Putting current news in context is what Mara Liasson does every day as a national political correspondent for NPR.
In September, she will do that in person, as the headline speaker at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s 2018 Annual Campaign Kick-Off Celebration. She will also take questions from the audience.
“Whatever is happening at the moment, I will be putting it into a bigger context, talking about why it’s happening and what I think it means for the near future and medium-term future,” Liasson said.
She will talk for about a half-hour, she said, and then take questions from the audience.
“It’s always, I find, a very thoughtful, civil, good discussion,” she said.
Liasson joined National Public Radio in 1985 and is a contributor to Fox News Channel. She has covered all the presidential elections since 1992 and reports on Senate and House races every election year. She is an expert on elections, national policy and on relations between the White House and Congress.
While it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen between now and the time of the talk, Liasson knows one thing she’ll talk about.
“Donald Trump. Obviously Donald Trump because he is so disruptive and in so many different ways he is a huge news story,” she said. “He generally makes a tremendous amount of news on a daily if not an hourly basis. And what he wants to do could mean profound changes for American society, and those would be good or bad depending on your point of view.”
Liasson’s years covering national politics and her American history degree give her an understanding of the country that helps contextualize the news.
“I’ve done this a long time and have things to compare the current administration to,” she said.
She does not come from any ideological point of view, but said she cares deeply about liberal democracy and democratic institutions.
Things like “the Constitution, an independent judiciary, a free press and the separation of powers, and all of the unwritten codified norms and behaviors that make a civil society work,” she said, and “make us the strongest and best liberal democracy the world has ever seen. Those are the things I care about.”
Her talk, she said, isn’t just for those who can’t stop watching the news.
“I don’t know how you can be an American citizen and not be interested in what’s happening in your own country,” she said. “Being part of an informed citizenry is knowing what’s happening and that means paying some level of attention to the news.”
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You’re invited to Annual Campaign Kick-Off Celebration
Milwaukee Jewish Federation will be holding a 2018 Annual Campaign Kick-Off Celebration on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 6:30 p.m., at The Pfister Hotel Imperial Ballroom, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.
The whole community is invited to the kickoff event and to launch the 2018 Annual Campaign.
“Our Kick-Off Event is an opportunity for our entire fabulous Jewish community to come together, socialize, celebrate and have a great time recognizing the value of our philanthropic giving! We are honored to kick off our 2018 Campaign with a highly respected, outstanding and most relevant speaker, Mara Liasson,” said Lauri Roth, the Federation’s 2018 Annual Campaign chair.
“Be a part of our great community event! See you on September 14!”
The 2017 Annual Campaign exceeded a “stretch goal,” but the needs always exceed the dollars raised and the goal is to make the 2018 campaign even more successful, said Caren B. Goldberg, chief development officer of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation.
“Every gift makes a difference and together these gifts have a powerful impact. We look forward to engaging new donors and our long-standing donors to sustain, build and grow our Jewish community in 2018,” she said.
At the event, NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson will speak and hold a Q&A. The event features a dessert reception (dietary laws observed).
Tickets are $18. Purchase at MilwaukeeJewish.org/Kickoff or call Ashleigh Lund at 414-390-5741.