- January 30, 2020
On January 30, 2020, the Aspen Institute Germany hosted a Brown Bag Lunch on the topic “US Election 2020: Ground Rules & Outlook – Ask the Expert!” with Prof. Dan Hamilton, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy and Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS. This was the kick-off session of our event series “Road to Election Night 2020”, which culminates with an election party on November 3 – the biggest Berlin-based event dedicated to the U.S. presidential race. The focus of this first session was to familiarize participants with the basic ground rules of the U.S. election system – how does this system generally work and what makes it so special? And how might this play out for a polarizing Republican incumbent opposing a diverse field of Democratic candidates? This roundtable helped the participants in getting a better feeling for the months and events ahead and served as an opportunity to raise individual questions. Hamilton emphasized the republican character of the United States when discussing the ground rules as well as the prospects of winning the respective party nomination and the Presidency itself. On this basis, it is not merely about winning the public vote but gaining the support of many individual states. With so-called rural battleground states growing in importance, the first caucuses and primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada will likely lead the way.
Dan Hamilton has held a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Department of State, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; Associate Director of the Policy Planning Staff for two Secretaries of State; and Policy Director in the Bureau of European Affairs.