Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu


Presidential Debates Round 1: Candidates Set to Spar Over Domestic Issues

American University experts are available for pre and post analysis


WHAT: American University experts available for analysis of the first Presidential debate on October 3rd.

WHERE: In–studio, on campus, via telephone


Politics and Media Experts

Leonard Steinhorn,public communication professor, is an expert in American politics, culture and media, strategic communication, the presidency, and recent American history. He often acts as a political analyst for Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C. And for this year's election he will be working as a political analyst for CBS News.

Dotty Lynch, public communication professor, serves as a political consultant for CBS News doing on-air radio analysis and was a member of the CBS News Election Decision Desk. In 2010 she wrote political analyses for The Fiscal Times. She is only available for print and radio interviews.

Richard Benedetto, journalism professor is a former White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and political columnist for Gannett News Service.

Jane Hall,journalism professor, specializes in media and politics, particularly in issues of special interest to young people. She appears regularly on CNN’s Reliable Sources.

Speechwriting, and political expert

Robert Lehrman,public communication professor, is a former speechwriter for dozens of Democratic political figures including Vice President Al Gore.

General Political Experts

Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history, is an expert on the presidency, presidential campaigns, voting behavior, public opinion, party conventions, and American political history. Lichtman is renowned for his "13 Keys" system, which he used in June 2010 to predict that President Obama will win a second term. Lichtman says that the death of Osama bin Laden is a major foreign affairs feather in President Obama's cap, and is one of the factors that will get him reelected.

James Thurber, university professor of government and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is an expert on campaigns and elections, presidential-congressional relations, and author of Obama in Office (2011).

Tax experts

David Kautter, is managing director of the Kogod Tax Center and executive in residence in the Department of Accounting and Taxation. Previously, Kautter served as Ernst & Young's Director of National Tax, the chief operating executive for the firm's national tax practices. Kautter has written extensively on tax law, policy and compliance issues, authoring articles in major journals including the Journal of Accountancy and Tax Advisor.

Don Williamson, director of the Masters of Science in Taxation program and  executive director of the Kogod Tax Center, has published over 50 articles in professional and academic journals and was recognized by the Bureau of National Affairs as its outstanding author for 2007.

Employment, Income Inequality Expert

Robert Lerman, professor of economics, researches how employment, income support, and youth development impact low-income populations. He can also discuss income inequality. In the 1970s, Lerman worked on reforming the nation’s income maintenance programs and on youth employment policies as staff economist for both the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the U.S. Department of Labor. He was one of the first scholars to examine the patterns and economic determinants of unwed fatherhood and to propose a youth apprenticeship strategy in the U.S. *Lerman is out of the country from September 27 through October 17. He is only available by email and possibly by Skype.

Women & Politics Experts

Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute, is a nationally recognized expert on women's involvement in politics and women’s issues. Her latest book is Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office (2012).

Campaign, election, and voter behavior experts

Candice Nelson, department of government chair, is an expert on presidential and congressional elections and also studies voting behavior. Her most recent book Grant Park: The Democratization of Presidential Elections 1968-2008 looks at how presidential candidate selection has evolved.

Jan Leighley, is an expert on American political behavior, voter turnout, media and politics, and racial/ethnic political behavior. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript on voter turnout since 1972.

Patrick Griffin is the academic director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute and served in the Clinton White House as assistant to the president for legislative affairs.

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.