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at The Wheeler Centre

The 2012 Elections: Has America Finally Gone Mad?

James Fallows has been writing politics, global and national, for the Atlantic (where he is national correspondent) for over 30 years. He’s uniquely placed to understand the inner workings of the political machine and interpret its carefully spun surfaces – he once worked in the White House’s inner sanctum, as chief speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter.

James has been immersed in the 2012 presidential race from its earliest days. Just weeks before the election is finally decided, and a week ahead of a major Atlantic cover previewing the debates, he’ll be joining us to share his considerable insights into the candidates, the issues, the campaign – and the consequences for his country, depending on who is elected to lead it.

The dominant deciding issues, he says, will be the economy, joblessness, and the polarisation of American economic distribution. If the economic trends are dark enough, they’ll be hard for any incumbent to surmount. But if Romney wins, it’ll be despite his ‘poor’ campaign, not because of it.

Obama has inevitably disappointed many of his supporters, for whom he represented a degree of hope that it was never possible for one man to fulfil. But does Romney offer a better solution to the serious problems facing the ailing superpower – or could he just make them worse?


Portrait of James Fallows

James Fallows

James Fallows is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter’s chief speechwriter. His latest book, China Airborne, was published in early May.


Just a few short weeks from now, millions of Americans will go to the polls. It’s an election that will decide the future of a superpower – and a world – on the precipice of economic and environmental crisis. As the campaign heats up, we take a look at new-millennium America: its politics, its polarised media and its vibrant creative culture. And we ask: how long will America continue to dominate the global conversation?

Also included in this series is our Intelligence Squared debate, Western Civilisation is in Terminal Decline.


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