Former Obama staffer visits University

Bill Burton, a University alumnus will reflect on Obama’s first term.

Meghan Holden

President Barack Obama’s inaugural address Monday marked the beginning of his second term as president of the United States.

The president’s former Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton will speak Thursday at the University of Minnesota to reflect on Obama’s first term and look ahead to where his second term will bring the country.

Burton, a University alumnus, will speak with Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The two will discuss whether the Obama presidency has transformed America in a constructive way.

“It’s a great opportunity to talk with an Obama insider about the president’s inaugural address and about where the president hopes to take the country,” Jacobs said.

Burton said Obama’s second term will focus especially on “the president’s evolution of the issue of gay marriage” — a controversial part of his inaugural address.

“The president has followed a course the nation has been on, which is one of openness and total equality for all citizens, regardless of whether you’re gay or straight,” Burton said. “I think that will be a very important part of the Obama legacy.”

Burton has worked on several political campaigns in the past, most notably Obama’s first campaign for president.

He was one of the first hired when Obama began campaigning, according to the Humphrey School’s website. He now works for Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC for Obama.

Burton said he anticipates that gay marriage and gay rights will be a priority for his conversation with Jacobs.

The talk is free and will be held at noon at the Cowles Auditorium in the Humphrey School. It’s expected to draw at least 100 attendees.

Students can register at the Humphrey School’s website to ensure a spot.