Gibbs, Duffy assume ‘Time’ roles to forecast 2012 political climate

Gibbs and Duffy

Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, co-authors of The Presidents Club and editors at Time, present the final morning lecture of the 2012 Season at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater.

As editors at one of the most notable weekly news magazines in the U.S., Duffy and Gibbs will lend their expertise on the upcoming political season for the Chautauqua audience.

The duo has worked together for 25 years, and Duffy has covered eight presidential campaigns.

Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education, said their discussion should be a wonderful transition into the fall — especially because the Republican National Convention is next week.

“We’re looking for a news analysis,” Babcock said. “We’ve asked them to assume their Time roles and project what they see coming into the elections.”

The lecture wraps up the week theme of “The Presidents Club,” which comes to culmination after four years of planning.

“I had told (Institution President) Tom Becker and Sherra Babcock that Michael Duffy and I were working on a book about the private side of the presidency literally four years ago,” Gibbs said. “They said at the time that it would make a great lecture theme and were extremely patient as everything took longer than we expected.”

Gibbs said they will be comparing this election and campaign to those in years past, and she has seen some similarities — but also some things that have no historical precedent.

The native New Yorker anticipates the audience at the Amp will ask about the recent announcement of Paul Ryan’s addition to the Romney campaign.

“Since the Ryan choice was such an interesting plot twist in this race,” Gibbs said, “there have been some fascinating new polls out this week, and some surprises in the swing states, so it is a great time to be looking at the state of the race.”

Gibbs, who isn’t a stranger to the morning lecture platform, has a lifelong connection to Chautauqua, but this week is Duffy’s first visit on the grounds.

“I have alerted my co-author that the Chautauqua audience is extremely well read and well informed, so the questioning is often the most fun part,” Gibbs said.