Miller Center

Media Contact: Howard Witt, 434-924-6051

White House Congressional Affairs Symposium

On September 12–13, 2003, the Miller Center's Presidential Oral History Program sponsored a roundtable symposium on White House congressional relations. The featured guests at this group oral history were seven former White House congressional liaisons, representing every president from Richard Nixon through Bill Clinton.

This first-of-its-kind symposium was intended to supplement the Center's continuing work on individual presidents by providing a forum for considering White House congressional relations comparatively, over a significant span of modern American political history. The results were approximately eight hours of candid insider accounts of how presidents attempt to extend their influence on Capitol Hill.

The seven former assistants to the president for legislative affairs in attendance were: Max Friedersdorf (Nixon, Ford, Reagan); Frank Moore (Carter); William Ball III (Reagan); Frederick McClure (Reagan, Bush 41); John Hilley (Clinton); Lawrence Stein (Clinton); and Charles Brain (Clinton).

The lead interviewers for the symposium were Richard Neustadt (Harvard University, emeritus); Russell Riley (Miller Center, Virginia); James Thurber (American University); and James Young (Miller Center, Virginia).

Conference Audio and Video

Friday, September 12, 2003

Session I: The Job Description: The Scope of the Congressional Liaison Responsibilities

Moderator: James Young, Leading off: Charles Brain

Audio: Session 1 Part 1

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Audio: Session 1 Part 2

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Video: Session 1 Part 1 | Video: Session 1 Part 2

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Session 2: The Partisan Dimension: Working with Your Party — and the Other.

Moderator: James Thurber, Leading off: John Hilley and Frederick McClure

Audio: Session 2

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Video: Session 2

Session 3: Bicameralism: Working with the House and Senate.

Moderator: Russell Riley, Leading off: Max Friedersdorf and Lawrence Stein

Audio: Session 3

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Video: Session 3

Session 4: Working with and for the President: The President’s Own Style, Political Circumstances and Priorities.

Moderator: Richard Neustadt, Leading off: William L. Ball and Frank Moore

Audio: Session 4

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Video: Session 4

Wrap-up Session

Moderators: Russell Riley & James Young

Audio: Wrap-up Session

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