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State of the Union: AU Experts Available to Analyze

American University professors are available to analyze President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address (SOTU) on Tuesday, January 24, and the Republican response from Mitch Daniels. 

Leonard Steinhorn, an expert on the presidency, political campaigns and communication, and the media’s role in politics and elections, can discuss the politics of the speech, what President Obama ought to include, and how well the speech was delivered and received.  Steinhorn, a professor AU’s School of Communication, is a former congressional speechwriter, press secretary, and policy advisor. He and fellow professor Robert Lehrman (see below) founded PunditWire, a forum for political speechwriters to share their takes on politics and current events.

Robert Lehrman, an expert on political speechwriting, teaches speechwriting and public speaking in AU’s School of Communication. The author of the 2009 book The Political Speechwriter’s Companion: A Guide for Writers and Speakers, Lehrman is the former chief speechwriter to vice president Al Gore Lehrman’s 2011 "Anatomy of a Speech" anecdotal inside cover story about the SOTU for the Christian Science Monitor Sunday magazine covered the history, traditions, changes, and drama of the 222 year history of this event.

James Thurber,
director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is an expert in presidential-congressional relations, the congressional budget process, and congressional reform. His book, Obama in Office: The First Two Years, the first academic assessment of Obama’s first years in office was released in 2011 (Paradigm Publishers).

Danny Hayes
is an expert in political behavior and political communication in American politics; public opinion; political participation, and the media.

Dotty Lynch
is director of the political communication graduate program and a political consultant for CBS News.  Lynch covered politics for 20 years at CBS News as the senior political editor.  She is an expert on survey research, polling, campaigns and elections, and women in politics and journalism. She just returned from the New Hampshire primaries where she led a class of 35 undergraduate and graduate students.

Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute, is available to comment on women and politics, the shift in congressional control and public opinion. Her research focuses on gender politics.

Allan J. Lichtman,
professor of history, is a leading expert on presidential and congressional campaigns, public opinion and political history.  Obama's reelection in 2012 is nearly guaranteed according to Lichtman’s “13 Keys” system which predicts the outcome of the popular vote based on the performance of the party and not the use of candidate preference polls, campaign tactics, or events.

Connie Morella,
ambassador in residence of AU’s Women & Politics Institute, is a former Maryland congresswoman (1987-2003). She joined AU in 2009 and teaches Women, Politics, and Public Policy among other special topics. While in Congress, Morella successfully initiated legislation addressing domestic violence and child support, as well as programs for the elderly, environmental protection, health care reform, and human rights issues.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Media Advisory