Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

For the Media

American University Experts Available to Comment on Vice Presidential Debate

Tonight's vice presidential debate is one of the most anticipated in our nation's history and American University experts will be available to comment on the debate, the campaigns, and the issues discussed. For complete expert profiles, see AU's online experts guide.


Karen O'Connor, the director of AU's Women and Politics Institute, will be available during and after the debate to comment on who won and what the debate means for both candidates. She has written or coauthored 20 books, including Women and Congress: Running, Winning and Ruling; American Government: Roots and Reform; American Government: Continuity and Change; and Women, Politics, and American Society.

Julia Piscitelli, assistant director of AU's Women and Politics Institute, will be available to offer insight before and after the debate. A political and communications strategist who has consulted political, corporate, academic, and non-profit sector clients, Piscitelli is a frequent guest on Fox News.

James Thurber, the director of AU's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, will be available to comment during and after the debate. He says the debate, "May be the most important vice presidential debate in the history of such debates. It will probably have more viewers than the Obama-McCain debate and it is especially important for Gov. Palin to show she is knowledgeable and presidential. This is her chance to stop her drop in the polls and to help the Republican ticket."


Curtis Gans, director of AU's Center for the Study of the American Electorate, is a preeminent expert on issues surrounding citizen political participation in the United States during the past three decades. His latest study on the 2008 primary voter turnout, released yesterday, is available.

Allan J. Lichtman, a professor of history, is a leading expert on presidential and congressional campaigns, voting behavior, public opinion, and political history. He is well known for his "13 keys" system, which predicted President Clinton's victory in 1996, George H.W. Bush's defeat in 1992, and the outcome of the 1988 presidential election.

Candice Nelson, director of AU's Campaign Management Institute, is an expert on campaign finance, voting behavior, interest groups, political party identification, and political action committees. 



Robert Carroll, a senior faculty fellow in AU's Center for Public Finance Research, a former Treasury Department official, and a senior economist on the Bush administration's Council of Economic Advisers. He can address the specifics of the bailout bill and the history of similar efforts.

George Guess, director of the Center for Public Finance Research, can comment on the details of the bailout bill and how it compares to remedies for previous financial crises. Guess, an expert on public budgeting and finance, spent two years with the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund.

Robert Losey, a professor of finance, is an expert on the American economy at-large; subprime mortgages; financial markets, including banking and thrift institutions, financial futures, and mortgage markets; speculation and hedging; and investments. 



Dotty Lynch, an executive in residence at American University and political consultant for CBS News, is currently teaching the course "Election '08: Politics, Polls, and the Youth Vote" in AU's School of Communication. Lynch has covered 11 presidential elections. Her areas of expertise are survey research, polling, campaigns and elections, women in politics, and journalism.

Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of communication, is currently teaching "Presidential Campaign 2008: Inside the War Rom and the News Room," an honors class, which is being covered every Thursday by WTTG –TV. A former congressional speechwriter, press secretary, and policy advisor, Steinhorn is available to comment on political campaigns, and the media's role in politics and elections.

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.