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Political Strategists and Co-Authors Bob Beckel and Cal Thomas Seek Common Ground in Carleton College Convocation Address

May 6, 2013
By Jacob Cohn '13

Democratic strategist Bob Beckel and conservative columnist Cal Thomas, two political commentators with opposing ideological viewpoints, will jointly deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, May 10. Beckel and Thomas’s address, entitled “Common Ground” (named after their book of the same name) looks at ways that liberals and conservatives can work together to benefit the United States. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at


Beckel and Thomas’s book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America" (William Morrow, 2007), explores the people and groups that the authors believe have artificially deepened the divide between liberals and conservatives in America. They argue that that bipartisanship and consensus politics are essential for the continued well-being of the American political system. The book is based on the duo’s long-running series of “point-counterpoint”-style columns published in USA Today.


Cal Thomas is a conservative syndicated columnist and regular contributor to Fox News Channel. His column, which was started in 1984 and is distributed by Tribune Media Services, is considered one of the most widely read in America. Thomas has been active in broadcast and print journalism for over 30 years and has appeared on several major television networks in addition to Fox News. He also served as vice president of the Moral Majority, a conservative Christian political group, from 1980 until 1985. Thomas is the author of several books in addition to "Common Ground" and is the recipient of a George Foster Peabody team reporting award.


Bob Beckel, a Democratic strategist, is also a contributor to Fox News and is currently a co-host for the Fox News talk show, The Five. He previously cohosted the Sunday edition of the CNN debate program, Crossfire. Beckel is a veteran of Democratic politics, having been appointed as the youngest deputy assistant secretary of state under the Carter administration. Beckel later served as the national campaign manager in Walter Mondale’s successful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984.


For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.