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Begala, Gerson, Shipman to speak at 2008 Union Forum luncheons

The 2008 Union Forum series will feature Paul Begala (left), Michael Gerson and Claire Shipman.
The 2008 Union Forum series will feature Paul Begala (left), Michael Gerson and Claire Shipman.

JACKSON, Tenn.Jan. 30, 2008 – The 2008 Union Forum will examine the U.S. Presidential elections and will feature three speakers rather than two for the first time in the 10-year history of the event.

The luncheon programs begin March 12 with Paul Begala, who was a top aide to former President Bill Clinton. The second program on April 2 features Michael Gerson, a former senior policy adviser to President George W. Bush. The 2008 series concludes April 16 with Good Morning America’s senior national correspondent Claire Shipman.

Begala is a political analyst for CNN and research professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. As a top Clinton aide he was responsible for defining and defending the White House agenda, from the State of the Union Address to domestic and international issues.

Gerson, an alumnus of Wheaton College in Illinois, worked closely with President Bush to create memorable speeches following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He is currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a columnist for the Washington Post.

Shipman contributes frequently to several ABC News programs. Previously, she served as White House correspondent for NBC News, spent five years at CNN’s Moscow Bureau, and wrote a popular column for George magazine for two years.

Lead sponsor for the 2008 Union Forum series is First South Bank. Other sponsors are First Tennessee Foundation, TLM Associates, West Tennessee Healthcare and The Jackson Sun.

Union Forum luncheons in recent years have drawn large crowds. Early table reservations are advised for 2008. Tables of six are available for $175, or $400 for all three luncheons. Individual seats are $35.

For more information, call (731) 661-5050.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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