News Release: Faculty Experts, Politics

Jun. 21,  2010

Experts to Weigh in on Obama's Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Speech

Emory political experts are available to discuss the implications of President Obama's pivotal speech tonight on the Gulf oil spill disaster that he describes as the "greatest environmental threat in our nation's history."

Andra Gillespie, assistant professor of political science, andra.gillespie@emory.edu

"Obama needs to redeem himself with this speech. His leadership credentials, which have always been a weak spot for him, have been damaged by this crisis. He's going to have to appear resolute tonight, and then tomorrow, he needs to follow this up with decisive action in tomorrow's meeting with BP executives," Gillespie says.

Gillespie's current research focuses on the political leadership of the post-civil rights generation. She is the editor of the recently released "Whose Black Politics? Cases in Post-Racial Black Leadership" (Routledge, 2010).

Michael Leo Owens, associate professor of political science, mowens4@emory.edu

Owens says Obama has the opportunity to sidestep some of the issues that plagued former President Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "This is a chance for Obama to show that he's not just a student of history but the master of his history to come."

Owens specializes in urban, state and local politics, political penology, governance and public policy processes, religion and politics, and African American politics. He is author of "God and Government in the Ghetto: The Politics of Church-State Collaboration in Black America" (University of Chicago Press, 2007).

Alan Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, polsaa@emory.edu.

 "This is an opportunity for the President to show the American people that he is deeply concerned about the effects of the spill on the people and the environment of the Gulf region and reassure them that all available resources of the federal government are being mobilized to deal with the effects of the spill," Abramowitz says. "It is also an opportunity for him to make the argument to the public that in addition to getting tough with BP and dealing with the effects of the spill, the nation needs to invest in renewable energy and reduce its reliance on oil and other fossil fuels in order to avoid future environmental disasters including those caused by climate change."

Abramowitz is a renowned expert on national politics and can discuss the political ramifications of the oil disaster for the President and Congress. His expertise includes polling, election forecasting models, party realignment in the United States, congressional elections and the effects of political campaigns on the electorate. He is author of the recently released "The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization and American Democracy" (Yale University Press, 2010).

###

News Release Tools

Related Information