The longtime Democratic consultant and speech writer is set to start an academic appointment at the University of Southern California in June.
Shrum, whose career includes stints on the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Al Gore, promised to parade an array of special guests from the campaign world in front of his undergraduate students.
“I think one of the great advantages of L.A. is that everyone comes here one time or another. If we’re opportunistic and know when people are coming, we can conduct a public discussion.” Shrum told the Daily Trojan.
He cited pollster Joel Benenson and GOP consultant Steve Schmidt as potential drop ins. He also pledged to give students his first-hand account of the 2004 and 2000 presidential elections, in which he played a key role.
“I was actually there,” Shrum said. “To give students a real sense of what it’s like inside, it helps to have been inside and it helps to have experienced these things. And I want to share those experiences.”
Shrum, whose official title will be Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics, said his teaching will focus on the “great races.”
“I don’t want to do [the class] in an anecdotal, ‘great stories’ course,” he said. “What I want to do is take people to really significant campaigns and examine the sights and turning points and why they mattered and why they occurred.”