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UW-Madison experts available to discuss Biden inauguration

January 20, 2021 By Veronica Rueckert

Experts from UW–Madison are available for insight and analysis this inauguration week. For more experts, go here.

  • Allison Prasch, an expert on political communication, can discuss the historical import of this week’s inauguration and what president-election Biden needs to accomplish in his inauguration day speech. Prasch says, “Historically, incoming presidents use their inaugural address to unify the country, remind the U.S. public of shared national values, and reaffirm their commitment to upholding their oath of office. In his First Inaugural Address, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously told the U.S. public that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” only after he promised “candor” and a commitment to speaking “the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly” about the depths of the Great Depression. Biden should do the same, and directly address the threats and crises facing the nation. He must also remind the U.S. public and the rest of the world that he is but a temporary guardian of the institution of the presidency. Biden needs to reframe the public’s understanding of what a president is, does, and says.”
  • Mark Copelovitch, a political science professor and expert on money and finance, is available to discuss the nomination of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary and what the Biden administration will mean for economic policy, foreign policy, trade policy, US-Europe relations, and international cooperation.
  • Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center, is available for interviews about what the new Biden administration will mean for national politics. Burden says, “Biden’s inauguration marks a return to an earlier style of Washington politics that seems anachronistic but was in fact dislodged only four years ago by the Trump presidency.”
  • Political scientist Kenneth Mayer is an expert on the American presidency. His oped on the insurrection at the Capitol was published in USA Today. He is available to discuss the current political climate for incoming president Joe Biden, along with many other aspects of this week’s transition in Washington.
  • Steve Vavrus, a senior scientist at the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, is an expert on global climate change and extreme weather. Gregory Nemet is an expert on energy policy and climate change. Vavrus and Nemet can discuss the impact of U.S. reinvolvement in the Paris Climate Accord and the future of U.S. climate change policy.
  • Erin Barbato, director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic and an expert on immigration law, is available for interviews to discuss the Biden immigration plan. Barbato comments, “On the day of his inauguration, President-Elect Joe Biden will introduce a historic immigration bill that will provide an eight year path to citizenship for approximately 11 million people in the United States. Over the past four years we witnessed children ripped from the arms of their parents, people from Muslim majority countries banned, a nonsensical attempted termination of DACA, and more. This inauguration will signify the end of these horrific policies and a beginning of a Presidency that welcomes of immigrants and a country that will again be a pillar of humane treatment of people seeking refuge from around the world.”
  • Economist Steven Deller can discuss the impact the new administration is likely to have on the U.S. economy. According to Deller, “The new Biden Administration will help create a stronger environment for economic growth and development because it will reduce the level of uncertainty fostered by the Trump Administration.  The Trump Administration introduced a level of uncertainty in policies and future directions that left many businesses unsure of what might come next.  This uncertainty makes long-term investment planning difficult and as such hinders economic growth and development. The Biden Administration will introduce a certain level of stability that will help businesses move forward.”
  • Menzie Chinn, an economist at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, is available to discuss macroeconomic and fiscal policy aspects of the incoming administration.
  • Keith Findley, an expert on criminal procedure and policing, is ready to offer insight on future directions in criminal justice, and in particular the new administrations renewed commitment to science, which can have an important impact on the way the law handles forensic science.


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