Jay Carney, former Press Secretary to President Obama, spoke about key political issues as a part of the Sebelius Lecture Series in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the Fort Hays State University Campus on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Carney was featured as the fourth keynote speaker in the third Sebelius Lecture Series.
On the eve of election day for an abnormally close election, Jay Carney made an appearance in the heart of an unlikely battleground state. However, Carney was not at FHSU to primarily discuss the 2014 midterm elections.
Interim Provost Chris Crawford introduced Carney and issued the prepared questions that he would answer throughout his lecture.
Carney began his lecture with an opening speech outlining his career and his life. He spoke about his 20 year career in Journalism in which he worked for the Miami Herald and Time Magazine. He spoke at length about his time in Russia covering the transformation of the Soviet Union for Time. “I had the good fortune of studying Russian at a time in history that it was particularly relevant,” said Carney.
Carney also described the unusual path that his career took as he became only the second press secretary in history to be a journalist.
“The record of reporters as Press Secretaries was not exactly ideal, with my predecessor having lasted only a month at the job,” Carney said.
Carney, who resigned in June of 2014, held the job of Press Secretary for longer than anyone in recent history, having taken the position in January of 2011.
Carney also outlined his time as a Time Magazine reporter in Washington D.C. While in Washington, Carney would cover the Clinton and Bush Presidencies. In 2008 Carney would leave his job as a reporter to work as Vice President Biden’s communications director.
Following his introductory speech, Carney and Crawford sat and discussed prepared questions ranging from the 2014 midterm election to NSA surveillance and Edward Snowden.
As the discussion shifted toward the 2014 midterm election, Carney did not shy away from speaking about an election that his party is set to take a hit in. “The President’s party historically never takes the midterm election,” Carney said. A prediction for a Republican win in both the House and Senate also came with a warning to not “over-read” the results of the 2014 midterm elections.
Carney’s lecture closed with a few questions from the audience. Carney took questions regarding his experiences on 9/11 and how he adapted to the job of Press Secretary.