Miller Center

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

‘Happy Days’ no more: Middle-class families squeezed as expenses soar, wages stall

Washington Post/Miller Center poll results

Fewer Americans find themselves in the heart of the middle class with every passing year, according to results of a recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll. This article, the most recent in a series stemming from poll results, details the financial struggles of a Virginia family, despite a combined income that places them squarely in today's "middle class."

VIDEO: Benefactor Howard Milstein Explains Impetus Behind Milstein Symposium

Opening Comments by Howard Milstein

"I am a beneficiary of the American Dream," Howard Milstein stated in comments to open the  Miller Center's Feb. 5 Forum with Governors Haley Barbour and Evan Bayh. Barbour and Bayh participated in the Forum as co-chairs of the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing. Howard Milstein, benefactor of the project and chairman, president, and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank Emigrant Savings Bank, introduced the session by explaining the genesis and goals of the Milstein Symposium: Ideas for a New American Century.

Book Review: A Call to Action

In his new book, A Call to Action, President Jimmy Carter has brought women’s rights to the forefront.  It is an important issue as he himself writes: “I have become convinced that the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls…” (pp. 3)

Who Knew The Cold War Would Be So Relevant?

Book Cover for The Kitchen Debate and Cold War Consumer Politics

Recent events in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula have sparked wild claims in the blogosphere and mainstream media about the revival of the Cold War. Thinly drawn historical analogies are being used by pundits to suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin is initiating an icy, long-term diplomatic standoff with the United States in his aggressive response to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. 

AUDIO: Ambassador Ryan Crocker on the U.S. and Iran

Ambassador Crocker on the Middle East and Iran

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On February 11, the Miller Center partnered with UVa's International Relations Organization to sponsor a talk by Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, who discussed the interim nuclear deal with Iran, prospects for peace with the U.S., and greater stability in the Middle East.  

Listen to audio from the lecture, and the great Q&A with students that followed.

For more people, the American Dream doesn’t include a home of their own

Homeownership, once a cornerstone of the American Dream, has taken a big hit in public esteem, according to a recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll.

The End of the Cold War is Back

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the first summit in Geneva, Switzerland

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev

President Barack Obama in a recent interview corrected an assertion of a deputy national security advisor who said that his boss “subscribes less to a great-man theory of history and more to a great-movement theory of history.” “I’m not sure Ben is right about that,” Obama remarked. “I believe in both.” 

VIDEO: American Forum with Bayh and Barbour

Watch Govs. Haley Barbour and Evan Bayh discuss their work as co-chairs of the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing during their visit to the Miller Center's American Forum on February 5.  Selected clips from the program are available here

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour Visit the Miller Center

Bayh and Barbour at the Miller Center

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour, former Governors and the Co-Chairs for the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing, visited the Miller Center last week to discuss skilled manufacturing and its impact on middle-class jobs. 

Is President Obama prepared to release thousands of prisoners?

Attorney General Eric Holder was interviewed on American Forum on 1/23. The interview airs on public television beginning 2/9.

The American Forum Interview With Attorney General Eric H. Holder 

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, in an interview to be broadcast on public television this Sunday (Feb. 9, 2014), made some remarkable comments about the American system of justice, including:

  • There are “probably thousands” of Americans imprisoned in the U.S. serving sentences far longer than they should be,
  • That the likelihood that many people currently imprisoned are actually innocent is the “ultimate horror” of our justice system,
  • And the strong intimation that a wave of presidential commutations for drug offenders may be coming from the White House in the months ahead.

 “We have…to make people who are incarcerated aware of that avenue,” Holder said, during a taping of American Forum, a public television program I host from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and carried by about 90 PBS stations around the country.  “And so I’ve asked members of the private bar to somehow engage with the people who are in prison so that the appropriate papers get filed, are put into the system, and ultimately the White House counsel’s office, and ultimately on the president’s desk.”

 “The president is willing to do these kinds of things,” Holder said.

Hispanics Often Lead the Way in Their Faith in the American Dream, Poll Finds

In many cases, Hispanic residents’ faith in the American Dream exceeds that of whites and African Americans — an optimism that contrasts sharply with the current economic status of Hispanics — according to the recent Washington Post/Miller Center survey findings.  Read the full article here. Detailed poll results can be found here

VIDEO: Why is manufacturing important to the middle class?

Bernie Carlson: Manufacturing and the Middle Class

Watch video of the Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing Contributing Scholar Bernie Carlson discuss the importance of manufacturing to America's middle class. 

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour to Visit Miller Center on Feb. 5

Governors Barbour and Bayh

Evan Bayh and Haley Barbour, former governors and co-chairs of the Miller Center Milstein Commission on New Manufacturing, will vist the Miller Center on February 5. 

Book Review: FDR and Polio

Frankline Roosevelt and son James Roosevelt

FDR and son James, December 1, 1933. (Courtesy of National Archives)

For Dr. James Tobin, the famous line, "The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself" meant even more to Franklin D. Roosevelt, because he understood it in a personal way as he recovered from polio.  Tobin’s new book, The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency, has given us a well-written and unique way to look at FDR. 

Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy

Washington Post-Miller Center poll result

More than six in 10 workers in a recent Washington Post/Miller Center poll worry that they will lose their jobs to the economy, surpassing concerns in more than a dozen surveys dating to the 1970s. Read more about the increasing job anxieties of U.S. workers here