Cal Jillson, Political Science, comments on article: Hillary Clinton Distances Herself From Obama on ISIS


Originally Posted: November 24, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is taking a different stance than President Obama on issues such as national security and terrorism, even if that means offending members of her own party, The Hill reports.

In an effort to combat ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group, Clinton said in a speech last week that the United States needs to “break the group’s momentum and then its back.”

The former secretary of state added that no-fly zones should be imposed over parts of Syria — a move that the Obama administration has refused to take.

Just one day ahead of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama said that ISIS was “contained,” and has since received a vast amount of criticism.

In response, Clinton has not only drawn a sharper wedge in between herself and the president, but declared that ISIS “cannot be contained, it must be defeated.” READ MORE

Listen: Joshua Rovner, Tower Center, On the Paris attacks


Originally Posted: November 16, 2015

SMU’s Joshua Rovner, the John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics & National Security Policy, talked with KLIF radio’s Amy Chodroff and Dave Williams, about the terrorists’ attacks in Paris last Friday and SMU students who are studying there. LISTEN

SMU students in Paris report they are safe; SMU monitoring situation

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 14, 2015

SMU has heard from all 11 of its students studying in Paris that they are safe. The SMU Travel Oversight Committee is closely monitoring the situation and is receiving updates from the U.S. State Department and International SOS.

SMU community members abroad are asked to be aware that France has declared a national state of emergency and has tightened its borders. On Saturday, November 14, the U.S. Embassy in France issued a security message regarding the terrorist attacks: “Further incidents are possible. We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security, including limiting their movements to essential activity. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.” While airports and train stations remain open, travelers may expect delays due to heightened security measures.
All SMU Abroad students are covered by emergency travel assistance through I-SOS and may use the services of I-SOS worldwide during their term of study abroad. During SMU Abroad orientation, students received laminated cards with emergency phone numbers for I-SOS. I-SOS contact information also is available online at In addition, every SMU-approved study abroad program has its own emergency preparedness plan and protocols.

Students with concerns or questions are asked to contact the SMU Abroad Director, Dr. Cathy Winnie, at (214-768-4904) or SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters at (214-768-1586). Student safety is the highest priority of SMU and our partner study abroad programs. READ MORE

Joe Kobylka, Political Science, runs 5K to support the Achievement Center of Texas

Dallas Morning News

Originally Published: October 30, 2015

The Achievement Center of Texas hosted a “Ghoulishly SpooktACTular” event Oct. 24 at Holford Park in Garland.

The annual 2015 ACTion event featured a 5K run/walk, 1 mile fun walk, games, a Halloween costume contest and prizes.

This year, it was billed as A Ghoulishly SpooktACTular to celebrate awareness for people with special needs. Proceeds will benefit the students of ACT, said David Parrish, president of the ACT board.

Since this year’s event is not the first, I asked David if he or Marilynne Serie, executive director of ACT, had a story to further explain what the organization does. READ MORE

TX Sen. Ted Cruz In Good Position For Tonight’s Third GOP Presidential Debate

Texas Public Radio

Originally published: October 28, 2015

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is still waiting for his break-out moment as Republican presidential candidates face-off in their third debate tonight in Boulder, Colorado.

A recent Des Moines Register poll shows Ted Cruz has moved into third place among Republican Presidential candidates in Iowa, the first state to vote.

Cruz trails Donald Trump whose numbers have slipped some and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Cal Jillson, a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, says all the Texas senator needs to do in tonight’s debate is hold his own and remain viable.

“He doesn’t need to attack Donald Trump, nor does he need to attack Ben Carson, the two people who are most clearly running ahead of him. His entire strategy is to assume without political experience their campaigns will at some point collapse, and he’ll be there to pick up the pieces,” Jillson said. READ MORE

Meet Dedman College Faculty during Family Weekend

2:00PM 3:00PM

Dedman College, the heart of SMU houses the vital disciplines the underlie great accomplishment. Denman College offers 85 exciting majors and minors in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Their award winning faculty will be available to discuss their teaching and research interests. READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, former state Sen. Wendy Davis will not run again for her former seat

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Originally Posted: October 21, 2015

Former state Sen. Wendy Davis misses public office and hopes to serve again someday.

But there’s one job the Fort Worth Democrat won’t take: the state Senate District 10 seat she represented for more than six years.

“I hope to support a candidate from Senate District 10 who is going to reflect the priorities of the people who live in that community, rather than the very narrow priorities that are being reflected by the current senator in office,” Davis, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, told the Star-Telegram this week. “But it won’t be me.”

State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, who won the seat last year, said she’s not surprised Davis would support someone to challenge her.

“Obviously we couldn’t be further from each other in terms of politics,” Burton said. “I won in the general election with [52.83] percent of the vote. She can say all she wants that I don’t represent the district.

“It’s very obvious in the voter turnout that I do.”

Observers say they aren’t surprised that Davis won’t seek re-election to the Senate seat.

“People usually don’t go back to a rung they’ve already attained,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “If a politician tries to move up and fails to do that, they are oftentimes out of politics.” READ MORE


Cal Jillson, Political Science, Hilary Clinton wants to quell doubts in prime-time debate

The Hill

Originally Posted: October 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton is getting off her back foot after a clumsy start to her presidential campaign.

After being buffeted for months by the controversy over her emails and seeing her dominance in the polls decline, Clinton has made aggressive moves to shore up her support on the left and take the fight to the Republican field.

A strong performance on the debate stage during the first Democratic clash, set for Las Vegas on Tuesday night, could help the former secretary of State maintain her altitude, quiet talk of a White House bid by Vice President Biden and slow the rise of her main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“We’ve seen all email, all the time,” said David Birdsell, a debate expert at Baruch College in New York. “This is the first sustained encounter with her in which voters will have the opportunity to hear about something else.”

Clinton has been trying to change the subject recently, with some success.

Her announcement last week that she opposed the trade agreement known as the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, came as a welcome development to liberals who have been skeptical of her candidacy.

She also seized the initiative on gun control, perhaps the one issue in which she can convincingly run to Sanders’s left, after a mass shooting in Oregon.

On Friday, Clinton met with activists from the #BlackLivesMatter movement — a constituency that has given Sanders considerable trouble — later tweeting, “Racism is America’s original sin.”

And Clinton has even sought to turn the Benghazi probe to her advantage.

Her campaign pounced last week after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appeared to suggest that the House panel investigating the 2012 attacks deserved credit for lowering Clinton’s poll numbers. READ MORE