Robert M. Shrum
Senior Fellow

Robert M. Shrum was senior advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004. The Atlantic Monthly described him as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party.” He served as a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 Presidential Campaign, to the campaign of Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel, and to the British Labour Party in the 2001 Parliamentary campaign.

Mr. Shrum was the principal speechwriter to Senator George McGovern in the 1972 Democratic campaign for President. Subsequently, he was the staff director and chief counsel of the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Mr. Shrum served as press secretary to Senator Edward M. Kennedy from 1980 to 1984, and he was the Senator’s principal speechwriter during and after the 1980 presidential campaign.

As a journalist, Mr. Shrum's work has appeared in New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The New Republic, among other publications. He has been a columnist for Slate and The Huffington Post, and writes a regular column for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Since 1985, Mr. Shrum was a strategist and advertising consultant for thirty winning U.S. Senate campaigns; eight winning campaigns for Governor; the Mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Dade County and San Francisco, and the Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives.

Mr. Shrum's book, No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner, was published in June 2007 by Simon and Schuster. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Yale and Boston College.

Semester Course
Fall 2011 PADM-GP.2445.001 Poverty, Inequality, and Policy

This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in the U.S. but with a comparative perspective (developed countries in Europe). It considers possible causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed policies.

In this course, we consider what is poverty – how do we measure it, what does it mean to be poor? Why is it so persistent, and so concentrated on particular groups? Is poverty passed on from one generation to the next? How do labor markets, family structure, and social organization come into play in shaping poverty? How successful have the array of anti poverty efforts been and which look most promising going forward?


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Fall 2011 PADM-GP.2411.001 Policy Formation and Policy Analysis

The purpose of the course is to deepen students’ understanding of the way in which public policy and political realities interact in American government at the national, state, and local levels: how political pressures limit policy choices, how policy choices in turn reshape politics, and how policymakers can function in the interplay of competing forces. The theme explored is how public officials balance concerns for substantive policy objectives, institutional politics and elective politics in order to achieve change. The nature of key legislative and executive institutional objectives and roles is examined. In addition, attention is given to the role of policy analysis and analysts in shaping policy decisions, seeking to identify their potential for positive impact and their limitations in the political process.

A second goal of the course is to sharpen students’ ability to think and write like professional policy analysts. Students will be asked to apply both a policy analysis framework and a political perspective to the issues under discussion


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Spring 2010 PADM-GP.2411.002 Policy Formation and Policy Analysis

The purpose of the course is to deepen students’ understanding of the way in which public policy and political realities interact in American government at the national, state, and local levels: how political pressures limit policy choices, how policy choices in turn reshape politics, and how policymakers can function in the interplay of competing forces. The theme explored is how public officials balance concerns for substantive policy objectives, institutional politics and elective politics in order to achieve change. The nature of key legislative and executive institutional objectives and roles is examined. In addition, attention is given to the role of policy analysis and analysts in shaping policy decisions, seeking to identify their potential for positive impact and their limitations in the political process.

A second goal of the course is to sharpen students’ ability to think and write like professional policy analysts. Students will be asked to apply both a policy analysis framework and a political perspective to the issues under discussion


