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President Biden’s First State of the Union: American University Scholars Comment


President Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address next week on March 1 after being delayed due to the omicron variant uptick in January. What should Americans expect from his first address to the nation?

American University has experts available to comment on a wide range of topics including, foreign policy, immigration, politics, political campaigns and polling, the Presidency and the White House, presidential rhetoric and speechwriting.


Tuesday, February 21 - ongoing


American University experts include:

  • David Barker is an expert on a broad range of topics, including American political parties, campaigns, elections, representation, culture/polarization, ideology/attitudes, political institutions (Congress and the Presidency), and a wide variety of public policy issues. He is the author of four books and several dozens of research articles. He has been a frequent commentator in the national and international media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, The Atlantic, among many others. His latest book, The Politics of Truth in Polarized America, is the first comprehensive examination of the "politics of truth" - its context, causes, and potential correctives.
  • Capri Cafaro, Executivein-Residence at American University’s School of Public Affairs, is the former Democratic leader of the Ohio State Senate. She is available for interviews on topics related to campaigns, elections, women in politics, health care policy, among other issues.
  • W. Joseph Campbell, professor in the School of Communication's Communication Studies program, he is an expert in election polling, its history, and the challenges and failures of polls. Campbell is the author of seven books, including most recently Lost in a Gallup: Polling Failure in U.S. Presidential Elections.
  • Ernesto Castañeda is founding director of AU’s Immigration Lab and associate professor of sociology. He conducts research on migration, urban issues, health disparities, vulnerable populations, and social movements. Castañeda is the author of, most recently, Building Walls: Excluding Latin People in the United States. He is currently working on research projects about health disparities, Central American migration, and Afghan refugee integration. Castañeda can discuss immigration and border issues in relation to the State of the Union.
  • Amy Dacey, Executive Director of the Sine Institute of Policy & Policy. For more than two decades, she managed prominent national organizations, and advised leading elected officials and candidates. Amy has a deep knowledge of U.S. elections: Federal, State and Local, U.S. party system, policy and government affairs, labor movement, progressive infrastructure, and women and elections.
  • Chris Edelson, assistant professor of government, is the author of Power without Constraint: The Post 9/11 Presidency and National Security. He can comment on issues related to campaigns and elections, constitutional interpretation, presidential power, and the Supreme Court. 
  • Jane Hall, professor of journalism and media studies in the School of Communication, specializes in media and politics. She explores issues of special interest to young people, the depiction of women in media and politics, media ethics and popular culture. A former weekly commentator on Fox News Channel, she has regularly appeared as a commentator and media expert on CNN's "Reliable Sources," MSNBC, PBS, NPR, CSPAN and other TV networks. She is the author of Politics and the Media: Intersections and New Directions, published by CQ Press in August 2021.
  • Bob Lehrman, adjunct professor of Public Communication. He is a novelist, teacher, and speechwriter for dozens of Democratic political figures including Vice President Al Gore. He’s author of The Political Speechwriter’s Companion (CQPress 2009).
  • Garret J. Martin is a Senior Professorial Lecturer, and the CoDirector of the Transatlantic Policy Center, in the School of International Service. He has written widely on transatlantic relations and Europe, both in the field of history and contemporary affairs, and focuses in particular on security, US foreign policy, NATO, European politics, European foreign policy and defense, Europe, the European Union, France and the UK. He is a frequent media commentator, providing analysis and interviews, among others, to NPR, the BBC, CNN, Voice of America, USA Today, WUSA, ABC News Australia and France 24.
  • Molly O'Rourke, Executivein-Residence in the School of Communication, has more than 15 years' experience in public opinion research and political communication. She has worked on Capitol Hill, for EMILY’s List, the women’s political action committee, and as an analyst at the Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute.
  • Leonard Steinhorn, professor of Communication and an affiliate professor of History. His expertise includes American politics, culture and media; the presidency and presidential elections; political strategy and communication; recent American history; the 1960s; race relations in America. Before joining the AU faculty, he spent 15 years as a political consultant and speechwriter.