Arianna Huffington, political columnist and author, will kick off the 2008 Festival of Ideas lecture series with her presentation on todays presidential politics. Her speech, titledThe Road to 2008: Presidential Politics Today,will be held as part of the Mountaineer Parents Club Winter Weekend in the West Virginia UniversityMountainlair ballrooms at 7:30 p.m.Friday, Feb. 29. Admission is free to the public.

Huffington has made a prolific career out of writing about politics. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a news and blog Web site that has quickly become one of the most widely read media brands on the Internet. She is a nationally syndicated columnist and has written 11 critically acclaimed books. She also co-hosts”Left, Right&Center,”public radios popular political roundtable program.

Huffingtons newest book,Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe,explores why, in her opinion, the government is at odds with the American people and why it continues to push the nation back into thedark ages.The book will be released April 29.

Born in Athens, Greece, Huffington moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University, where she was president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. In 2006, she was named to Time Magazines list of the worlds 100 most influential people.

Her most personal book,On Becoming FearlessIn Love, Work and Life,offers insight into how to be bold, how to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done in order to find the freedom to love, lead and succeed. She also authoredFanatics and Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America,which offers a bold approach on how to restore the country to the promise envisioned by our greatest leaders and the New York Times best-sellerPigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption are Undermining America.

There will be a book signing and reception following the event. Huffingtons books will be available for purchase (cash and checks only). Seating is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additional speakers in the series will be announced at a later date.

The Festival of Ideas is produced by WVU Artsand Entertainment. For more event information, visit