Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

For the Media

2012 Democratic National Convention Analysis

American University experts are available for comment

WHAT: American University experts available for analysis of the Democratic National Convention.

WHERE: In–studio, on campus, via telephone


General Political Experts

Jennifer Lawless, government professor and 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).

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 for Obama to win North Carolina again, he will need a surge of African-American votes, and that the surge is likely to happen in spite of the large number of African-Americans whose votes helped ban same-sex marriage in the Old North State and President Obama’s subsequent public support of same-sex marriage. “That issue should not be powerful enough to deter African-Americans in North Carolina from turning out to vote for the nation’s first African American president,” Lichtman said.

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).

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.

Dotty Lynch, public communication professor, serves as a political consultant for CBS News doing on-air radio analysis and as 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.

Anita McBride, executive-in-residence, has a long and distinguished political and government career. Most recently, she served as Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush. She also served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. McBride is currently spearheading a series of First Lady Conferences focusing on the role of the First Ladies of the United States.

Richard Benedetto, journalismprofessor 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.

Campaign and election experts

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.

Candice Nelson, government professor, 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.

Speechwriting, and political expert

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

Voting Behavior

Jan Leighley, government professor, is an expert on American political behavior, voter turnout, media and politics, and racial/ethnic political behavior.

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 31, 2012): The Democratic National Convention will take place on September 4th – September 6th and American University’s political experts are available to comment.  Many of them have worked with the Democratic party and have attended DNC conventions in the past, and are well-versed in the process taking place.