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    Stephanopoulos: Professor Next. Politician Someday?


    NEW YORK (AllPolitics, Dec. 4) -- Senior Adviser George Stephanopoulos helped guide two campaigns and the first term of Bill Clinton's administration. Now it's time to move on to another prestigious institution -- Columbia University in New York City.

    Faculty and staff welcomed Stephanopoulos back to his alma mater on New York's Upper West Side as a two-year visiting professor. His seminars and lectures will focus on politics, policy, the press and the presidency.(160K AIFF or WAV sound)

    The 35-year-old presidential aide says the campus and its swirl of activity helped guide him from the suburbs of Cleveland to the world of politics. Stephanopoulos says he's anxious to return the favor and help interest a new generation in public service.(288K AIFF or WAV sound)

    In a press conference held at Columbia, Stephanopoulos was asked if he would consider running for office some day. "I certainly haven't ruled it out," he said. In addition to teaching, he also plans a book and some television work following his formal departure from the White House.


    The transition from the front lines of politics to the academic world is one Stephanopoulos says he's ready to begin. In an interview with CNN, he said, "Four full years in the White House and two presidential campaigns is an awful long time in politics. Every year in the White House is like dog years; it's six years off your life. To last much longer than that is difficult for anyone, and all presidents have to have a recycling of people." (160K AIFF or WAV sound)

    Clinton, who is virtually without a voice at the moment, commented on Stephanopoulos' departure through a statement read to reporters by White House spokesman Mike McCurry. "No one has rendered me better advice nor given more loyal service to this nation than George Stephanopoulos. There is no one in Washington who has a better understanding of the intersection of politics, policy and the way those effect the American people."

    McCurry said the statement had not been written by Stephanopoulos in a final fit of presidential assistance. He said Clinton instead leaned on the largely female press office staff, which had included this line: "With the recent marriage of John F. Kennedy, Jr., George now becomes the most eligible stud muffin in New York." Clinton scratched that in favor of something "more appropriately Ivy League," McCurry said.

    To help ease his return to the university, the Columbia faculty gave Stephanopoulos a survival kit, including a volume called "Great Books" by film critic David Denby. He also got a supply of subway tokens to replace those White House motorcades.

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