NPR’s Mara Liasson to give election analysis for Mary Louise Smith lecture

AMES, Iowa – The outcome of the midterm elections will set the stage for the 2016 presidential election and signal the direction of Congress for the next two years. National Public Radio political correspondent Mara Liasson will analyze the election results and explain what it all means in her public lecture, “What Just Happened? The 2014 Elections and Beyond” at Iowa State University.        

Liasson is the fall 2014 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics. As a political correspondent, she reports on politics and policy – focusing on the White House and Congress – and also covers political trends beyond the Beltway. Her reports are regularly featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition.” Liasson also serves as a panelist on the “FOX News Sunday” public affairs program.

Liasson’s lecture starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in the Sun Room of the ISU Memorial Union. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. Catt Center Director Dianne Bystrom says Liasson understands the issues that are resonating with voters and will offer her insight on the outcome of this election.     

“In recent weeks, Ms. Liasson has reported on Democratic and Republican Party appeals to millennial voters as well as the stances of candidates of both parties on the minimum wage, gay marriage, reproductive health and immigration,” Bystrom said. “We’ve found that hosting a nationally known woman political reporter shortly after an election helps our university and local communities engage in a thoughtful dialogue about the results.”

Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent from 1992 to 2000. From 1989-1992, she was NPR's congressional correspondent. Liasson has received numerous awards and honors for her reporting, including the White House Correspondents' Association Merriman Smith Award in 1994, 1995 and 1997 for excellence in daily news reporting.

Mary Louise Smith Chair

The Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics was established at Iowa State in 1995 to honor the Iowa native and longtime political and civic leader. Smith – the first and only woman to chair the Republican National Committee – was a mentor, friend and role model to many in the world of politics, government and community affairs.

The purpose of the chair is to bring nationally known political leaders, scholars, journalists and activists to Iowa State to enrich the experiences of students and educate citizens about the role of women in the political process. Liasson is the 26th woman leader to visit Iowa State through the sponsorship of the Smith chair.