning that features highly negative TV advertising campaigns.

A notable revelation in the film is the regret felt by Monique Luiz about her role in kickstarting the era of negative political campaigning as a child actress in the Johnson campaign’s infamous “Daisy” ad. In the spot, Luiz is seen picking petals off of a daisy, counting as she plucks them. Her counting turns into a launch countdown followed by an atomic explosion, implying that a Goldwater presidency could lead to nuclear Armageddon. The “Daisy” spot remains one of the most controversial television campaign advertisements in American political history.

Bombs Away is the latest documentary produced by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. The last two documentaries produced by the pair won Emmy Awards from the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy, and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington.

Bombs Away features interviews with, among others, former Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr.; Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, daughters of President and Mrs. Johnson; Pat Buchanan, former advisor to multiple Republican presidents; Joseph Califano, former special assistant to Johnson; Victor Gold, who worked on the Goldwater presidential campaign; Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer and presidential historian; Richard Goodwin, former advisor to Johnson; Joanne Bland, civil rights activist; Sid Davis, journalist who attended Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One; Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee; Robert Mann, author of Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds; and Prof. Larry J. Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics.


Center for Politics Interns to Participate in Conference Working to Foster Youth Political Engagement


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) — This weekend the University of Virginia Center for Politics will send two intern students to Harvard University to participate in an intensive political training conference. Sponsored by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), the conference is a part of the institute’s National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement and will feature top political practitioners on bipartisan advocacy and campus political engagement.

On Sept. 27-28, Harvard will host second-year University of Virginia students Delia Golden and Ian Riley along with four dozen other students for a conference entitled: “Bipartisan Advocacy: Finding Common Ground.” Students will arrive with a working plan to tackle a policy issue in their communities and on their campuses nationwide. Conference speakers include leading professionals with expertise in campaign and issue advocacy, federal and state government, communications, negotiation, and team-building. Delia and Ian will use skills gleaned from conference experts to implement their advocacy plan, which addresses redistricting and the politics of college towns, in the University community.

For a schedule of the roundtable discussions, please visit the IOP’s conference website . Several of the conference’s Saturday, Sept. 27, discussions will be livestreamed at that link as well. Follow the event on social media at #NAC4Change. Photos of the participants are available upon request.

“The Center for Politics is thrilled to send Delia and Ian to the National Campaign conference,” said Center Director Larry J. Sabato. “As an institution devoted to improving civic education and participation in the United States and abroad, we hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to learn skills that will help them advance civic engagement in our own community.”

“The IOP is honored to host dozens of students from across the country who share our belief that politics and public service are a force for good to improve our communities,” said Harvard IOP Director Maggie Williams. “The IOP’s National Campaign conference and training will help foster political engagement both here at Harvard and at Campaign schools throughout the nation.”

The Center for Politics is a member of the IOP’s “National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement,” a consortium of 25 colleges and universities around the country aiming to engage and encourage the next generation to improve our communities through bipartisan politics and public service. National Campaign participating schools work on their own campus and collaboratively in three key areas: establishing an ongoing relationship with electoral politics; focusing on career development in public service; and ensuring a foundation in civic education.

The National Campaign’s 25 consortium schools are: Allegheny College; Arizona State University; Birmingham Southern College; Elon University; Franklin & Marshall College; Harvard University; Louisiana State University; Ohio State University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Saint Anselm College; Simpson College; Tennessee State University; Tufts University; University of Chicago; University of Florida; University of Kansas; University of Louisville; University of Oklahoma; University of Rochester; University of Southern California; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Texas; University of Utah; University of Virginia; and Vanderbilt University.


Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru this week as a part of its Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

The group’s 39 students and six educators, who arrived Friday, Sept. 12, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement, and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

Tuesday, Sept. 16
  • American Politics Larry Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics 10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. Location: Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia Prof. Sabato will talk with the students about the American political process.
  • High School Visit 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Location: Monticello and Charlottesville high schools Students will divide into two groups and tour Monticello High School and Charlottesville High School, meet with student leaders, compare school experiences, and tour the facilities. (Charlottesville High School group will return from the school at 2 p.m.)
Wednesday, Sept. 17
  • Diversity within American Democracy Chief Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Location: Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia Chief Adkins will discuss the American experience from the view of the Virginia Indians and what diversity and civic engagement mean to him.
  • Poplar Ridge Challenge Course and Leadership Training 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Location: Behind Zehmer Hall at the University of Virginia Poplar Ridge provides team building, leadership, and organizational development opportunities using the facilities’ high ropes course.
Thursday, Sept. 18
  • Community Service with Habitat for Humanity 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Locations: Southwood, 387 Hickory St., Charlottesville, VA 22902; The Habitat Store, 1221 Harris St., Charlottesville, VA 22903 Students experience civic engagement in action by learning about the organization and activities of Habitat for Humanity and participate in a service project in the City of Charlottesville.

The student visit is part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program and is the sixth Youth Ambassadors group the Center has hosted.

Following their departure from Charlottesville this Friday, the group will travel to Chicago, IL, Pensacola, FL, and Portland, OR, to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about the Youth Ambassadors and other Global Perspectives on Democracy programming.


Center for Politics to Host Russian Ambassador at Public Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, will host a public event featuring Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, the current ambassador to the United States from the Russian Federation. Ambassador Kislyak will speak about the relationship between the United States and Russia as well as answer audience questions.

