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For the Media

American University Experts Available for Media on Election Night

Several American University experts are available to provide analysis as the race for the White House comes to an end on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 4. For complete expert profiles, see AU’s online experts guide.

Richard Benedetto, who teaches communication and public affairs, is a retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and Gannett News Service. He can comment on national politics and elections, the White House and the presidency, American political parties, political polling, and media performance and criticism. Benedetto is available for phone or on-camera interviews before 11:30 p.m.

Robert Carroll, a senior faculty fellow in AU’s Center for Public Finance Research and former Treasury Department official, can address the election and the economy, including specifics of the bailout bill and the history of similar efforts. Carroll was the Treasury Department’s deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis and a senior economist on the Bush administration’s Council of Economic Advisers. He is vice president for economic policy at the Tax Foundation. Carroll will be available until 11:30 p.m. on election night. He will also be available on Wednesday.

Wendell Cochran, associate professor of communication, is an expert on computer use in journalism, Internet use by government agencies, and campaign finance coverage. He developed a campaign finance Web site that provides journalists with easy access to the latest information on financial contributions to national campaigns. Cochran is available for phone interviews before 10 p.m.

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. Gans is available for phone interviews all evening. After midnight, he will be able to offer the most up-to-date data on voter turnout and will be available for phone and on-camera interviews.

William LeoGrande, dean of AU’s School of Public Affairs and a professor of government, is an expert on Congress and foreign policy. Dean LeoGrande’s articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, American Political Science Review, Latin American Research Review, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and other journals and newspapers. LeoGrande will be available for phone interviews throughout the evening.

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. Losey is available for phone interviews before 11 p.m.

Karen O'Connor is the founder and director of AU's Women and Politics Institute. She has written or coauthored more than 20 publications, including American Government: Roots and Reform and Women, Politics, and American Society. O’Connor says of this election, “Tomorrow, women voters will hand the key to the White House to our next president. Traditionally, they make up their minds late, right up until Election Day. They put Bill Clinton over the top, and Gore and Kerry did not attract enough female voters to overcome George Bush. Whoever wins, women candidates have altered the political landscape of presidential politics forever." O’Connor is available for phone or on-camera interviews.

Barbara Palmer, coauthor of Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling, has taught courses on women and politics, women and the law, civil rights, judicial process, congressional internships, and equal protection. She is the interim director of AU’s Women and Politics Institute. From 2001 to 2007, she was the political director of Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, a nonpartisan organization that encourages young women to get involved in politics. Palmer is available for phone interviews regarding congressional races.

Julia Piscitelli is a longtime political and communications strategist and media trainer, and assistant director of AU’s Women and Politics Institute. She has worked in Washington, D.C., and around the country with top lawyers and Harvard professors and elected representatives at every level, from town planners to members of the U.S. House and Senate. Piscitelli is a regular commentator on politics and political communication on the Fox News Channel, including The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, and Your World with Neil Cavuto. As an expert on women in politics, Piscitelli says, "Wednesday marks day one of Sarah Palin for 2012, whether she and McCain win or lose. She will be a fund raising and political force from this point on." Piscitelli is available for phone or on-camera interviews.

Richard Semiatin, an assistant professor of political science, has taught courses in American politics and government for AU’s Washington Semester Program since 1991. He is the editor and an author of the forthcoming book Campaigns on the Cutting Edge (CQ Press, 2008), which examines how campaigns will change during the next decade. Semiatin is available for phone interviews before 11 p.m.

Steven Taylor, an associate professor of government, is an expert in urban politics and the politics of race and ethnicity. His most recent published article, “Political Culture and African Americans' Forgiveness of Elected Officials,” appeared in Polity. Taylor is available for phone or on-camera interviews.

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.