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Glenn Altschuler

Glenn Altschuler is the Vice President for University Relations, Dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions, and The Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in American History from Cornell in 1976 and has been an administrator and teacher at Cornell since 1981. He is the author or co-author of nine books and six-hundred essays and reviews. In addition to his scholarly essays, he has written for American Heritage Magazine, The Australian, The Baltimore Sun, Barron’s Financial Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Florida Courier, The Jerusalem Post, The Kansas City Star, The Los Angeles Times, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Moscow Times, The New York Observer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Portland Oregonian, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Tulsa World. His op-eds and book reviews appear regularly on The Huffington Post, on NPR's Books We Like, and on Forbes.com. The National Book Critics Circle has cited his work as “exemplary.” For four years he wrote a column for the Education Life section of the New York Times. He was a regular panelist on national and international affairs for the WCNY television program The Ivory Tower Half-Hour, from 2002-2005. Glenn Altschuler has won several awards for teaching and undergraduate advising at Cornell. He is the recipient of the Clark Teaching Award, the Donna and Robert Paul Award for Excellence in Faculty Advising, and the Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Award for Outstanding Advising. He is a Weiss Presidential Fellow. Altschuler has been an animating force in the rapidly growing program in American Studies, teaches large lecture courses in American popular culture, and has been a strong advocate on campus for high-quality undergraduate teaching and advising.

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Author Archive | Glenn Altschuler

Saving Privat(izing) Ryan: Mitt Romney Selects a Running Mate

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Former Governor Mitt Romney introducing Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice President in Virginia. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Former Governor Mitt Romney introducing Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice President in Virginia. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

On Saturday, August 11, “before the press and just about everyone else” was notified, the Mitt Romney campaign used a mobile phone app to inform supporters that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would be the Republican candidate for vice president. Romney’s choice is significant. No vice presidential candidate has been a deciding factor in an American election since Lyndon Johnson carried Texas for John F. Kennedy in 1960. Since then the operative principle for Republicans and Democrats in selecting a VP has been the political equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath for physicians: Do No Harm.

Romney was widely expected to make a “safe” choice—of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio. Instead, he has, uncharacteristically, rolled the dice. The forty-two year old Ryan is an experienced, articulate and influential legislator, a vigorous campaigner, and the darling of conservative Republicans and Tea Party activists. A key factor in his selection is his ability to energise the party’s base, which has been less than enthusiastic about Governor Romney, a former Massachusetts moderate. Ryan’s supporters suggest as well that he will help the GOP win the 10 Electoral votes of his home state, which has been carried by the Democrats in every presidential election since the 1980s.

But Ryan’s presence on the ticket also gives President Obama an opportunity to change the conversation from the fragile, and some say faltering, economy, to a federal spending plan, authored by Ryan, that Newt Gingrich (of all people) called “right wing social engineering.” First introduced in 2010 and known variously as The Path to Prosperity and The Roadmap, the Ryan budget proposes radical changes in the role of government in promoting and protecting the welfare of American citizens – and an attack on Social Security and Medicare, two of the most popular programs in the United States.

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