Programs & Events
U.S. Speaker David Yepsen Discusses “The Road to the White House: The 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections” at Lincoln Corner Kuala Lumpur
On May 17, David Yepsen, Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, spoke to an audience comprising 80 teachers, Kuala Lumpur City Council senior staff, Fulbrighters, librarians, and students about the U.S. electoral process at a seminar entitled, “The Road to the White House: The 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections.” He helped the audience, more familiar with the (British) Parliamentary system in Malaysia, to better understand the U.S. electoral college and its crucial role in U.S. elections. Yepsen described the caucus and primaries, explained to the audience the battleground states and the challenges they pose to the candidates, highlighted the candidates and their current popularity and unpopularity among U.S. voters, and discussed key issues confronting the candidates: the economy, women voters, Latino voters, and campaign finance, among other topics.
The audience raised a wide spectrum of questions, ranging from the possible scenarios of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney winning the election, the impact of gay marriage and racism on the outcome of the U.S. elections, the role of campaign finance, challenges for the President if Democrats and Republicans ruled either the Senate or the House, and the role of social media on the elections. Yepsen provided the audience with succinct responses and engaged them in a lively discussion about U.S. democracy.
The Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Officer Rain Che Bian introduced the program and acknowledged the City Council and the Kuala Lumpur Library’s support for the Lincoln Corner. The immediate past president of the U.S. Fulbright Alumni association, Mr N. Thakurdas, an ardent observer of the U.S. domestic and international politics, moderated the session.
The Lincoln Resource Center’s select webliography on the U.S. elections gave the audience additional resources on the subject to peruse from their computers and hand-held mobile devices such as iPads, other e-tablets, and smart phones.