The buzz is already starting about Ezra Klein’s visit to Reed College on September 28, kicking off this year’s Public Policy Lecture Series. I’m pleased that his appearance looks like it will appeal not just to students, but also faculty, staff, and community members. I’m a bit worried that we’ll overwhelm our 350 person auditorium!
I’ve also had to field questions about whether Klein is appropriately “academic” for our little college. That issue has been largely been put to rest–appearances by Dennis Ross, Susan Rice, among others, have demonstrated that the distinction between the world of the academy and the world of policy is a distinction without a difference. Reedies like to think big thoughts, but they also like to see those thoughts in action.
But Klein is more than just a journalist in my experience, and he shows his academic side in today’s column about a new article by Columbia University economist Michael Woodford. Klein understands political science models that forecast election outcomes. He has defended political science against attempts to defund our research. And he shows up every year at our annual meeting.
It’s a little early in his career to compare Klein to David Broder, the long time Washington Post columnist who was a longtime member of APSA, regularly attended our meetings, and helped to popularize and legitimize our work.
But Klein is starting out really well. In my mind, he’s a perfect fit for the Little Red Schoolhouse.