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The New America Fellows Program awards fellowships to original thinkers eager to advance a better understanding of policy challenges facing our society.

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in the news | March 03, 2015 | Fellows

Should Congress Make Foreign Policy?

With the (Republican) Congress looking ready to part ways with the Obama State Department over Iran policy, Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and the author of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin Press, 2015), puts the question of whether "politics stops at the water's edge" in historical context.

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in the news | March 03, 2015 | Fellows

A Polarized Court, Weighing a Reversal of the Safety Net

Julian Zelizer, a Princeton historian and the author of a new book on the 1960s expansion of the safety net, said the closest analogy might be Reconstruction and the reaction to it. An enormous federal effort initially succeeded in expanding civil rights in the South, only to be reversed in later years. The reversal lasted decades. Reconstruction is obviously a charged, and imperfect, analogy. (For one thing, the people who would lose health insurance now would be predominantly white Southerners.) But the fact that no better precedent comes to mind underscores the highly unusual nature of what could happen at the Supreme Court.

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in the news | March 02, 2015 | Fellows

Senator Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, to Retire

“There are more women than before,” said Julian E. Zelizer a professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and expert on Congress. “But it’s certainly not representative of the general population and the number of female senators in leadership positions is meager. The Senate simply doesn’t look like the America and that only intensifies the distance between the citizenry and this institution.”

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in the news | March 02, 2015 | Fellows

Republicans run down Obama's clock

The "tea party" faction of the House Republicans has been pivotal to this strategy as was clear this week. Since they have shown repeatedly that they are willing to employ the most extreme measures to defend their principles, and that they won't allow Boehner to rein them in for "practical" political considerations, Democrats can't afford to take the threats lightly.

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in the news | March 02, 2015 | Fellows

Jay Carney Hire Catapults Amazon Into Silicon Valley Race For Washington Influence

“Business doesn’t like to be regulated but it loves to hire politicians,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. “Amazon has a number of public policy issues they have to deal with and they’re looking for people who can get them into a room to meet with powerful officials. They want someone who has a feel for Washington, and companies realize there’s no one better for that than the people who have actually been there.”

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in the news | February 26, 2015 | Fellows

Fighting Poverty: From LBJ to Obama

On February 26, 2015, Mark Shriver, son of Sargent Shriver; Princeton Professor Julian Zelizer, author of the recently published The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society; Melissa Boteach, Vice President of Half in Ten and the Poverty and Prosperity Program at American Progress; and New Yorker writer Nicholas Lemann discussed the legacy of the War on Poverty programs with Scott Stossel, editor of The Atlantic.

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in the news | February 24, 2015 | Fellows

Obama’s Keystone veto is only his third in six years. It won’t be his last.

Obama showed “a genuine reluctance” to use a veto before, according to Princeton University professor Julian E. Zelizer, partly because he was elected on the grounds that he could forge a new political consensus. Even when that goal became elusive, Zelizer added, the president and his aides were aware that any veto gives the GOP fodder to “rally Republicans, and even some moderate Democrats, to be against him.” “I think he’s changed,” Zelizer said. “He’s just adjusted to this being the only tool he has left.”

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in the news | February 24, 2015 | Fellows

Combative Obama ready to exert presidential power

There is a “clear political imperative” for Obama's more muscular use of presidential power, said Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University professor. “The opposition is strong, time is limited and you can't do much pro-actively. “It's important for Democrats not to end the last two years (of Obama's term) with Republicans not only controlling Congress, but doing a lot.”

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in the news | February 23, 2015 | Fellows

Who will grab the millennial vote?

Millennials bring a lot to the table. Though they will be difficult to reach, they are a generation that has survived through incredible changes and that is remarkably comfortable living in a dynamic society. They are nimble; they are a generation of start-ups. Millennials live in a global world and are not bound by many of the local constraints of earlier years.

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in the news | February 22, 2015 | Fellows

INTERVIEW WiTH Julian e. zelizer

Historian and LBJ expert Julian Zelizer says Hollywood missed an opportunity with the movie “Selma.” Former Congressman Mike Barnes calls Vladimir Putin “a KGB thug” but says he has lost his swagger. And Bill Press talks with Erica Sagrans, head of the group trying to draft Elizabeth Warren.

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in the news | February 17, 2015 | Fellows

Joe Biden takes his time in deciding on a 2016 presidential run

Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University, argued Biden can speak to middle class concerns more fluently than Clinton, who has at times struggled to project the kind of populism that comes naturally to the vice president. "He's in some ways very much a New Deal Democrat who's concerned about what the government does to help the middle class," Zelizer explained. "I don't think it's hard for him to talk about this. This is who he is."

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in the news | February 16, 2015 | Fellows

How Obama’s War Record Compares To Past Presidents

President Obama campaigned as an anti-war candidate, but he inherited the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Officially those wars may be over, but the U.S. is already conducting military operations in Iraq and Syria against the group that calls itself the Islamic State. The president wants authorization from Congress for that to continue for three years. On this Presidents Day, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson takes a historical look at presidents and war with historian Julian Zelizer, a professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.

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in the news | February 12, 2015 | Fellows

5 important ways Christie needs to revamp his image

"You can get by being a tough and aggressive politician, but it is important to stand for something, something big. When LBJ ran against Goldwater in 1964, his campaign was not just about him but about a bold liberal agenda,'' Zelizer says. "Right now," he says, "Christie has nothing like that. His agenda remains mysterious and it is difficult to win over the hearts and minds of voters this way.''

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in the news | February 12, 2015 | Fellows

Gay marriage: One judge fights the weight of history

Moore’s states’ rights decision comes at the wrong moment in history, a time when fewer Americans will be swayed by his arguments and where there will be intense pushback. Using state’s rights against same-sex marriage rights just doesn’t command much support in modern America — in large part because of the accomplishments of the civil-rights movements in the 1960s.

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