The event will run from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Theater, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/asrussia.html

“The complexity of the current relationship between our countries is clear,” said Daman Irby, Director of Global Initiatives at the Center for Politics. “Directly interacting with Ambassador Kislyak provides our community with a unique opportunity to gain a more extensive understanding of Russian perspectives on issues of profound concern to both Russia and the United States.”

This special event is coordinated by the U.Va. Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges meant to increase civic participation and engagement.


Teacher Day program to feature experts on state, federal budgets


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Charlottesville League of Women Voters will hold the second Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) Teacher Day on Friday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Grounds of the University of Virginia in Clark Hall, room 107.

Teacher Day will bring together approximately 40 educators from across Virginia to examine state and federal budgeting. The day’s events include the presentation of new YLI materials created specifically on the budget process, a chance to use Marketplace Radio’s Budget Hero simulation, and a discussion with professionals in the fields of policy and budget.

The keynote speaker will be Sandy Davis, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs at the Congressional Budget Office, who will address the topic of creating the federal budget.

The highlight of the day’s activities will be a round-robin discussion on the 2015 Virginia budget process. Teachers will be broken into small groups to meet with participating experts. Experts will circulate among the groups answering questions and discussing the contentious budget process and what can be done to improve the process in the future. Participating in the discussion will be state Delegates Steve Landes (R, HD-25), Jennifer McClellan (D, HD-71), and Lee Ware (R, HD-65); Secretary of Finance Ric Brown; Betsey Daley of the Senate Finance Committee; Scott Sandridge from the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget; Robley Jones from the Virginia Education Association; and Jeff Schapiro, a political reporter and columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is the largest program at the Center for Politics. YLI fulfills the Center’s mission of increasing civic participation by providing the best civics education resources via its website,www.youthleadership.net . YLI is a free, nonpartisan program available to educators of all varieties and has over 55,000 registered teachers from across the nation and globe.



Crystal Ball, Politico announce new partnership


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics and Politico are pleased to announce an exclusive media partnership to offer Interactive election ratings from Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Senate, House, and gubernatorial races.

The new feature on Politico’s website shows which way the Center believes a race is leaning each week as well as the logic behind changes in ratings.

“Partnering with Politico is an exciting next step for the Crystal Ball, and we look forward to contributing our race ratings and analysis to one of the top political news outlets in the country,” said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“This partnership with the Center for Politics adds a new dimension to Politico’s agenda-setting coverage of congressional elections,” said Mike Zapler, national politics editor for Politico. “It provides readers an easy-to-access barometer of House and Senate races as well as additional analysis of the contests that will decide control of Congress.”

The Crystal Ball will also play a role in a series of four Politico polls on the 2014 midterms — the second of which is being released Monday, July 21. Produced in partnership with SocialSphere Inc. of Cambridge, MA, the polls survey likely voters in the states and districts with the most competitive Senate and House races, as ranked by the Center.

The ratings and polls are housed on Politico’s Election Central, which also features a full 2014 primary calendar and map, real-time election results with an auto-tweet feature, and a comprehensive and customizable polling center.

The Crystal Ball-Politico partnership is just the latest collaboration between the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the widely-read political news outlet. Earlier this year, Center Director Larry J. Sabato started writing a biweekly column for Politico Magazine.

The Center for Politics is also announcing that it has opened a Washington, DC office, led by Kyle Kondik, the center’s communications director and managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Kondik will work to expand the center’s reach in Washington and also build relationships and contacts to enhance the Crystal Ball’s nationally recognized coverage of American politics and elections.

While the Crystal Ball’s ratings will be featured on Politico, there will be no change to the existing Crystal Ball website: Readers will still be able to find the latest Crystal Ball stories, ratings, and ratings changes at www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball.


Center for Politics’ Virginia Political History Project features Sens. Warner, Emmy-winning “Out of Order”


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – Today, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold its 16th Annual Virginia Political History Project. The event will feature a screening of the Center’s Emmy Award-winning documentary, Out of Order, about political polarization in Congress. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Sen. John Warner (R-VA) that will be moderated by Center Director Larry J. Sabato.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Nau Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and will be live-streamed here. Media are welcome to attend the event, and the event is also free and open to the general public with advance registration. Seating is limited, and those interested in attending should e-mail Center for Politics Programs Director Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu.

Former Sen. John Warner served as Secretary of the Navy before being elected to the Senate in 1978, where he served five terms. Sen. Mark Warner was elected to John Warner’s seat in 2008 after the latter retired; prior to his election to the Senate, Mark Warner served as Virginia governor from 2002 to 2006.

Out of Order is an Emmy Award-winning half-hour documentary produced by the UVA Center for Politics in partnership with The Community Idea Stations on political polarization in Congress featuring interviews with a number of officeholders and political observers, including both Sens. Warner. Earlier this week, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded a 2014 Emmy to the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations in the category of Best Historical Documentary for The Kennedy Half Century.

The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations are currently working on a new documentary, set for release this fall, exploring the 1964 presidential campaign.

Since 1998, the Center for Politics has hosted the annual Virginia Political History Project. This event is an ongoing effort to preserve the rich history of government and politics in the commonwealth and to reflect upon the issues that affect its people.



Center for Politics wins Emmy Award for “The Kennedy Half Century” documentary


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ latest documentary , The Kennedy Half Century, has won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

This is the second Emmy Award won by the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history.

