MSNBC anchor encourages students to influence the world


Jackie Norman/Iowa State Daily

Anchor and correspondent for MSNBC, Ali Velshi spoke as part of the Manatt-Phelps lecture for the Political Science department in the Great Hall on Oct. 18. Velshi spoke to the audience of different economic crises and weighed in on budget debates as well as other political/financial issues that frustrate people. One topic that he focused on specifically is health care because it is one of his favorite topics to talk about and one of his “passions”. 

Brian Mackley

“This is not about getting your degree and leaving, this is about leaving your mark on a world that really needs your mark left on it.”

MSNBC news anchor Ali Velshi left a crowd of over 600 with both a lot of answers and a lot of questions after the 15th annual Manatt-Phelps lecture.

This annual Iowa State political science lecture has had countless public figures speak from year to year such as former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton.

Velshi, who has many years of experience covering global politics and the economy made the focus of this years lecture “Political & Economic Transition at Home and Abroad”.

“Being sensible has to got to trump everything else,” Velshi said.

Although the rhetoric of his lecture focused on popular topics such as the economy, jobs, globalization, and climate change, the message of the lecture was to unite and its purpose was to inspire. 

Velshi began by talking about the importance of lectures like the annual Manatt-Phelps lecture saying that he believes lectures like these are crucial to society.

Having always enjoyed lecture series’ as a way to better understand issues himself, Velshi explained how he was thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with students through a lecture.

He then reminded students that they are extremely lucky and that believe it or not this is a wonderful time to be alive.

“This is a remarkable time to witness greater change at a faster pace that you could ever imagine,” Velshi said.

Velshi quoted Sen. John McCain at his Liberty Medal Acceptance speech where just a few days ago McCain encouraged all Americans to come together and continue to be the leaders of the free world. After going on to say how much of a hero and patriot McCain was, he says you do not have to agree with him to call yourself a patriot.

“The fact that you want this kind of health care, or that type of tax cut is not about your basic patriotism, your basic patriotism is about the things that allow us to exist in the society as we do and to thrive and still make this the envy of the world.” Velshi said.

While covering topics ranging from global poverty to climate change, Velshi always stood on the side of the facts.

He dug at the roots of many of these controversial problems and tried to inspire new ways of thinking toward solutions to these problems that are only getting larger as students graduate. 

Velshi ended the lecture by inspiring students to influence the world and continue to lead the world the way America has always done, saying that the world requires that of America and even though some may say they don’t like America everyone secretly wants to be a little bit like America.