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Marc Tessier-Lavigne announces presidential bid

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Stanford’s current president, has announced that he will be opening an exploratory committee in what likely precedes a formal U.S. presidential campaign announcement. Tessier-Lavigne released his statement to service4all in an event that triggered many students to “reply all” and ask to be unsubscribed. Finally putting weeks of rumor to rest, Tessier-Lavigne aims…

American political celebrity

At a recent event for a 2020 Democratic hopeful, I was struck by a question from the audience. Cloaked in a floral dress and cool demeanor, the woman ever-so-slightly raised her hand. “I saw you speak in New York a few weeks ago. You were different – subdued, diplomatic, placating. Is this just the California version of you? Who’s the real you, Senator?”

Talking with the enemy

Democrats and Republicans increasingly view the other party as a “threat to the nation’s well-being.” In her home state — where she also teaches — University of Wisconsin political science professor Katherine Cramer notes that “people, in casual conversation, are treating each other as enemies.” Scholars continue to debate whether today’s polarization is rooted in…