The film, directed by Paul Tait Roberts, is a one-hour documentary that chronicles the impact and influence of John F. Kennedy’s life, administration and tragic death on the public, the media and every subsequent U.S. president. The documentary features interviews with major political and media figures, including Bob Schieffer, Ron Reagan Jr., Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Ari Fleischer, James Carville and Julian Bond, among others.

Emmy winners were announced Saturday at the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ 56th Annual Emmy Awards event in Silver Spring, Md.

The Kennedy Half Century is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK’s life and legacy that includes: A New York Times bestselling book, The Kennedy Half Century, by Professor Larry J. Sabato; a state-of-the-art website; a free online course through Coursera and iTunes U (in which more than 100,000 students worldwide have enrolled over the last year); and a mobile app that allows users to explore the Dallas police audio tapes from the events of Nov. 22, 1963. A trailer for the documentary is available here.

This is the second year in a row that a Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations documentary has won an Emmy Award: Last year, Out of Order -- a film that explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress -- took home the top prize in the Best Topical Documentary category.

This Friday, the Center for Politics is holding a screening of Out of Order followed by a discussion between Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Sen. John Warner (R-VA), moderated by Center Director Larry J. Sabato. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Nau Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and will be streamed here. Media are welcome to attend the event, and it is also free and open to the general public with advance registration. Seating is limited, and those interested in attending should e-mail Center for Politics Programs Director Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu.

The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations are currently working on a new documentary, set for release this fall, on the 1964 presidential campaign.


“The Kennedy Half Century” documentary earns Emmy nomination


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ latest documentary, The Kennedy Half Century, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The film, produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations and directed by Paul Tait Roberts, is a one-hour documentary that chronicles the impact and influence of John F. Kennedy’s life, administration and tragic death on the public, the media and every subsequent U.S. president.

The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have previously partnered on a number of documentary projects, including the 2013 Emmy-winning Out of Order, a film that explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress.

The Kennedy Half Century is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK’s life and legacy that includes: A New York Times bestselling book, The Kennedy Half Century, by Professor Larry J. Sabato; a state-of-the-art website; a free online course through Coursera and iTunes U (in which more than 100,000 students worldwide have enrolled over the last year); and a mobile app that allows users to explore the Dallas police audio tapes from the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

The 2014 nomination of The Kennedy Half Century was announced Tuesday by the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Winners will be announced at the 56th Annual Emmy Awards event on Saturday, June 14, 2014, in Silver Spring, Md.

The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 presidential campaign. This film will be released nationally in the fall.



Senator Tim Kaine to speak with U.Va. class


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato’s Introduction to American Politics class on Monday, April 14 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

Kaine, who also served as Virginia governor from 2006 to 2010 and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011, will discuss his experience in politics and his perspectives on some of the nation’s future challenges.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. As a part of the discussion, Kaine will also answer questions from students. While the event is not open to the public due to space constraints, members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Geoffrey Skelley or Kyle Kondik to reserve space or seating.

Kaine entered politics in 1994, when he won a race for city council in Richmond. He later served as mayor of Richmond before being elected as Virginia’s lieutenant governor in 2001 and as governor in 2005. Kaine was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.



Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee to speak with U.Va. class


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato’s Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 9 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

Chafee, who also represented the Ocean State in the U.S. Senate from 1999 to 2007, will have an informal conversation with Prof. Sabato about his experiences in Rhode Island, how he got his start in politics and his thoughts on the current state of American government on the 50th anniversary of the Great Society.

“As Governor, the visit to U.Va is an opportunity to send a message beyond our borders that Rhode Island is a great place to live and work. I plan to reinforce our state’s assets such as our investments in public education, our growing knowledge district and our state’s rich history of civic engagement,” Gov. Chafee said. “I look forward to inspiring young people to engage in public service and emphasizing the many great attributes that Rhode Island has to offer.”

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. As a part of the discussion, Chafee will also answer questions from students. While the event is not open to the public due to space constraints, members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Geoffrey Skelley or Kyle Kondik to reserve space or seating.

Originally a Republican, Chafee entered politics at the local level in the city of Warwick, RI, where he served on the city council and later led the city as mayor for seven years. In 1999, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate after the death of his father, Sen. John Chafee (R-RI). He then won a full term in 2000. After losing a reelection bid in the Democratic wave year of 2006, Chafee won a three-way race for the Rhode Island governorship as an independent in 2010. In the spring of 2013, Chafee switched parties to become a Democrat.

For future media planning, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is scheduled to address the class next Monday (April 14).


Senator Ted Cruz to speak with U.Va. class


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato’s Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

Cruz will discuss his experience in politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato’s course. As a part of the discussion, he will also answer questions from students.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. While the event is not open to the public due to space constraints, members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Geoffrey Skelley or Kyle Kondik to reserve space or seating.

In 2012, Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. senator from Texas. Prior to serving in the Senate, Cruz was the first Hispanic to serve as Texas’ solicitor general, arguing numerous cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also held posts in President George W. Bush’s administration. Cruz is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a law degree from Harvard University.

Future guests scheduled to address Sabato’s class later this month include:

  • Monday, April 7: National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen
  • Wednesday, April 9: Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-R.I.)

The press is welcome to attend any of these upcoming sessions, but they are also closed to the general public.


Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Argentina and Chile this week as a part of the Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

The group’s 26 students and four educators, who arrived Saturday, Mar. 22, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

  • Discussion about diversity within American democracy with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia, Tuesday, Mar. 25, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
  • Visit to Monticello High School to meet with students and tour the campus, Tuesday, Mar. 25, noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • Seminar with Prof. Larry J. Sabato on American politics, Wednesday, Mar. 26, 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
  • Community service event with Habitat for Humanity, Thursday, Mar. 27, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Habitat for Humanity Store.

