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UC Davis Experts: The Presidency

November 3, 2008

UC Davis faculty are available to discuss the following aspects of the election of the nation's 44th president.

General commentary

Eric Rauchway, professor of history and director of the Center for History, Society and Culture. Rauchway can talk about other elections that have occurred amid crises, presidential transition in times of crisis, the challenges the new president will face in building coalitions, presidential elections in light of current polling, race and the election, and such general civics issues as voting rights, the Electoral College, and inauguration scheduling. Rauchway is the author of books on American politics, globalization, the Great Depression, and the New Deal. He writes a biweekly online column for The New Republic and has contributed to Slate and The American Prospect. Contact: Eric Rauchway, History, (530) 752-6380, earauchway@ucdavis.edu.

Larry Berman, professor of political science and director of the UC Davis Washington Program, is a nationally recognized expert on the American presidency. Berman is the author or co-author of 12 books and numerous articles on the presidency and foreign policy. He has been featured on C-Span's "Book TV," the History Channel's "Secrets of War," Bill Moyers' PBS series "The Public Mind" and David McCullough's "American Experience" series. Berman's book, "No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam," won the 2002 Richard E. Neustadt Award for the year's best book in the field of the American presidency. Contact: Larry Berman, Political Science, (530) 752-3076, lsberman@ucdavis.edu.

Dean Simonton, professor of psychology, is author of the books "Why Presidents Succeed," and "Greatness: Who Makes History and Why." Simonton studies genius, creativity and leadership -- the cognitive, personality, developmental and socio-cultural factors behind exceptional personal influence and historical eminence. Contact: Dean Simonton, Psychology, (530) 752-1677, dksimonton@ucdavis.edu.

Race and politics

Robert Huckfeldt, professor of political science, studies elections, participation, public opinion and voting in national elections. Huckfeldt is the author of several books, including "Politics in Context," "Race and the Decline of Class in American Politics," "Citizens, Politics, and Social Communication," and "Political Disagreement: The Survival of Diverse Opinions within Communication Networks." Contact: Robert Huckfeldt, Political Science, (530) 752-0975, rhuckfeldt@ucdavis.edu.

Patricia Turner, professor of American studies and of African American and African studies. Turner is the author of "I Heard It through the Grapevine: Rumor in African-American Culture" and co-author of "Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America." Contact: Patricia Turner, American Studies, African American and African Studies, (530) 752-6068, paturner@ucdavis.edu.

Clarence Walker, professor of history. Walker is the author of "Deromanticizing Black History: Critical Essays and Reappraisals" and "Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings." Contact: Clarence Walker, History, (530) 752-0779, cewalker@ucdavis.edu.

Milmon Harrison, associate professor, African American and African studies, is a sociologist with a special interest in the black church in the African American experience. Contact: Milmon Harrison, African American and African Studies, (530) 754-6622, mfharrison@ucdavis.edu.

Adela de la Torre, professor and chair, Chicana/o studies, can talk about a range of issues regarding the Latino vote in this election, both in California and nationally. Contact: Adela de la Torre, Chicana/o Studies, (530) 752-3904, adelatorre@ucdavis.edu.

Elections and politics

Ed Costantini, professor emeritus of political science, is a specialist in political parties, polling, public opinion, elections and nominations, and California politics. Contact: Ed Costantini, Political Science, (530) 752-0974 office, (530) 756-2009 home, egcostantini@ucdavis.edu.

Carlton Larson, professor of law, can speak to constitutional issues related to the Electoral College. Contact: Carlton Larson, School of Law, (530) 754-5731, clarson@ucdavis.edu.


Peter Lindert, professor of economics, can comment on the role of government in the economy. He is an expert on historical trends in the inequality of income, wealth and living standards in the U.S. since the 18th century, as well as social programs and the welfare state. Lindert's book, "Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth Since the Eighteenth Century," spells out the impacts of big social safety nets on the world's richest democracies. Contact: Peter Lindert, Economics, (530) 752-1983, phlindert@ucdavis.edu.

Brad Barber, a professor of finance at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and director of the Center for Investor Welfare and Corporate Responsibility, can talk about the economic crisis and government efforts to address it. Contact: Brad Barber, Graduate School of Management, (530) 752-0512, bmbarber@ucdavis.edu.

Hot button issues: Iraq war, immigration

Scott Sigmund Gartner, professor of political science, can talk about how casualties in Iraq affect public opinion of the president, domestic politics and military policy. He has published a number of articles on the domestic effects of wartime casualties and is working on a new book on the subject. Contact: Scott Sigmund Gartner, Political Science, (530) 752-3065, ssgartner@ucdavis.edu.

Kevin Johnson, professor and dean of the UC Davis School of Law, can discuss immigration and civil rights. He has written five books on the topic, most recently "Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Law." His other titles include: "The 'Huddled Masses' Myth: Immigration and Civil Rights" and "How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man's Search for Identity." With fellow UC Davis law professors Jennifer Chacón and Bill Ong Hing, Johnson served on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's Immigration Policy Group, which advised the presidential candidate on immigration law and policy. Johnson, Chacón and Hing are also the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog, http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration. Contact: Kevin Johnson, School of Law, (530) 752-0243, krjohnson@ucdavis.edu.

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