The Center on Communication Leadership & Policy’s inaugural conference, Ceasefire! Bridging the Political Divide, brought together leaders from both political parties who have successfully built consensus around some of the nation’s most challenging problems. Held June 18-19, 2007, the conference was described as potentially “the most important gathering of the year,” by Matthew Dowd, political strategist and former adviser to President George W. Bush.
Speakers included California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, then Arizona Governor and Chair of the National Governors Association Janet Napolitano, then Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, former California Governor Gray Davis, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, philanthropists Lauren Bon and Sherry Lansing, producer Kevin Wall, political strategist Matthew Dowd, Gov. Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff Susan Kennedy, and journalists Margaret Carlson, Jay Carney, Michael Kinsley, Lawrence O’Donnell, Juan Williams and Judy Woodruff.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, CCLP and POLITICO hosted discussions with top political journalists and strategists at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. CCLP Director Geoffrey Cowan and POLITICO Executive Director Jim VandeHei led the conversation.
Panelists included Catalina Camia, political editor, USA Today; Margaret Carlson, columnist, Bloomberg News; Nina Easton, Washington Bureau chief, FORTUNE; Mark McKinnon, former chief media advisor to Senator John McCain and President George W. Bush; Roger Simon, author and chief political columnist, POLITICO; Cass Sunstein, author of Republic.com 2.0 and advisor to then Senator Barack Obama; Karen Tumulty, TIME magazine national political correspondent; and Juan Williams, author, Fox News Channel political analyst and NPR news analyst.