WHO: American University politics, election, and issue experts
WHAT: Analysis of presidential candidates and issues.
WHEN: June 10 - ongoing
WHERE: Via telephone, on-campus, or in-studio
Contact: American University Communications 202-885-5950 or via e-mail at [email protected]
BACKGROUND: The 2016 presidential race and issues surrounding the wide field of GOP candidates and slimmer Democrat field seeking its respective party’s nomination is accelerating and will likely heat up during the summer. Questions abound despite several candidates still undeclared. Are voters paying attention? Have deep-pocketed interests on the left and right up-ended the process? Will this election force new campaign finance reforms? What domestic and foreign issues are shaping the early campaigns of the declared and undeclared? Is it just too early to make any predictions even in Iowa and New Hampshire? How will vying for the party nomination differ from the general election? Can Republicans win a trifecta holding the House, Senate, and White House or do voters favor divided government? Is Hillary Clinton the Democrats’ inevitable nominee? What issues stand out: the economy, ISIL, immigration, Russia, race, economic inequality? What role will the media play in shaping voter attitudes? Does the Hispanic vote hold the key in the primaries and general election?Our professors and experts are available to discuss these questions and more. A list of topics and experts can be found below.
Presidential History/Elections/PowerJames Thurber, Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies director, is an expert on campaigns and conduct. He is also an expert in congressional-presidential relations, interest groups and lobbying, and campaigns and elections.
Thurber is available to discuss:• The 2016 elections from the early stages through the primaries and general election.• Campaign issues• Debates• Relations between the President and Congress and presidential history
Patrick Griffin, director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute for the Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies, served as one of President Clinton’s legislative directors. In the U.S. Senate, Griffin held the position of Secretary for the Democrats, and the positions of professional staff member on the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the Senate Budget Committee.
Griffin is available to discuss:• Presidential campaigns and issues• Debates• How the GOP field will narrow• Relations between the President & Congress
Chris Edelson, assistant professor of government in American University’s School of Public Affairs, is an expert in presidential power, the U.S. Supreme Court, and constitutional interpretation. Edelson is the author of Emergency Presidential Power From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror.
Edelson is available to discuss:• Presidential power and oversteps since 9/11• Congress’ unwillingness to challenge the executive branch on the authorization to use military force• History and rationale for U.S. presidents to expand their executive authority.Campaigns/Messaging/Campaign FinanceCandice Nelson, director of the Campaign Management Institute, is an expert on presidential and congressional elections.
Nelson is available to discuss:• Campaign finance - Super PACs, individual contributions, timing of contributions• Campaign strategies and messaging• Primaries and caucusesAntoine Yoshinaka, assistant professor of government in American University’s School of Public Affairs, is an expert in American politics, campaigns and elections. Yoshinaka is co-author of the forthcoming book American Gridlock: The Sources, Character and Impact of Political Polarization.
Yoshinaka is available to discuss:• Campaign finance• Primary election rules
Anita McBride, School of Public Affairs executive in residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, previously served as assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush. McBride supported Mrs. Bush’s efforts involving U.S. foreign policy objectives in human rights, women’s empowerment, global health and human freedom. McBride also served in the George H.W. Bush and Reagan administrations.
McBride is available to discuss:• The spouse’s role in a presidential campaign• Global engagement with world leaders and why presidential candidates are doing overseas trips to meet leaders• Winning the Latino, youth, and female constituencies• The large field of GOP candidates
Voter Attitudes & Turn OutJan Leighley, professor of government in American University’s School of Public Affairs focuses her research on American political behavior, voter turnout, media and politics, and racial/ethnic political behavior.Leighley is available to discuss:• Voter turnout and behavior • Laws, social media, and advertising effects on voter turnout• Vote choice among demographic groups, and Independents, in primaries versus general election• Inequality as a political/campaign issue• Media coverage of candidates and campaigns
David Lublin, professor of government in American University’s School of Public Affairs, is an expert in regional politics and voter interests based on race and ethnicity. Lublin is the author of The Paradox of Representation: Racial Gerrymandering and Minority Interests in Congress and The Republican South: Democratization and Partisan Change.
Lublin is available to discuss:• African American and Latino politics• Party politics by region in the United States.
Political Ambition/Women & PoliticsJennifer Lawless School of Public Affairs professor of government is also the director of the Women & Politics Institute. Professor Lawless focuses on political ambition, and she is the co-author three recent books Running from Office: Why Young Americans Are Turned Off to Politics,It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office and Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office. She is also a nationally recognized expert on women and politics.