The student visit is part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program and is the fifth Youth Ambassadors group the Center has hosted. A group of five Charlottesville-area students and educators will participate this summer in a Youth Ambassadors exchange to Argentina and Chile, and in September the Center will host a Youth Ambassadors delegation from Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Following their departure from Charlottesville this Friday, the group will travel to Dallas, Tex., and Kansas City, Mo., to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

Visit http://http://www.centerforpolitics.org/yasa2014.html for more information about the Youth Ambassadors and other Global Perspectives on Democracy programming.


Center for Politics to host 15th annual American Democracy Conference


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, Dec. 6, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 15th annual American Democracy Conference. The conference, which will be held at Alumni Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, will feature panels of leading journalists and political experts focused on the 2013 Virginia election outcome, the upcoming 2014 federal midterm elections and the future of the American electorate.

The event, which will begin at 9 a.m., is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html.

The conference will also be live-streamed online at the following link: http://new.livestream.com/tavco/uvacenterforpolitics.

The panels are:

9:30 - 10:45 a.m.: Panel I: Post Gubernatorial Discussion
Moderator:Jeff Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch political reporter and columnist

- Kellyanne Conway, Republican strategist and pollster
- Thomas Guterbock, U.Va. Center for Survey Research director
- James Hohmann, Politico national political reporter
- Ellen Qualls, senior adviser to Terry McAuliffe's (D) gubernatorial campaign
- Geoffrey Skelley, Sabato's Crystal Ball associate editor

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Panel II: 2014 Mid Terms
Moderator: Professor Larry J. Sabato, U.Va. Center for Politics director

- Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard executive editor
- Christina Bellantoni, PBS NewsHour political editor
- Carl Cannon, RealClearPolitics Washington bureau chief
- Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst
- Dahlia Lithwick, Slate senior editor
- Michael Toner, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission

12:45 – 2:00 p.m.: Panel III: Future of the American Electorate
Moderator: Kyle Kondik, Sabato's Crystal Ball managing editor

- Alan Abramowitz, Sabato's Crystal Ball senior columnist and Emory University professor
- Josh Barro, Business Insider politics editor
- Rhodes Cook, Sabato's Crystal Ball senior columnist and author of The Rhodes Cook Letter
- Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics senior election analyst
- Joe Trippi, Democratic strategist


Center for Politics' new app provides dramatic, living history of JFK assassination

Who is "Chicago Red?" Fifty years later, new mysteries still emerge


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The JFK Half Century App, produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, is now available for download on Android and Apple devices. The app features the complete Dallas police recordings from Nov. 22, 1963, which the Center acquired from the National Archives and is now available to the public in one easily accessible place for the first time.

The recordings are commonly known as "the Dictabelt," and they contain all Dallas police communications on two audio channels from 9:44 a.m. central – less than three hours before the assassination – through 3:57 p.m., long after Air Force One had departed Dallas with the slain president's body.

"These recordings are dramatic, living history – a kind of black box for the crash that the country experienced on Nov. 22, 1963," said Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

Some highlights of the recordings include:

– A mysterious reference to a possible Mafia figure ("Chicago Red") with connections to Jack Ruby that is clearly audible on the recording, yet was not included on the official transcript produced by the Dallas Police or the Warren Commission.

– The relative serenity of the president's visit being shattered by the assassination, along with scattershot early reports of a possible shooting of a Secret Service officer (which did not happen) and differing claims about where the gun shots that killed the president had originated.

– An observation from a Dallas police officer who, after arriving at Parkland Hospital, reports to the dispatcher that "…the president's head was practically blown off." The officer, apparently regretting the comment, declined to repeat his observation when asked, noting that "It's not for me to say, I can't say."

– References to a series of post-assassination events, from the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit to the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

More information on these and other highlights are available in Sabato's audio introduction to the app. Specific snippets of audio from the app are available to the media upon request.

The app costs 99 cents to download, and all proceeds benefit the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The recordings now available on the app were used by Sabato to disprove a major 1979 finding by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which found that the recordings contained four gunshots, thus supposedly proving that two shooters had fired on President Kennedy (because Lee Harvey Oswald could have only fired three shots). Sabato's study, performed by the audio analysis firm Sonalysts, found that the recordings actually don't contain any gunfire, and thus cannot be used as proof of a conspiracy. Those findings are described in more detail in Sabato's New York Times bestselling book, The Kennedy Half Century.

This new app is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of his death. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: Sabato's new book; a website; a major national poll examining the nation's attitudes about JFK; a PBS documentary that is airing both across the country and internationally; and a free online course about JFK available through Coursera and iTunes U.

As part of this week's 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the Center for Politics will be hosting two events in Dallas: A panel discussion about the assassination starting at 6:30 p.m. central on Wednesday at the Dallas Hyatt Regency, and a viewing reception of "The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy" on Friday at the Magnolia Hotel, which begins at 11:30 a.m. central. Both events are free and open to media and the public.


Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics' Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Bolivia and Peru over the next several days as a part of the Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

The group's 24 students and four educators, who arrived today, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

  • Seminar with Prof. Larry J. Sabato on American politics, Friday, Nov. 8, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
  • A discussion about diversity within American democracy with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe of Virginia, Friday, Nov. 8, 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
  • Community service event with Habitat for Humanity, Monday, Nov. 11, 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The student visit is part of the Center's Global Perspectives on Democracy outreach effort and is the fourth high school group the Center has hosted as a part of its GPD program. It is the final exchange of the two-year long Youth Ambassadors Program with South America involving delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Following their departure from Charlottesville next Tuesday, the group will travel to Portland, Oregon, and Pensacola, Florida, to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

The Center is also recruiting Charlottesville/Albemarle high school students and educators to apply to participate in an exchange that will take place this summer in Argentina and Chile. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2013. Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpdusya.html for more information.


Center for Politics Announces Exchange Opportunity for Local Students


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics' Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program is now recruiting local students and educators to apply to participate in the U.S. Youth Ambassadors Program with Argentina and Chile. This exchange, in partnership with World Learning and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, includes a fully funded exchange trip to Argentina and Chile from June 13, 2014 through July 3, 2014.

Selected participants will begin with a pre-departure training session in Washington, D.C., followed by orientation and teambuilding in Santiago, Chile. The group will then be divided in two and travel to either Rancagua, Chile, or Salta, Argentina, for a host community experience. Highlights will include homestays with families, attendance at a local high school, cultural activities, community service projects and presentations from local organizations. The program ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where students will create civic action plans to implement at home in the United States.

"GPD has hosted delegates from around the world over the last seven years," said Daman Irby, the Director of the Center's GPD program. "What a thrill to now give students from the Charlottesville area an all-expenses-paid opportunity to gain their own hands-on experiences learning about leadership, civic engagement and other cultures in Argentina and Chile."

Student applicants must be U.S. citizens between 15-17 years of age during the time of travel; attend a public high school, homeschool or public charter school in Charlottesville or Albemarle County and have at least one year of school remaining; have not traveled outside of the United States, Canada or Mexico; have permission from both parents or legal guardians; and have at least an intermediate level of Spanish language ability. Charlottesville-area participants will be joined by other students from Dallas, Kansas City and the Washington, D.C. area.

More information about this exchange is available at www.centerforpolitics.org/gpdusya.html. Student applicants should visit www.regonline.com/AC2014 to apply for this unique opportunity. Adult mentor applications can be accessed at www.regonline.com/AC2014-adult. Applications will be accepted Nov. 1-Dec. 1, 2013.


Center for Politics' documentary "The Kennedy Half Century" to premiere in Richmond

Center Director Larry Sabato will also be presented with Emmy statue for previous documentary "Out of Order"


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will be hosting the premiere of their new documentary, The Kennedy Half Century, at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The one-hour documentary chronicles the impact and influence of John F. Kennedy's life, administration and tragic death on the public, the media and every subsequent U.S. president.

Held in Richmond at the Library of Virginia at 800 East Broad Street, the event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by remarks from Center Director Larry J. Sabato and the premiere of the documentary at 7 p.m.

Registration for the event is full, but members of the media are welcome to attend.

Based on Larry Sabato's new book, also entitled The Kennedy Half Century, the documentary features interviews with major political and media figures, including Sabato, Bob Schieffer, Ron Reagan Jr., Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Ari Fleischer, James Carville and Julian Bond, among others. The documentary will begin airing on WCVE Richmond and WHTJ Charlottesville on Nov. 4 at 9 p.m., Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 11 p.m., and it is expected to be shown both nationally and internationally in the coming weeks.

This documentary is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: the documentary; Sabato's new book, also entitled The Kennedy Half Century; a website; a free online course about JFK available through Coursera and iTunes U, which began today; and a forthcoming mobile app that will let users re-live the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have previously partnered on a number of documentary projects. Most recently, they produced the Emmy-winning Out of Order, which explored the ongoing gridlock in federal government. Sabato will be presented with the Emmy Statue before the premiere of The Kennedy Half Century.



Center for Politics to host panel on JFK assassination as Sabato launches "The Kennedy Half Century"


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Professor Larry J. Sabato will launch The Kennedy Half Century on Monday, Oct. 14, as the University of Virginia Center for Politics hosts a panel of witnesses and experts to discuss the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. These events are part of the Center's Kennedy Legacy Project, a series of programs, books, a national and international television documentary, free online classes, an interactive website and a new mobile application.

Monday night's event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Ball Room. Center Director Larry J. Sabato will moderate a discussion of the events of Nov. 22, 1963, and the experiences of each of these witnesses and experts as the tragedy unfolded. The panelists include:

  • Buell Wesley Frazier, a co-worker of Lee Harvey Oswald who drove him to the Texas School Book Depository on that fateful day;
  • Sid Davis, a journalist who was in the press bus close behind JFK's limousine and later witnessed the swearing in of President Lyndon Johnson on Air Force One;
  • James C. Bowles, the then-Communications Supervisor of the Dallas Police Department's dispatch office at the time of the assassination, who also transcribed the police radio tapes from Nov. 22;
  • Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter who has researched and written many articles about the Kennedy assassination;
  • Henry Hurt, an investigative reporter and author of Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The event is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend.

Monday night's event precedes a press conference about Sabato's new book, The Kennedy Half Century, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. There Sabato will unveil new findings that call into question the conclusions of a major government report on the JFK assassination. This is not a new theory; rather, Sabato will describe new scientific findings about a key piece of evidence that undergirds a government study. While this event is not open to the public, it will be available LIVE online. For more information, please visit this link. Media members are invited to attend the Tuesday press conference.

