This Week in the News…

Posted: November 22, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Friday, Nov. 17, USA Today

Candidates’ Actions Foreshadow Next Administration: Critics Say Neither Bush nor Gore Appears Ready to Take on Presidency

“Neither Bush nor Gore expected to be in this nerve-racking situation, enmeshed in an unprecedented legal and political struggle 10 days after election night. No one has any guideposts or modern-day precedents for how to behave. ‘All of a sudden, they’re under a lot of pressure they didn’t expect to be under,’ says James Pfiffner, a professor of government and public policy at George Mason University and author of The Strategic Presidency: Hitting the Ground Running. ‘But then, that’s the nature of the presidency. That’s what they’re paid for.'”

Saturday, Nov. 18, Associated Press Newswires

Judges Generally Reluctant to Wade into Election Cases

“Courts are especially reluctant to get involved in political issues, added George Mason University law professor Daniel Polsby. Otherwise, he said, people might ‘say the court’s just another political branch of the government. Courts need to protect their sense of apartness and legitimacy.'”

Sunday, Nov. 19, Boston Herald

Wild Political Ride Teaches Valuable Lessons

Nora Olgyay, a professor of art and visual technologies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and expert in public information design, says the key is simplicity. ‘This is an opportunity to improve the ballot as a public information vehicle,’ she said. ‘I have been voting for 30 years and yet I never knew you could return your ballot if you thought you’d made a mistake. Now, most people know. Design and accessibility issues are critical,’ she said. ‘Criteria for overall legibility and comprehension must be tested out on voters. The typography and the layout must be weighed–especially for the elderly or disabled. Sample ballots should be posted at the polls.”

Monday, Nov. 20, Time Magazine

Election 2000: What We’ll Remember–Great Deeds or Unkept Promises?

Roger Wilkins, Civil rights activist and professor at George Mason University: “The story will be one of lost opportunities. [Bill Clinton’s] political values, except when he was in trouble, were good ones. They were humane; they were decent. He promised to give us a government that looked like America, and he did that. But around him, it was just a group of white guys. So when it got down to the nitty-gritty, the people in the room did not look like America; they looked like the Hoover Administration. He obviously enjoys being around black people and has a real empathy for black people, more so than almost any other white politician I’ve ever seen. He’s got the culture down; it’s not phony. But sometimes his racial program was lousy.”

Monday, Nov. 20, CNNfn

Before Hours

William Lash, professor of economics and law at George Mason University: “The public is reaching electoral fatigue. They are sick of the story. They want it to wrap up. The next one to run to the courthouse is probably going to be viewed as a loser either politically or legally. Again, the markets are also–they’re concerned but they know there’s not a Constitutional crisis. There will be a president on time. There will be a transition. And, again, markets tend to respond favorably to a form of gridlock.”

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