Just as the Presidential campaign prepares to go full throttle, former New York State Governor, Mario Cuomo, and New York City’s best-known political pundit, Douglas Muzzio, are going full steam ahead in a classroom at Baruch College, co-anchoring a course on American presidential politics for 20 lucky undergraduates.
The course, titled The 2008 Presidential Election: Where We Are As a Nation, Where We Want to Be, How We Get There, meets on Wednesday evenings, beginning August 27, and is being offered by the College’s School of Public Affairs.
“Mario Cuomo has been one of the most important figures in American politics for more than 30 years. The chance to learn from him in a classroom setting is a terrific opportunity for our students,” David Birdsell, dean of the School of Public Affairs, commented. “We very much look forward to learning how he and Professor Muzzio will frame the 2008 campaign,” he added.
Cuomo and Muzzio are a dynamic duo who first met when the former governor did an interview for CUNY-TV in 2004. Recently, Muzzio persuaded Cuomo to give the College’s undergraduates the benefit of his deep understanding of the American political process and his personal experiences as a three-term governor of New York.
“This presidential election has more big issues than any presidential election in my memory,” Governor Cuomo said. “In this class at Baruch, I know there will be 20 bright people who will talk about the issues every week for 14 weeks.” Most voters, he noted, will be relying on “26-second ads” in lieu of real debates.
Doug Muzzio has taught at Baruch since 1980. In recent years, he has become known to virtually every reporter covering City Hall, Albany or the political maelstrom in Washington D.C. His insight, wit and judgment have made him a favorite source for the candid “sums-it-all-up” nugget on whatever political tempest is currently preoccupying the public.
Inevitably, the curriculum for the Muzzio-Cuomo course is likely to shift depending in part on the morning headlines, the candidates’ gaffes, and the pollsters’ predictions. But the primary goal, according to Muzzio, is “to ask the big questions” about the American political system and seek the answers, big and small.