The Gabfest on Mitt Romney and Mormonism, The Dictator’s Learning Curve, and UVA President Teresa Sullivan’s Ouster

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
June 22 2012 1:40 PM

The Post-Solstice, Dictator Will Crush You Now Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the Mitt Romney’s religion; Will Dobson’s new book, The Dictator’s Learning Curve; and UVA President Teresa Sullivan’s ouster.


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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, David Plotz, John Dickerson and guest panelist Will Dobson discuss Mitt Romney and Mormonism, Will’s new book The Dictator’s Learning Curve, and the controversial ousting of UVA President Teresa Sullivan.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • A Gallup poll finding one in five Americans refuse to vote for a Mormon.
  • John’s Slate piece on Romney’s unwillingness to discuss his faith.
  • Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s New York Times piece on how religion has shaped Romney’s character.
  • The New York Times review of Will’s book, The Dictator’s Learning Curve.
  • Teresa Sullivan’s strategic memo discussing a “reputation gap” at UVA.
  • The email chain between Rector Helen Dragas and Vice Rector Mark Kington planning Sullivan’s exit.
  • Atul Gawande’s commencement speech at Williams College addressing failure.

John chatters about a 1952 New Yorker cartoon mocking instant punditry.

Will chatters about Joshua Hammer’s Atlantic piece about the world’s worst traffic jam in Lagos, Nigeria, which made a 40 mile trip 12 hours long.

David chatters about Capital: A Novel by John Lanchester.

The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Andrew Bouvé and Dale Willman. Links compiled by Aviva Shen.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

William J. Dobson is Slate’s politics and foreign affairs editor and the author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.



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