University of Rochester

Top Political Writer Looks at Campaign 2000

March 23, 1999

Media and public attention are still on the White Houseónot with questions about whether the current resident will be forced out, but with speculation about who will occupy it next.

One of America's most respected President-watchers, Thomas M. DeFrank, will discuss the six chief executives he's covered and assess the evolving campaigns for President in the next presentation of the Dean's Lecture Series at the University of Rochester. He will give his talk, "Politics Now and 2000," at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, in 107 Schlegel Hall on the River Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

DeFrank is a veteran political journalist and author. As Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News, he directs coverage of the nation's capital for the country's second-largest metropolitan daily newspaper. The New Republic calls his reporting "riveting." Recently, The New York Times termed DeFrank one of the country's best political writers.

A frequent guest on such public affairs television programs as Washington Week in Review and CNN Inside Politics, DeFrank has covered every Presidential election since 1968. He traveled extensively with Richard Nixon from 1970 to 1972 and was an eyewitness to both assassination attempts on Gerald Ford in 1975.

DeFrank was assigned to cover the White House for Newsweek in 1970. He served as deputy chief of the magazine's Washington bureau and as its senior White House correspondent until he joined the Daily News in 1995.

DeFrank is the co-author of Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, the best-selling memoir of controversial Republican political consultant Ed Rollins. He also co-authored The Politics of Diplomacy, the memoirs of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

DeFrank also was on the Newsweek team that conducted comprehensive inside coverage of the 1992 election, producing behind-the-scenes accounts of the Bush and Clinton campaigns in the book, Quest for the Presidency 1992.

The Dean's Lecture Series, sponsored by the office of the Dean of the College, was initiated to bring prominent figures to the University campus to speak with students and to provide a public lecture for the community. Last fall Hugh Sidey, who has authored the Time magazine column "The Presidency" since 1966, was the guest speaker.