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2011: Richard Benedetto

Woodrow Wilson Fellows in Residence

Richard Benedetto, former White House correspondent
and columnist for USA Today
March 21 - 25, 2011 

Public Address: “The Presidential Bully Pulpit: Is Anyone Listening?”
March 22, 2011

“I absolutely LOVED Mr. Benedetto” was the recurrent phrase heard from students after they shared a meal or a conversation with Richard Benedetto. His frank commentary, charming demeanor, and approachable style made him a favorite guest for many of Furman’s students and faculty. From telling campaign trail tales to analyzing media coverage of the presidency, he engaged students and impressed all who met him.

The good vibes were shared both ways. Mr. Benedetto was duly impressed with Furman University’s students and faculty, Furman’s spectacularly beautiful campus, and the vibrancy of a cosmopolitan downtown Greenville.  Our students will long remember his presence here, and he will long be sharing Furman’s story with folks in his community at American University and beyond.

Highlights of his visit to Furman:

  • Visited classes on American Government, Advocacy, Media History, Ethics, State and Local Politics, and The American Presidency
  • Shared his perspective on the media’s coverage of American foreign policy with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s class members
  • Enjoyed breakfasts and lunches with members of the Riley Institute Advance Team
  • Spoke at the Department of Political Science’s “Pizza and Politics” open forum along with Jessica Taylor of
  • Enjoyed dinner with communications majors and shared stories of his experiences with high profile politicians
  • Talked with the Hollingsworth and Townes Scholars at dinner and reception
  • Visited Asheville and downtown Greenville with members of the Riley Institute
  • Offered public address on “The Presidential Bully Pulpit: Is Anyone Listening?” on March 22, 2011

About Richard Benedetto

Richard Benedetto, professor of journalism and political science at American University, is a retired White House Correspondent and columnist for USA Today and former political columnist for the Gannett News Service. A founding member of USA TODAY, Benedetto wrote the paper’s first Page One cover story.

For nearly forty years, Benedetto has reported on government and politics on the local, state and national levels. He covered the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He also covered every presidential campaign from 1984 to 2004 and every national political convention from 1972 to 2004. In 2006, Politicians Are People, Too, Benedetto’s memoir of his long reporting career, was published.

A native of Utica, N.Y., Benedetto is a graduate of Syracuse University, holds an M.A. in Journalism from Syracuse’sNewhouse School of Public Communication, and received an honorary doctorate from Syracuse in 1992. He has received numerous journalism awards, the National Italian American Foundation Media Award and, in 2009, was named Outstanding Professor by the Fund for American Studies.