After watching the historic reelection of President Barack Obama and the campaigns of both Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney for more than a year, students from Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta and politics junkies from around the Atlanta area heard the inside story of the election from a prestigious and award-winning panel of journalists and educators at Morehouse College last night.
Morehouse partnered with Syracuse University to host the joint discussion they called, "And the winner is...Analyzing the 2012 election."
"OMG," said panelist Hasan Crockett, a professor of political science at Morehouse, to big laughs. "We woke up on [November] 8 and said, 'This is a different country.'"
The event was a look back at the past year of the campaign, but also focused on the next four years and what a second term for President Obama would mean for the future of politics and for the country.
The discussion ranged from the election's final result and President Obama's mastery of social media ("he mastered social media the way [former President Franklin] Roosevelt mastered radio and [former President John F.] Kennedy mastered television," said Crockett), to potential new presidential cabinet appointments, the threat of the so-called fiscal cliff and the future of the Republican Party.
"[The Republicans] need to be doing more than rebranding," said panelist Cynthia Tucker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and visiting professor of journalism at the University of Georgia. "They should be rethinking the message they have put out to people of color for about 50 years."
The panel also featured Bryan Monroe, editor at CNNPolitics.com; Grant Reeher, a professor of political science at Syracuse's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public affairs; and Corey Dade, a national correspondent for NPR Digital News. It was moderated by Atlanta native and Syracuse alumnus, journalist Angela Robinson.
In addition to the hundreds of people gathered in the audience at Morehouse, a collection of students from Syracuse University who watched a live stream of the panel from Syracuse, N.Y. Through the technology of real-time teleconferencing, the panel was even able to take questions from the Syracuse audience and respond to them live.
The audience and speakers were welcomed by Morehouse President Rob Franklin and Ron Thomas, Director of the College's Journalism and Sports Program. Also in attendance was civil rights legend CT Vivian, who was lauded by Franklin in his opening remarks.
Lorraine Branham, Dean of Syracuse's Newhouse School of Journalism, who made the trip of over 900 miles from upstate New York to Atlanta, said that the event would likely not be the end of a partnership between the two schools.
"I think that Morehouse and Syracuse have started something," she said. "I hope this isn't the end of it."