Expert Available: Biden’s Debate Performance Fuels Concerns Among Democrats

In the first general election debate of 2024, Joe Biden's halting performance and moments of confusion exacerbated concerns among Democrats about his age and fitness for office.
Expert Available: In the first general election debate of 2024, Joe Biden's halting performance and moments of confusion exacerbated concerns among Democrats about his age and fitness for office. [Newswise]
Expert Available: In the first general election debate of 2024, Joe Biden's halting performance and moments of confusion exacerbated concerns among Democrats about his age and fitness for office. [Newswise]Justin Sullivan

Expert Available: In the first general election debate of 2024, Joe Biden's halting performance and moments of confusion exacerbated concerns among Democrats about his age and fitness for office. Donald Trump, despite his own falsehoods and provocative statements, appeared more vigorous, heightening worries about Biden's ability to effectively challenge his rival.

Faculty experts at the George Washington University are available to provide context, commentary and analysis on this matter. If you would like to speak to an expert, please contact GW Media Relations Specialist Tayah.

Todd Belt is the director of the Political Management Program at the GW Graduate School of Political Management. Belt is an expert on the presidency, campaigns and elections, mass media and politics, public opinion, and political humor. In addition to his expertise, Belt is co-author of four books and helps to run GW’s political poll, which recently shared new findings

Reverend Professor Quardricos Bernard Driskell an adjunct professor of religion and politics at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, as well as a policy influencer and federal lobbyist. With nearly ten years of government relations experience, he has worked for two patient voluntary health associations where he advanced the patient voice into policy and research deliberations through services to Congress, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition to Rev. Professor Driskell’s government affairs career, for ten years, he has worked on interfaith and religious liberty issues, defending the free exercise of religion. 

Casey Burgat is the director of the Legislative Affairs program at the Graduate School of Political Management and host of its Mastering the Room podcast. Prior to joining GSPM, Burgat was a Senior Governance Fellow at the R Street Institute where his research focused on issues of congressional capacity and reform. Burgat co-authored Congress Explained: Representation and Lawmaking in the First Branch, a textbook on all things Congress.

Peter Loge is the director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. He has nearly 30 years of experience in politics and communications, having served as a deputy to the chief of staff for Sen. Edward Kennedy during the 1995 shutdown, a VP at the US Institute of Peace in 2013, and held senior positions for three members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Loge currently leads the Project on Ethics in Political Communication at the School of Media and Public Affairs and continues to advise advocates and organizations. 

Matt Dallek, a professor at GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, is a political historian with expertise in the intersection of social crises and political transformation, the evolution of the modern conservative movement, and liberalism and its critics. Along with four co-authored books, Dallek is the author of Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right, which explores the history and influence of America’s right-wing activism. 

Jesse J. Holland is an assistant professor and the associate director of the GW School of Media & Public Affairs. He is an award-winning journalist and the author of the first novel featuring comics’ most popular black superhero, The Black Panther. He is a former Race & Ethnicity writer for The Associated Press, having been recognized as one of the few reporters to be credentialed to cover all three branches of the American government during his career: the White House, the Supreme Court and Congress. 

Imani M. Cheers is an associate professor of digital storytelling at the George Washington University. Cheers is an award-winning digital storyteller, director, producer, and filmmaker. As a professor of practice, she uses a variety of mediums including video, photography, television, and film to document and discuss issues impacting and involving people of the African Diaspora. Her scholarly focus is on the intersection of women/girls, technology, health, conflict, agriculture, and the effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Cheers is also an expert on diversity in Hollywood, specifically the representation of Black women in television and film.

“For a lot of American voters, their minds are already made up,” says Cheers when asked in this video about what she is hoping for from the upcoming debate. “A lot of the norms we’ve seen in previous elections have gone out the window right now…I hope this is an opportunity, after everything we’ve seen over the past four years, for voters to hear directly from these two candidates and that they’ll be held accountable for their actions.” Newswise/SP

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