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Henry Clay Center Hosts Congressmen for Bipartisan Evening

Congressmen Panetta and Barr Engage in Bipartisan Conversation

Together with the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship was pleased to host US Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA 20) and US Representative Andy Barr (R-KY 06) for an evening of bipartisan conversation on June 22nd. The two Congressmen offered insights into the state of the current political climate and factors that are driving polarized politics today.

While acknowledging the partisan pressures unique to each of their party affiliations, Reps. Panetta and Barr also emphasized overlapping interest areas in each of their districts, as well as bipartisan Congressional initiatives like the Problem Solvers Caucus and Tuesday Bipartisan Breakfast Group of which they are a part. The Congressmen were also given an opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with attendees.

The event was part of the American Congressional Exchange (ACE) Program, a new initiative from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Founded on precepts of mutual understanding, listening, and shared experience base on personal interaction, the ACE Program allows Members of Congress to visit a Member of the opposite party in that Member’s district. That Member then reciprocates by a return visit to the other Member’s district.

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Bourbon Barrel of Compromise 2017

Special Guest Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

LEXINGTON, KY June 16, 2017– Continuing a tradition revived in 2015, the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship (HCCS) in partnership with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) will host the second Bourbon Barrel of Compromise on June 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the featured guest and will speak at the event.

Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Trent Lott (R-MS), recently named Honorary Co-Chairs of the HCCS will receive the first Henry Clay Statesmanship Award for their consistent advocacy for greater bipartisan compromise, dialogue and compromise.

HCCS, along with its partners Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky, are dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders in the principles and practices of statesmanship. Founded in 2007, HCCS educates tomorrow’s leaders in the skills necessary for statesmanship, dialogue, negotiation and compromise. In addition to annual student congresses at the high school and college levels, HCCS sponsors lectures and conducts advocacy for negotiation and compromise in public policy at all levels of government.

Kentucky statesman Henry Clay – who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives, in the Senate and as Secretary of State, was known as the “Great Compromiser” – would start each new Congress by bringing a barrel of Kentucky bourbon to Washington to “lubricate the wheels of government.” In 2015 HCCS and KDA hosted the inaugural Bourbon Barrel of Compromise to highlight Clay’s commitment to compromise, dialogue and civil discourse.

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Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Lecture Feat. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle

October 18, 2016– Lexington, KY

The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration hosted the 2nd Annual Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Lecture featuring Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). Panel discussions also featured Dr. Steve Voss, Associate Professor, and Mike Duncan, Former RNC Chairman. Moderated by Al Cross, Director of the Institute for Rural Journalism.

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2016 Student Congresses

Key focus areas included immigration, climate change, higher education, and economic policy


For most of the past decade, The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship has held a summer Student Congress for college and/or high school students. The week-long programs gather competitively-selected students from every region of the country. Students have opportunity to meet with lawmakers, academics, journalists, and civic leaders to discuss the practical importance of compromise and constructive engagement in resolving current and future challenges. Nationally-recognized speakers lead student seminars followed by a student debate on a current topic in the Old State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The high school program focused on political leadership and statesmanship by exploring examples of compromise from the time of Henry Clay to the present day and by identifying techniques of compromise and negotiation.   Putting their study to practical use, they then worked together to develop policy on the issue of climate change.   By assuming roles representing different points of view, and actually engaging in negotiation, these students gained a deeper understanding of the commitment required to successfully address problems in public life.

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Reception Featuring Sen. Trent Lott

June 20, 2016– The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship hosted a special reception honoring Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and our 2016 College Student Congress

Special Thanks to our Event Sponsor and organization Partner, Russell Capital Management


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McConnell Draws Crowd to Transy

Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky Mitch McConnell spoke about a defining era in the state’s political history on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. in Transylvania’s Carrick Theater.

By 2:40 the theater was halfway full, and by 3 it was overflowing with an audience of students from Transy, students from other colleges, community members and local political leaders, including Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

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