Midterm Madness

Political Pros Share Their Insights on the Upcoming Election

Thursday, October 04, 2018 – Lunch Program
CMC Athenaeum

Mike Murphy and Robert Shrum
Opening remarks by Hon. David Dreier ’75


With control of Congress hanging in the balance, and the possibility of a “blue wave” overtaking Republican control of the House and Senate, the next two years of American politics will be defined by the result of the midterm elections. Join the Dreier Roundtable’s fourth annual luncheon, and a panel of nationally renown political professionals, including Representative David Dreier ’75, Mike Murphy, one of the Republican Party’s most successful political consultants, and Robert Shrum, a go-to consultant for many Democrats, in an entertaining and insightful discussion of the upcoming midterm elections.


Participant Biographies 

David Dreier was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1980, where he served until January 2013. In Congress, he served as the youngest—and the first from California—chairman of the Rules Committee, playing a pivotal role in fashioning all legislation for debate in the House. Dreier has had many leadership roles in California and national politics, such as chairing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s transition team in 2003, and serving as parliamentarian at the 2004 Republican National Convention. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the International Republican Institute. Dreier is the founding chairman of the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership, which works directly with legislatures in seventeen countries around the globe, helping to build institutions in new and re-emerging democracies. Dreier is a trustee and alum of Claremont McKenna College. He received his B.A. from CMC in 1975 and his M.A. in American government from Claremont Graduate University the following year.

Mike Murphy is one of the Republican Party’s most successful political consultants. Murphy led more than 20 statewide campaigns to victory, including gubernatorial races for Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christine Todd Whitman, John Engler, and Tommy Thompson, as well as dozens of congressional races. He has worked on six Republican presidential campaigns and is widely known for his work in the 2000 GOP primaries as a senior strategist for John McCain. He has advised leaders in Canada, Central America and the former Soviet Union. He is a widely known political pundit, appearing frequently on NBC, CNN and NPR. He co-directs the Center for the Political Future at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Robert Shrum holds the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC Dornsife and serves as director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. Shrum has a storied career as an author and television commentator and as a campaign adviser to Democratic candidates in nearly 40 winning U.S. Senate and gubernatorial campaigns and for the mayoralty of many of America’s major cities. His numerous clients included Edward Kennedy, Joe Biden, John Glenn, and Barbara Mikulski in their Senate campaigns, and John Kerry and Al Gore in their presidential races. Overseas, his clients included Ehud Barak in his successful 1999 campaign for prime minister of Israel, the British Labour Party in the 1990s and the early 2000s, the prime minister of Ireland and the president of Colombia.