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Elaine Kamarck

Elaine Kamarck

Lecturer in Public Policy

 

Experience

Elaine C. Kamarck is a Lecturer in Public Policy who came to the Kennedy School in 1997 after a career in politics and government. In the 1980s, she was one of the founders of the New Democrat movement which helped to elect Bill Clinton president. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1997, where she created and managed the Clinton Administration's National Performance Review, also known as "reinventing government." At the Kennedy School, she served as Director of Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century and as Faculty Advisor to the Innovations in American Government Awards Program. In 2000, she took a leave of absence to work as senior policy adviser to the Gore campaign. She conducts research on twenty-first century government, the role of the Internet in political campaigns, homeland defense, and governmental reform and innovation. She teaches courses on twenty-first century government, innovation, and electronic government. Kamarck received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

By Date

 

2013

January 22, 2012

"Reflections on President Obama's Inaugural Address, His Second Term and Presidential Leadership Style"

Op-Ed

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"But the President's speech was light on the economic problem meaning that his biggest challenge will be to not repeat the mistakes of the first term by underestimating the pain and suffering of the recession. He can't assume that just because we're moving in the right direction, attention can be turned to other issues—worthy as they may be."

 

2012

December 9, 2012

"Time to Reform Complex Tax Code"

Op-Ed, Politico

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"The top priority for Democratic and Republican lawmakers is jobs. Reforming the corporate Tax Code by lowering the rate to an internationally competitive rate and broadening the base is just the solution we need. For example, a corporate rate of 25 percent would add 581,000 jobs every year for the next decade and increase GDP growth by up to 2 percent. More important to the middle class, comprehensive tax reform would boost take-home pay for a family of four by $2,484."

 

 

AP Photo

November 7, 2012

"The Obama Realignment"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"In addition to the presidential election, the party easily retained control of the Senate; something they were not expected to do even a year ago. The same generational dynamic that helped the president, also helped Democrats like Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. McCaskill, who was considered to be one of the most vulnerable Senate candidates, was supported by 68 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 and by 55 percent of voters between the ages of 30 and 44."

 

 

AP Photo

November 7, 2012

"Five Things Obama Must Do"

Op-Ed, CNN.com

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"Now that the campaign is over and Barack Obama has won a second term, the hard business of governing begins again. There's a presidential inbox waiting and it's not too hard to figure out what's in it. Problems don't have Democrat or Republican stamped on them: they just are."

 

 

October 23, 2012

"The Final Debate And Mitt Romney's Weight"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"...[N]o one in the modern Republican Party seems to be too worried about the fact that they have alienated some of the fastest growing parts of the electorate."

 

 

October 17, 2012

"Debate Dominated By Issues Important To Voters In Swing State Ohio"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"...[T]he subtext of this second presidential debate was all Ohio, all the time. At every opportunity the two candidates came back to the three C's that matter in Ohio — cars, China and coal. If this seemed a little strange to everyone else in the country it made perfect sense in the dynamic of this campaign....By the time the second debate rolled around last night, though Obama still held an edge in the electoral college, the race had gotten so close that it looked like it was coming down to who could win Ohio."

 

 

October 12, 2012

"Biden Delivers for the Democrats"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"...Biden lifted the veil on that one, pointing out that to even begin to get enough money to pay for tax cuts of the size the Republicans are talking about, you'd have to cut the mortgage interest deduction and you'd have to start counting employer paid health care as part of taxable income. The howls from the middle class would be heard from coast to coast. The only people who wouldn't howl would be the really rich for whom these deductions are minor and the really poor who don't own houses or have employer paid health care. Good for Biden for finally putting that on the table."

 

 

October 1, 2012

"Contemplating 'What If'"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"What if in 1976 President Ford had quickly corrected the impression that he thought Poland was not a Communist country (it was at the time)? What if in 1980 Ronald Reagan never got the chance to ask the country, 'Are you better off today than you were four years ago?' What if in 1992 President Bush had not looked at his watch instead of at the woman who was pouring out her heart to him?"

 

 

September 11, 2012

"Are You Better Off Than You Were 4 Years Ago?"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"...[W]hat makes the 'better off' question especially difficult this year is the presence of an economic variable that is not to be found in all the modeling that has been done by political scientists and economists — the housing market. We don't know what the effect of a real estate crash and thousands of 'underwater' homes are on elections."

 

 

September 6, 2012

"God, The Democrats & Bill Clinton"

Op-Ed, WBUR

By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy

"Moderates, as opposed to Independents, are close to liberals on the social issues; favoring abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research. But they differ from liberals on one critical dimension; they tend to be more religious than self-identified liberals. Bill Clinton's party platforms were famous for their sensitivity to these values."

 

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