Presidential hopeful Carol Moseley Braun opened the 2003 Noah Krieger Memorial Lecture promising to do three things: present a statement built on principle, deliver a stump speech, and end with questions. “How’s that?” Braun asked. The packed Salomon audience responded with an eruption of shouts and applause.

A onetime ambassador to New Zealand and a former Illinois senator whose term was plagued by scandal, Braun is the only woman running for president. She charmed the crowd, joked with students, and accidentally addressed political science professor Darrell West as Adam West of television’s Batman fame. Jokes aside, Braun said, “America stands poised to benefit from the added energy and talent, creativity and imagination that women bring to civil society.” She called for increased national investment in environmental technology and in elementary and secondary education, and the adoption of a single-payer health care system.

Asked how she plans to defeat President Bush after botching her Senate career, Braun said, “I believe my platform speaks to the hearts and minds of Americans, and he will have to account for a failed presidency.”