What Just Happened?

Making Sense of the 2008 Presidential Election in Real Time
November 29, 2008

On November 5, 2008, faculty members from the Department of Political Science participated in a lively, open discussion of the historical results — and significance — of the 2008 Presidential election.

This interactive video presentation of the event features panelists’ introductory remarks and their answers to some audience questions.


John DiIulio, Frederic Fox Leadership Professor and Director of Penn's Robert A. Fox Leadership program, was the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Marie Gottschalk, Professor of Political Science, specializes in American politics, public policy, political economy, organized labor, criminal justice and the development of the welfare state, and she teaches on the presidency.

Richard Johnston, Professor of Political Science, is an expert in public opinion and voting and is co-director of the National Annenberg Election Survey of Penn's Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Rogers Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, teaches constitutional law and political thought, including the role of race in American politics. He is chair of the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism.


Avery Goldstein, Department Chair and Professor of Political Science, specializes in international relations, security studies and Chinese politics. He is the Associate Director of the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.



How do you think President Bush views the last eight years and what is going to happen to the Republican party?

Do you think President-elect Obama set a dangerous precedent in campaign funding?

What will Sarah Palin's future be with the Republican party?

Beyond the great talent for rhetoric, what will Obama bring to the presidency?

What kind of opposition will Obama face in his attemps to pass legislation during the first few months of presidency?