UNT faculty members available to discuss State of the Union speech
The following University of North Texas faculty members are available to discuss President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, which will broadcast Tuesday evening (Jan. 28):
Valerie Martinez-Ebers, a professor in the UNT Department of Political Science, will discuss immigration reform as mentioned in the speech. Her expertise includes immigration policy analysis and program evaluation, and race, ethnicity and Latino politics, including the impact of migration into the heartland of the United States, the rise of Latino voters and the role of Hispanic legislators.
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Mueller studies the press and the presidency. He is the author of Towel Snapping the Press: Bush's Journey from Locker-Room Antics to Message Control, which compares George W. Bush's press relations to those of other presidents and Tag Teaming the Press: How Bill and Hillary Clinton Work Together to Handle the Media, which traces the Clintons' press relations through Bill's terms as Arkansas governor and U.S. president and Hillary's run for the White House
Mueller says low approval ratings for the way that Obama is handling many areas of his presidency will influence what he says in the State of the Union speech. In a Quinnipiac poll released during this past week, only 40 percent of respondents gave Obama a positive general approval rating. Only 39 percent approved of his job handling the economy, while 36 percent approved of his handling of healthcare.
“A lot of people are disappointed in the direction the country is headed, and think the federal government is incompetent,” Mueller says. “Obama has to do something to excite people and change the national conversation. I expect him to try to be more inspirational rather than just present a laundry list of goals, although he will set an agenda for the coming year.”