Download Syllabus

In the Press

05/17/2013
The Obama Scandals Are Desperate Measures by the GOP [Commentary]
Daily Beast
01/11/2013
Washington's Endless Civil War [Commentary]
The Daily Beast
12/17/2012
After Newtown, This Has to Be the Time for Gun Control [Commentary]
The Daily Beast
10/26/2012
Why Obama Will Win [Commentary]
The Daily Beast
08/13/2012
How Obama Will Cash In on Paul Ryan: Medicare, Taxes, Education & More [Commentary]
Daily Beast
06/28/2012
Obamacare Supreme Court Ruling: John Roberts Changes His Legacy
The Daily Beast
06/18/2012
Mitt Romney Is a Lot Like Thomas E. Dewey [Commentary]
The Daily Beast
02/09/2012
Shrum and Schmidt Agree: Romney's Appearance with Trump was an Incredibly Bad Idea
Capital
02/08/2012
'Zero' hope for Mitt foes, but he can beat self
NY Daily News
11/23/2011
Romney is not a flip-flopper; he is a shape-shifter [Commentary]
Boston Globe
11/10/2011
Mitt Romney is the only adult in the room [Commentary]
The Week
09/29/2011
Mitt Romney is the Richard Nixon of 2012 [Commentary]
The Week
09/26/2011
Praying for Rick Perry [Commentary]
The Week
09/13/2011
In Conversation with Bob Shrum [Video]
CUNY TV's Eldridge @ Co.
09/08/2011
Governor Perry, You're No Ronald Reagan [Commentary]
The Week
08/04/2011
The Summer of Obama's Discontent [Commentary]
The Week
03/31/2011
Obama's Momentous April [Commentary]
The Week
03/05/2011
'Weak Eyes are Fondest of Glittering Objects' [Commentary]
The Week
01/13/2011
Mourner In Chief's Eulogy Puts Palin to Shame
Daily Beast
12/15/2010
Former Prime Minister of Britain Embarks on a Global Opportunity at N.Y.U.
The New York Times
10/28/2010
Bloomberg's Road to the White House
The Week (commentary)
08/26/2010
What Obama should do now (commentary)
The Week
08/23/2010
Dems Urge Obama to Take a Stand
Politico
07/07/2010
Latest Sheikh Mohammed Scholars winners unveiled
The National
03/30/2010
Bob Shrum on Meet the Press 3/28/10
Meet the Press
03/28/2010
Sunday Roundtable
Meet The Press (video)
08/28/2009
Bob Shrum on Ted Kennedy's Greatest Speech (opinion)
Time
08/04/2009
The Lies of August (op-ed)
The Week
06/09/2009
Obama the Transformer (opinion)
The Week
05/12/2009
Sharia Politics at Notre Dame (op-ed)
The Week
05/05/2009
Is Joe Biden an amiable dunce?
The Week (op-ed)
05/04/2009
Is Joe Biden an Amiable Dunce? (op-ed)
The Week
04/26/2009
The Next 100 Days
Washington Post
04/07/2009
For Obama, the Hard Part Begins
The Week
03/10/2009
In praise of earmarks (op-ed)
The Week
02/24/2009
The Santelli contagion (op-ed)
The Week
02/17/2009
Field General Obama (op-ed)
The Week
02/10/2009
The Taliban GOP (op-ed)
The Week
01/25/2009
Paterson may feel backlash from angry Democrats
Buffalo News
01/20/2009
Battered Liberal Syndrome (op-ed)
The Week
01/13/2009
Will Republicans learn from history, too?
The Week
01/06/2009
Ehud Barak's Mission in Gaza (op-ed)
The Week
12/22/2008
Political Heavyweights Head to Edelman
Chicago Business.com
11/04/2008
Joe the Veep (op-ed)
The Week.com
11/03/2008
The Cooties Effect
Foreign Policy in Focus
10/30/2008
Strategists Shrum & Schoen Optimistic for Obama
SOHO Journal
10/28/2008
End Times for Reaganism
The Week.com (op-ed)
10/21/2008
Don't Go Wobbly, Dems
CNN.com
10/14/2008
McCain's Unraveling Began with Palin (op-ed)
The Week.com
10/02/2008
How They Can Win
Washington Post.com
09/30/2008
For Many Americans, Fear and Distrust Run High
Washington Post
09/08/2008
The Republicans' Lipstick Populism
The Week.com
08/04/2008
Bayh reported to be on Obama's VP list
Courier-Journal
07/14/2008
Girl talk wins fans for Mrs. Obama
The Washington Times
04/04/2008
Stay in It to Win It
The New York Times (Op-Ed)