Lawless is available to discuss:• How Presidential candidates are trying to win over female voters• Hillary Clinton’s effect on both GOP and Democrat female voters• What is takes to become a candidate running for office• Why young people do not seek elective office
Media & PoliticsRobert Lehrman, public communication professor, is a former chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore, is author of the book The Political Speechwriter’s Companion: A Guide for Speakers and Writers. Lehrman also writes and speaks about politics and language.
Lehrman is available to discuss:• Campaign messaging • Why Congress is so polarized• Comparison of past presidential candidates to 2016 candidates
Leonard Steinhorn, public communication professor, is an expert in American politics, culture and media, strategic communication, the presidency, and recent American history.
Steinhorn is available to discuss:• Campaign strategy and messaging• Campaign media coverage• Impact of changing demographics on the presidential campaign• Social issues and economic issues
Jane Hall, journalism and media studies professor, specializes in media and politics, particularly issues of special interest to young people, and popular culture. She is moderator and executive producer for the long-running American Forum radio and TV series in Washington, D.C. She is also a regular commentator on media and politics on cable TV and in print.
Hall is available to discuss:• Media coverage of the candidates, campaign & debates • Candidate messaging strategy • Media coverage of female candidates• Young people and their relationship to media and views on politics
Scott Talan, professor of public & strategic communication, is an expert in social media and personal branding. He has been a writer, producer, and reporter for numerous media organizations, including ABC News/Good Morning America.
Talan is available to discuss:• Social media aspects • Candidates messages• Images, visuals and video
Foreign PolicyContemporary U.S. Foreign PolicyJames Goldgeier, dean of American University’s School of International Service, served on the National Security Council Staff and at the State Department during the Clinton administration. Goldgeier's areas of expertise include 20th and 21st century U.S. presidents' foreign policy agendas, contemporary U.S. foreign policy as it relates to international security and relations with industrialized nations and the emerging economies.
Goldgeier is available to discuss:• Russia and the Ukraine crisis• Iran nuclear negotiations • Terrorism; and• Transatlantic security and NATO
Russia/UkraineKeith Darden associate professor in American University’s School of International Service is an expert in the politics of Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. He is author of the forthcoming book Resisting Occupation in Eurasia. Darden is among the leading experts on the Ukraine-Russia crisis and has recently traveled to Kiev and attends the Valdai Discussion Club.
ISIL/Iraq/AfghanistanLt. Gen. David Barno (USA Retired), School of International Service distinguished practitioner in residence served as a senior American commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan from 2003–2005. Barno is an authority on military operations, the changing character of conflict, civil-military issues, and leader development.
Barno is available to discuss:• U.S. military operations • Sequestration, the defense budget, and defense reform • Afghanistan • Cyber threats and cyber security
Nora Bensahel, School of International Service distinguished scholar in residence, is an expert on U.S. defense policy, military operations and force structure; coalition and alliance operations; and leader development.
Bensahel is available to discuss:• U.S. military operations • Sequestration, the defense budget, and defense reform • Iraq and the threat from ISIS • U.S. relations with NATO, other U.S. allies, and coalition partners CubaWilliam LeoGrande, School of Public Affairs professor of government, is an expert on U.S. Cuba relations and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America. LeoGrande is coauthor of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana.
LeoGrande is available to discuss:• Will normalization with relations with Cuba affect support for Republicans or Democrats seeking the presidential nomination?• Will ending the Cuban Embargo become a significant issue in the general election campaign and debates?Israel/Middle East Peace ProcessGuy Ziv, School of International Service assistant professor of U.S. foreign policy focuses on foreign policy decision-making, and the role of political elites in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ziv is the author of Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel.
Ziv is available to discuss:• How will candidates and constituents handle the Netanyahu government and its lack of commitment to a two state peace process?• What role does U.S.-Israeli relations play in presidential politics especially after strained relations with the Obama administration?Terrorism/Homeland SecurityJoe Young, School of International Service and School of Public Affairs associate professor, is an expert in cross-national causes and consequences of political violence and extremism.
Young is available to discuss:• Threat of ISIS• Threat of domestic extremism• Domestic surveillance• Homeland Security
TradeStephen Silvia, School of International Service professor, is an expert on international economics and international trade relations.Silvia is available to discuss:• Pending trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership• Investment and the international economy
EconomyRobert A. Blecker is an economics professor and expert on macroeconomics and international trade.
Blecker is available to discuss:• Fiscal and monetary policies; public spending, taxes, debt, and interest rates• International trade agreements (including TPP); the trade deficit and the global economy
Minimum Wage & InequalityMary Hansen is an associate professor of economics who researches in the fields of child welfare policy and economic history.
Hansen is available to speak about:• Economic aspects of issues affecting children: poverty, child abuse, foster care, adoption• Financial distress; vulnerability to bankruptcy; historical and modern causes of bankruptcy• Historical and modern determinants of wages and wage inequality; the minimum wage