The Fifth Estate: Presidential Complex

The Fifth Estate: Presidential Complex

‘You can feel it here. In your bones,’ Bruce Wolpe wrote from Washington DC on 19 September. ‘The political classes in Washington are frightened and dazed, afraid that Donald Trump can win this election, reflecting a changed America they do not know or understand any more.’

Wolpe was on the Democratic staff in Congress in Barack Obama’s first term, was a senior advisor to Prime Minister Julia Gillard and is a regular commentator on US politics for Fairfax, Sky News and the ABC. He’ll join Sally Warhaft at the Wheeler Centre for a crucial Fifth Estate session in the countdown to the US presidential election.

With a race characterised by a palpable hostility towards the status quo and a heightening of gender, class and racial divisions across the country – will we see a radically changed electoral landscape on polling day? Would a President Trump in office really deliver on the bigotry and bluster he’s demonstrated in his campaign? And, as an establishment candidate, how can Hillary Clinton respond to anti-establishment sentiment if she wins the presidency?

Join Warhaft and Wolpe as they unpack these questions and more in the final days of a truly surreal election season.


Portrait of Bruce Wolpe

Bruce Wolpe

Bruce Wolpe served as a Senior Adviser to Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia from 2012-13, and is Chief of Staff to the former prime minister. He was liaison for Prime Minister Gillard with the business community, and involved in key economic initiatives, including establishing the architecture for Australia’s chairing the G20 in 2014; developing and holding the Prime Minister’s Forum on the Economy; the Prime Minister’s Forum on the Digital Economy; the Business Advisory Forum to COAG, the National Panel on Economic Reform, and other government-business initiatives. 

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

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