Monday's panel discussion is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: Sabato's new book; a website; a forthcoming international PBS documentary produced by the Emmy-winning Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations team; a free online course on JFK, beginning Oct. 21 and available through Coursera and iTunes U; and a forthcoming mobile app that will let users re-live the events of Nov. 22, 1963.



Sabato to unveil study that disproves major government report on JFK assassination


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will reveal a major new finding regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The finding calls into question one of the conclusions of a major government report on the JFK assassination. This is not a new theory; rather, Sabato will describe scientific findings about a key piece of evidence that undergirds a government study.

Additionally, Sabato will further discuss the JFK assassination, as well as reveal new information about President Kennedy's enduring impact on his nine successors in the White House and discuss a major new public opinion survey on the American people's opinions on JFK and the Kennedy legacy.

Attendees of the press conference will receive the full report on the scientific findings, which are described in Sabato's new book, The Kennedy Half Century. The book will be released the same day as the presentation, Oct. 15.

What: Larry Sabato unveils major scientific finding related to JFK assassination
When: 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
Where: The Newseum
             555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
             Washington, D.C. 20001
             Knight Studios on Level 3

The book is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: Sabato's new book; a website; a forthcoming international PBS documentary produced by the Emmy-winning Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations team; a free online course on JFK, beginning Oct. 21 and available through Coursera and iTunes U; and a forthcoming mobile app that will let users re-live the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

To RSVP, please contact one of the following media representatives:

Kyle Kondik, 434-243-1499, 434-987-6894; kondik@virginia.edu
Geoffrey Skelley, 434-243-4087, 434-906-2862; skelley@virginia.edu



Sabato announces partnership with iTunes U to host "The Kennedy Half Century" free online course


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Prof. Larry J. Sabato's free online course about President John F. Kennedy's life, administration and legacy is now available on iTunes U.

The four-week, massive open online course (MOOC), "The Kennedy Half Century," will begin on Oct. 21, with two hours of video instruction each week by Prof. Sabato. Registration for the free course is now available through the iTunes U app on mobile devices or through the iTunes store.

This is the second major platform where the course will appear; last month, "The Kennedy Half Century" course went live on Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world's top universities, including the University of Virginia, to provide free online courses. Anyone can register for the course at www.coursera.org/course/kennedy.

U.Va. Center for Politics

The course content of the iTunes U and Coursera versions will be similar. The iTunes U version of "The Kennedy Half Century" features optional, interactive assignments for participants, such as interviewing an older relative or friend who lived through the Kennedy assassination, along with other activities.

"Offering the course on both the popular Coursera and iTunes U platforms is designed to reach the broadest possible base of people interested in exploring President Kennedy's life, assassination and legacy," Prof. Sabato said.

The MOOC is one of several initiatives the U.Va. Center for Politics is unveiling this fall in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. Prof. Sabato's latest book, The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, will be released on Oct. 15, a week before the free course begins. Later in October, the Center will premiere a one-hour national PBS documentary on the same subject, which is being produced in partnership with Community Idea Stations. The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations recently received an Emmy Award for their previous documentary, "Out of Order," which is about political dysfunction in Washington.

View an introductory video for this FREE online class.

The course begins with the early legislative career of John F. Kennedy and progresses through the 50 years since Kennedy's death, focusing on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video consisting of 40 lessons averaging 10-20 minutes each in length. Each week, there will be at least two new hours of content, including historical footage from each of the 10 presidential administrations of the last half-century. Prof. Sabato will focus four lessons around Kennedy's assassination as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of 11/22/63.

Online learning is not new to the U.Va. Center for Politics, which has provided online education tools through its Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) since 1998. YLI conducts regular mock elections for students, as well as an interactive legislative simulation called E-Congress.



Celebrating Constitution Day with an "Academical" Discussion


On Tuesday, September 17th the Center for Politics celebrated Constitution Day with over seven hundred middle and high school students from throughout the state. The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) worked to create an "academical" discussion befitting of Mr. Jefferson's University. Joining the students at Old Cabell Hall were re-enactors depicting Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton. These founders were chosen for their radically different stances on the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular. Students studied the arguments for and against the Bill of Rights in their classrooms prior to attending the event, and submitted questions for Hamilton and Henry to the Youth Leadership Initiative. Twelve students (six middle school and six high school) were chosen to sit on stage and present their questions directly to the honored guests. Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Henry debated the student questions and presented their views about the Constitution.

U.Va. Center for Politics

Following their debate the students viewed a segment of the Center for Politics' documentary Questioning the Constitution. The viewing focused on possible changes to the Constitution and helped to prime students for the final activity of the Constitution Day event. To conclude the day's events students were invited to come forth and offer suggestions for amending the Constitution. Teachers had prepared the students in advance and understood that the students' suggestions would be used to participate in a mock constitutional convention. Proposals made by the students included lowering the voting age to 15, eliminating the death penalty, and the abolition of affirmative action.

All proposals made by the students to the Constitution Day Convention were included on the ballot for student voting. Julie Silverbrook, executive director of Constitutional Sources, was available to question the legality of proposals submitted for consideration. Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton also joined in the discussion of possible amendments. To make the event as authentic as possible, the 2013 Constitution Day Convention ballot was created entirely by youth participating in the event, without edits from the Center for Politics staff (the proposals in no way represents the views or opinions of the Center for Politics or the University of Virginia). Students who participated in the Constitution Day event voted online in their classrooms in the week following Constitution Day.

