Duncan Lends Insight Regarding Impact of Democratic National Convention, More

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Unemployment figures were highlighted.
Dr. Tom Duncan

Dr. Tom Duncan

September 7, 2012

Several South Florida ABC, NBC and CBS reporters visited Northwood University Florida President and political expert Tom Duncan this week to ask about the impact of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and how recent unemployment figures could affect the presidential race.

While sharing that President Obama is asking for more time for his policies to work, and that the small drop in unemployment figures (down .2% from 8.3%) may somewhat support his case, Duncan reminded viewers that -- with the exception of Franklin Roosevelt in the middle of the Great Depression -- no U.S. president has ever been reelected with an unemployment rate above 8%. Duncan reminded viewers that the United States is now experiencing its 43rd month with unemployment above eight percent.

Duncan said that Obama's DNC message was intended to solidify his base, as he emphasized his support for abortion rights, gay marriage and ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military, and his opposition to any major structural changes in Medicare or Social Security. For President Duncan, Obama's speech did not directly address many of the concerns of independent or disaffected Republican voters.

In response to controversial comments delivered by Mark Alan Siegel, the chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic party, to the Patriot Update stating, ''The Christians just want us to be there so we can all be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ,' Duncan lent insight. "I don't know any Christians who believe what [Siegel] said about Christians wanting to slaughter Jews. Those kind of volatile statements just have a life of their own," he said. "You try to manage the message as best you can. Every politician tries to do that. It's just interesting, isn't it, that in the real world, things happen. And people say things that take on a life of their own," he said. Siegel has since taken an infinite leave of absence, but has refused demands that he resign his position.

Recently appointed Northwood Florida President in July, President Duncan served as a senior staff member to Missouri Governor John Ashcroft in education and policy management as well as Director of the Division of Professional Registration from 1985-1992. Prior to his government employment, he was an assistant professor of government and public administration at Evangel College (now Evangel University) in Springfield, Missouri from 1980-1984. He later served colleges and universities in California, Arizona, and Ohio.

Duncan earned his PhD. in higher education from the University of Arizona in 2005; an M.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1979; his B.A. in government from Evangel College in 1975; and a course of study in preparation for Anglican ordination with the Anglican Mission in the Americas in South Carolina. For the past 12 years he has remained active as a chaplain and pastor in religious communities in Missouri and Wisconsin.

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