Frum and Shrum hit Gaston, Frum says don’t donate to McCain.

David Frum

Political commentators David Frum and Bob Shrum (COL ’65) appeared at Gaston Hall tonight to discuss the “issues and implications” of the Presidential election.  SFS Professor Jacques Berlinerblau moderated the discussion.

Frum, a leading conservative thinker, served as the current Bush’s speechwriter during his first term and even penned a book about Bush entitled “The Right Man.”

Described by the Atlantic Monthly as “the most sought-after strategist in the Democratic Party,” Shrum is well regarded in the Democratic establishment despite the Shrum curse–every presidential campaign he has played a major role in has failed.

Frum spent a great deal of time discussing the rise and fall of the conservative movement, arguing that the Gingrich Revolution of 1994 will remembered as the high water mark for the conservative movement.  Frum was also very pessimistic about the GOP’s chances in November, saying, “I don’t think there’s a lot of doubt about what the outcome of this election is going to be, and I think it’s time that Republicans talk frankly about this.”

Frum even urged Republicans not to donate to the McCain campaign, but to help out threatened Senators like Elizabeth Dole and Norm Coleman.

Shrum focused on the current election, providing analysis of the tactics in the 2008 race.  He made the case that the “experience” argument has been unsuccessful in recent American history pointing to Nixon’s slogan “experience counts” in 1960, Carter’s portrayal of Reagan as inexperienced in 1980, and HW Bush’s “ridicule” of Southern Governor Bill Clinton in 1992.

The strangest moment in the forum came when Professor Berlinerblau referred to the Republican Party’s “zygote fetish.”  Frum responded, “I would advise you not to use that phrase.”

Photo from Flickr users Urban Mixer used under a Creative Commons license

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