The purpose of Constitution Day is not to learn all that you can about the document in one day. Instead the holiday should be used as a starting point for engaging in a relationship with the Constitution. The Constitution Day Academical Discussion exemplified the mission of the Center for Politics by inspiring students to know, understand and act on behalf our nation's future.


Enrollment opens for Professor Sabato's free, online course -
"The Kennedy Half Century"


U.Va. Center for Politics

Enrollment is now open for Prof. Larry J. Sabato's free, online course about President John F. Kennedy's life, administration and legacy.

The four-week, massive open online course (MOOC), "The Kennedy Half Century," will begin on Oct. 21, with two hours of video instruction each week by Prof. Sabato. The course is available through Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world's top universities, including the University of Virginia, to provide free online courses. Anyone can register for the course at www.coursera.org/course/kennedy.

The MOOC is one of several initiatives the U.Va. Center for Politics is unveiling this fall in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. Prof. Sabato's latest book, The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, will be released in October as the class begins. Also in October, the Center will premiere a one-hour national PBS documentary on the same subject, which is being produced in partnership with Community Idea Stations. The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations recently received an Emmy for its previous documentary, "Out of Order," which is about political dysfunction in Washington.

"The University of Virginia Center for Politics has long been committed to providing accessible educational tools about American politics and government. This free, online course about how JFK and his legacy have influenced the public, the media, and each of the nine U.S. presidents who followed President Kennedy is one way we can deliver high-quality instruction, at no charge, to a large audience," Prof. Sabato said.

The course begins with the early legislative career of John F. Kennedy and progresses through the 50 years since Kennedy's death, focusing on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video consisting of 40 lessons averaging 10-20 minutes each in length. Each week, there will be at least two new hours of content, including historical footage from each of the 10 presidential administrations of the last half-century. Prof. Sabato will focus four lessons around Kennedy's assassination as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of 11/22/63.

New portions of the class will be posted to the Coursera page each week. Students who complete the course do not receive university credit, but they will receive a statement of accomplishment. More information about the course's specifics, including a syllabus, is available at www.coursera.org/course/kennedy.


PREVIEW: Kennedy Half Century, Coming this Fall


THE KENNEDY HALF CENTURY will tell the compelling story of how John F. Kennedy's life and administration, as well as his tragic death on November 22, 1963, have influenced the general public, the media, and every president who has followed him. The film will air in the fall of 2013.

The Kennedy Half Century is produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with The Community Idea Stations, and is directed by Paul Tait Roberts.


Center for Politics wins Emmy Award for "Out of Order" documentary film


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics' latest documentary, Out of Order, has won an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Best Topical Documentary.

The film, which was produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations and directed by Paul Tait Roberts, analyzes political gridlock in Washington, D.C. The Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the award recipients at its 55th Annual Emmy Awards dinner in Baltimore on June 15. The 30-minute documentary was one of 129 winners, and there were 774 entries in 104 award categories.

"We thank the Academy for recognizing the work of the Center for Politics and our great partners at the Community Ideas Stations," said Larry Sabato, the documentary's producer. "It will take a lot more than an award-winning film to change the behavior of Congress, but I hope we've helped citizens think about what they can do to improve the situation."

Out of Order: Civility in Politics explores partisanship and dysfunction in American government through interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers and senior (current and former) elected officials, including: Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Mark Warner (D); former Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and John Warner (R); Bob Schieffer of CBS News; and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

To date, Out of Order has aired on more than 180 PBS stations across the country, including top markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. John H. Felton was the executive producer with Community Idea Stations.

The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. The documentary, which will also explore JFK's influence on subsequent presidents, will be released nationally in the fall.



Center for Politics' documentary "Out of Order" earns Emmy nomination


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics' latest documentary, Out of Order, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Topical Documentary. The film, which was produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations and directed by Paul Tait Roberts, is a 30-minute documentary about political gridlock in Washington, D.C. The nomination through the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was announced May 13, and winners will be announced at the 55th Annual Emmy Awards dinner in Baltimore on June 15.

Out of Order: Civility in Politics relies on interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers and senior (current and former) elected officials to explore partisanship and dysfunction in American government. The production features first-hand accounts by respected statesmen and women. Among the interviewees are Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Mark Warner (D); former Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and John Warner (R); Bob Schieffer of CBS News; and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

Over the past several months, Out of Order has aired on more than 180 PBS stations across the country, including broadcasts in top markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. The documentary, which will also explore JFK's influence on subsequent presidents, will be released nationally in the fall.


Voices of Civil Rights Movement to share their stories in Charlottesville


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Monday, April 15, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a panel discussion, "Voices of the Civil Rights Movement." Panelists will discuss their personal experiences as a part of the dramatic events of that era, particularly key moments such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the event will take place at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center at 233 Fourth Street, NW in Charlottesville.

The forum will be moderated by Dr. Patrice Preston Grimes, the Associate Dean of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia and an Associate Professor at the Curry School of Education. She will be joined by the following panelists:

  • Joanne Bland, a participant in the Bloody Sunday and Turn Around Tuesday marches in Selma, Al.;
  • Edwilda Allen Isaac, who helped lead a walk-out protesting school segregation in Prince Edward County; the ensuing lawsuit became part of Brown v. Board of Education;
  • Rita Moseley, whose education was interrupted by Massive Resistance;
  • Sarah Collins Rudolph, who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Al., perpetrated by members of the Ku Klux Klan;
  • Catherine Scott, a participant in the March on Washington from Farmville, Va.

