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Politics in Question

113 EpisodesProduced by Julia Azari, Lee Drutman, and James WallnerWebsite

A podcast about how our political institutions are failing us and ideas for fixing them. Join hosts Lee Drutman, Julia Azari, and James Wallner, three lively experts on American political institutions and reform, as they imagine and argue over what American politics could look like if citizens quest… read more


How do the politics of race impact the American presidency?

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Robert C. Smith joins Julia to discuss race and the American presidency. Smith is a professor emeritus of political science at San Francisco State University. He is a nationally-recognized expert on African American politics. His research has examined comparisons between President Barack Obama and President John F. Kennedy and the relationship between conservatism and racism in the United States. Smith is the author of numerous articles and books on national and African American politics, the presidency, and Congress, including Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the Politics of Ethnic Incorporation and Avoidance. His most recent article is “Presidential Responsiveness to Black Interests From Grant to Biden: The Power of the Vote, the Power of Protest” in Presidential Studies Quarterly.

Are recent presidents hostile or complacent about the needs of African Americans? Is their record on these issues reflective of broader forces in the political system? How enduring is white racial liberalism in the modern Democratic Party? And what is Obama’s racial legacy? These are some of the questions Robert and Julia ask in this week’s episode.

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