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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.


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 ... Read more

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... Read more


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