Virginia Tech has compiled a listing of faculty members available to discuss specific aspects of the 2004 presidential election:

Craig Brians

Assistant professor - Department of Political Science.

Phone: 540-231-7544

E-mail address:

Research expertise: Craig Brians' published research covers many aspects of campaigns and elections. His articles include analyses of the turnout effects and voter learning from negative advertising, bias in news media coverage of U.S. parties' abortion policy, and a long-term analysis of motor voter and election day registration on turnout. He studies the effects of institutions, social settings, mass media information, and personal characteristics on political participation.

Dr. Brians teaches courses in American politics, elections, public opinion, political communication, and research methods. He provides election night commentary at WVTR.

Robert Denton, Jr.

Professor - Department of Communication

Director of the Center for Leader Development

Phone: 540-231-9825

Email address:

Research expertise: Internet and politics, political campaigns, presidents, and leadership. 

Dr. Denton is the author, co-author, or editor of 14 books, including the 2000 Presidential Campaign: A communication perspective; Images, Scandal and Communication Strategies of the Clinton Presidency; The Prime Time Presidency of Ronald Reagan; Political Communication in America; Presidential Communication; Ethical Dimensions of Political Communication; The Media and the Persian Gulf War; The Emerging Clinton Presidency: A Communication Perspective (co-editor); The 1992 Presidential Campaign: A Communication Perspective; and The 1996 Presidential Campaign: A Communication Perspective.

Denton serves as a political analyst for WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Va., and has also hosted an issues-based program on WBRA, the PBS station in Roanoke, Va.

Karen Hult

Professor - Department of Political Science

Phone: 540-231-5351

E-mail address:

Research expertise: Historical context (presidencies in the 20th and early 21st centuries), the current administration, and what campaigns and elections reveal about a candidate's ability to be an effective president.

Most of Dr. Hult's recent writing has been on White House staffing: Empowering the White House: Governance under Nixon, Ford, and Carter (written with Charles Walcott) just came out, an earlier one focused on the Hoover through LBJ White Houses. She has also written on the George W. Bush White House and participated in the White House Transition Project, which put together memos and briefing books for both parties' candidates in the 2000 election.

Dr. Hult can also talk about the federal courts, including presidential nomination and Senate confirmation of federal judges, and about the larger federal executive branch.

John C. Tedesco

Assistant Professor - Department of Communication

Phone: 540-231-3224

E-Mail address:

Research expertise: Political advertising, campaign communication, the Internet and politics, news coverage of political events, and political public relations.

Dr. Tedesco served as co-coordinator of research for the 1996 and 2000 National Election Research Teams, and is a regional coordinator of the initiative.  Tedesco has presented "Televised Political Advertising Effects" and Might and mayhem: How candidates and parties used war and terrorism in 2002 political advertising.

Various books include Policing political advertising: Adwatch coverage in political campaigns; Civic dialogue in the 1996 presidential campaign: Candidate, media, and public voices.

Co-editor of The Millennium Election, which highlights work from the 2000 National Election Research Team. Contributing author to The Electronic Election; The Clinton Presidency; Images, Scandal, and Communication Strategies of the Clinton Presidency; Honor and Loyalty: The Bush White House; The 2000 Presidential Campaign; Television and Politics in Evolving European Democracies; and the forthcoming Handbook of Political Communication Research.

Charles E. Walcott

Professor - Department of Political Science.

Phone: 540-231-5491

E-mail address:

Dr. Walcott covers the organization and operation of the "institutional presidency," i.e. the White House staff and the Executive Office of the President. That includes processes of decision making, the influence of advisors (e.g., Karl Rove, VP Cheney, C. Rice), and comparisons with past presidencies. He can also talk about speeches and speechwriting. His recent writing has been on White House staffing: Empowering the White House: Governance under Nixon, Ford, and Carter (written with Karen Hult).

Walcott also participated in the White House Transition Project, writing memos about the office of Chief of Staff and the Office of Management and Administration. He has also co-authored one essay on the operation of the GW Bush White House. Walcott is also working on a book dealing with government policy toward women's athletics and the impact of Title IX.

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