Political Polarization Across the Atlantic and its Implications for the U.S. Election
Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and former U.S. Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) presented their respective views on the U.S. elections at a bipartisan roundtable discussion at the Deutsche Parlamentarische Gesellschaft in Berlin on Monday, February 15, 2016. Senator Dodd serves as the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, and Congressman Kolbe is Senior Transatlantic Fellow at GMF in Washington, D.C. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer, Director of GMF’s Berlin office and the Europe Program, welcomed the guests, which included several members of the German Bundestag and representatives from the Federal Foreign Office, the U.S. Embassy, transatlantic organizations, and business. Sudha David-Wilp, Senior Transatlantic Fellow and Deputy Director, moderated the luncheon discussion.
In a U.S. election cycle that has thus far defied expectations, the discussion focused primarily on the political polarization in the United States and what this means for the 2016 U.S. elections. After presenting their takes on the current candidates vying for the Democrat and Republican nominations, the two former U.S. legislators also spoke about the implications of nominating a new U.S. Supreme Court Justice in an election year. The participants were furthermore very interested in discussing the effects of the current political divergence on future U.S. strategic thinking, foreign policy issues, and the role of the transatlantic partnership in the next administration. Questions regarding the ongoing TTIP negotiations and the United States’ primary and electoral process rounded out the event.