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August 13, 2012

Prof: Utilizing former presidents in campaign plays to strengths

FORMER PRESIDENT EXPERT

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Those hoping to be president often reach out to past presidents as a campaign tool, says a Purdue University presidential scholar.

"Whether a past president is present during an election year can be telling on how history views their legacy," says Bert Rockman, a professor of political science. "Notice that Bill Clinton is being given an important speaking role at this year's Democratic National Convention, but we rarely hear about Jimmy Carter. It's a strategy that is based on the popularity of each former president."

Rockman is co-editor of a book series that assesses the terms of former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. He also is working on a book about presidential accountability and is a visiting scholar at the University of Pittsburgh.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Bert Rockman, barockma@purdue.edu