Founded as a school for former slaves in 1865, the Jefferson School served as a segregated educational institution in Charlottesville until the 1960s. Following integration, the building was used by the city for many educational and administrative purposes. In 2007, Charlottesville launched a public-private partnership to renovate and redevelop the Jefferson School. Today, the school serves as a community center offering educational, social, health and recreational services. It also houses the African American Heritage Center, which explores the Jefferson School's history and other aspects of the African-American experience in the region.

The panel is presented as part of the Center for Politics' Anniversary Series, which commemorates landmark political events in American history through public lectures, programs, television documentaries and teaching resources offered to a nationwide audience.

The event is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend. For more information or to register, visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/voices.html.



Terry McAuliffe to speak with U.Va. class

Democratic nominee for governor scheduled to appear Wednesday


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race, will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 10 at 3 p.m. in the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia grounds.

McAuliffe, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, will discuss his experience in politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. McAuliffe will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

McAuliffe entered national politics in the early 1980s, working in finance for various Democratic campaigns and committees. In 1996, he served as national co-chair of President Bill Clinton's reelection campaign. After serving as DNC chair, McAuliffe sought the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor in 2009 but lost to state Sen. Creigh Deeds.



Senator Tim Kaine to speak with U.Va. class

Newly-elected Virginia Democrat scheduled to appear Wednesday


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), who was elected to the U.S. Senate last November, will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 3 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia grounds.

Kaine, who also served as Virginia governor from 2006 to 2010 and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011, will discuss his experience in politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Kaine will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

Kaine entered politics in 1994, when he won a race for city council in Richmond. He later served as mayor of Richmond before being elected as Virginia's lieutenant governor in 2001 and as governor in 2005.



Legendary journalist Bob Schieffer to speak with U.Va. class

'Face The Nation' host scheduled to speak Monday


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Acclaimed CBS News journalist Bob Schieffer will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Monday, March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia grounds.

Schieffer will discuss his career in covering government and politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Schieffer will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

A journalist with more than a half-century of news experience, Schieffer serves as the chief Washington correspondent for CBS News and is the anchor and moderator of Face The Nation, the Sunday morning public affairs broadcast. He moderated presidential debates in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Schieffer is also a contributor to the Center for Politics' and Community Idea Stations' recently released documentary Out of Order, which explores gridlock in national politics. The 30-minute documentary is running on PBS stations in more than 180 markets across the United States.



Virginia Lt. Gov. Bolling to speak with U.Va. class

Possible independent gubernatorial candidate scheduled to appear Monday


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – As he ponders an independent bid for the Virginia governorship, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Monday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia Grounds.

Bolling will share his experiences and perspectives regarding government and politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course. The lieutenant governor, who presides over the Senate of Virginia during the annual state legislative sessions, is also expected to offer observations about the 2013 Virginia General Assembly, which is scheduled to adjourn this weekend.

The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Bolling will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from the students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

Elected as Virginia lieutenant governor in 2005 and reelected in 2009, Bolling was initially a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2013 governor's race but suspended his bid in November 2012. He has not ruled out an independent run for the office and is expected to announce his intentions by the middle of March. Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, Bolling served in the Virginia Senate from 1996 to 2005.

The presumptive Republican nominee for governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, spoke to Prof. Sabato's class on Feb. 6, and the Democratic front-runner, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, is expected later in the semester.



Center for Politics' Documentary 'Out of Order' to Air Nationwide in Top Markets


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Out of Order, a documentary produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations exploring political gridlock in Congress, will air on more than 180 PBS stations across the country this month. The 30-minute documentary will reach many of the country's top markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Over the last generation, citizens have increasingly expressed discontent with national politics. Congressional approval ratings are dismally low as partisan gamesmanship seems to rule the day. Senior leaders have noted that the collegiality they shared in the past with peers of differing political ideologies has disappeared in this era of polarization. Is the art of debate and compromise lost on contemporary politics? Is it possible to restore civility to Congress, and should we try? And is Washington actually less civil than it was in previous generations?

Out of Order relies on interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers and senior (current and former) elected officials such as Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Mark Warner (D); former Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and John Warner (R); Bob Schieffer of CBS News; and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

"The overwhelming reception from PBS stations across the country underscores the timeliness of this program relative to our nation," said John Felton, TV General Manager for the Community Idea Stations. "We are honored to work with our partners at the Center for Politics to bring this important topic into living rooms across the United States."

Out of Order airs on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 10:30 p.m. on WHTJ PBS in Charlottesville and WCVE PBS in Richmond.



VA Attorney General Cuccinelli to speak with U.Va. class

Republican gubernatorial nominee scheduled to appear Wednesday


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the 2013 Republican gubernatorial nominee, will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium on the University of Virginia Grounds.

Cuccinelli will provide a first-hand perspective on American politics to the more than 400 students taking Sabato's class. The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. The Attorney General will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from the students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

Elected as Virginia Attorney General in 2009, Cuccinelli became the Republican nominee for this year's gubernatorial race after he was the only candidate to file for the party's nomination convention in May. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Cuccinelli served in the Virginia Senate from 2002 to 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

The front-runner for the Democratic nomination for governor, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, has committed to speak with the class later this semester.



YLI Instruction Director Meg Heubeck

K-12 Program Offers Civics Education Resources at No Cost!