Political Pundit Arianna Huffington to Discuss Presidential Election
Release date: October 23, 2008
Arianna Huffington — a political pundit/social commentator whose reach in the media spans TV, radio, and the Internet — will discuss the upcoming presidential election on Thursday, October 23, at 8 p.m. in Goucher College’s Kraushaar Auditorium. A book signing will immediately follow the lecture.
Her talk, titled "Countdown: McCain and Obama 12 Days Before the Election," is a presentation of the President’s Forum lecture series. Due to a high level of interest in the event, no more tickets are available.
Huffington is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that has gained a lot of attention as a place for left-leaning, button-pushing political and social commentary. Launched in May 2005, the site now gets 90 million page views each month.
The Huffington Post uses almost 2,000 bloggers and commentators who present ideas, facts, and their opinions about politics, the media, business, and entertainment. Besides Huffington, other bloggers have included John Cusack, Nora Ephron, Al Franken, John Kerry, Bill Maher, and George Will.
Huffington is also the author of 12 books, including Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (2008), Fanatics and Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America (2004), and Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America (2003). Her published work also includes subjects well outside the boundaries of politics: The Female Woman, her first book printed in 1974, explored the changing roles of women, and her biographies of Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso were both international best sellers.
She writes a nationally syndicated column and is co-host of “Left, Right & Center,” public radio’s popular political roundtable program. Huffington also frequently appears as a guest on politically oriented television programs such as “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Nightline,” “Politically Incorrect,” “Crossfire,” and “Hardball.
Born in Greece to parents who participated in the resistance to the Nazi occupation of their country, Huffington was reared in the midst of political activism. She moved to England at age 16 and attended Cambridge University, where she was president of the Cambridge Union Society and graduated with a master’s in economics in 1972.
After moving to America in 1980, Huffington allied herself with liberal Democrats, notably Democratic politician and then-governor (currently attorney general) of California Jerry Brown, with whom she had a relationship.
She met oil millionaire Michael Huffington, a friend of the Bush family at a party in 1985. The couple married in 1986 and moved to Washington, D.C., when he was appointed to serve as deputy assistant secretary of defense for negotiations policy.
They later established residency in Santa Barbara, California, so Michael could run in 1992 as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, which he won by a significant margin. Huffington campaigned for her politically conservative husband, courting religious conservatives, arguing for smaller government and a reduction in welfare. In 1994 he narrowly lost the race for the U.S. Senate seat from California to incumbent Dianne Feinstein. The couple divorced in 1997.
Huffington’s politics began changing in the late 1990s, moving noticeably to the left.
In 2000, she helped organize the “Shadow Conventions,” alternative conventions that spotlighted key issues that neither political party was willing to address, such as financial corruption and socio-economic disparity in the United States.
In 2002, she co-founded The Detroit Project, a grassroots campaign that lobbies automakers to start producing cars that run on alternative fuels. She also created the Bermuda Project to expose corporate America’s growing use of offshore tax shelters, and she has campaigned to reform the failing U.S. public education system.
In 2003, Huffington became an independent candidate to replace California Governor Gray Davis in the recall election. She dropped out of the race early on, and Arnold Schwarzenegger won the election by about 1.3 million votes.
In recent years, Huffington has been closely associated with the Democratic Party. She was a panel speaker during the 2005 California Democratic Party State Convention, and she spoke at the 2004 College Democrats of America Convention in Boston, which was held in conjunction with the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Huffington describes herself as a “former right-winger who has devolved into a compassionate and progressive populist.”
In 2006, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
She serves on several boards that promote community solutions to social problems, including A Place Called Home, which works with at-risk children in South Central Los Angeles. She also serves on the board of trustees for the Archer School for Girls.
Huffington lives in Los Angeles with her two teenage daughters.
The President’s Forum at Goucher College brings to campus notable figures from various fields and backgrounds for incisive discussions and lively debates on today’s most vital issues. Presented several times a year, the Forum is an open invitation to the members of our community—both on campus and beyond—to participate in the intellectual life of the college through open dialogue on topics both relevant and timely.
Media Relations Director