David M. Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachian Professor of History at Stanford University. His scholarship is notable for its integration of economic analysis with social history and political history. Kennedy has written over ten books; his first, Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger (1970), won the John Gilmary Shea Prize in 1970 and the Bancroft Prize in 1971. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980) and won the Pulitzer in 2000 for his 1999 book Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Other awards include the Francis Parkman Prize, the Ambassador's Prize and the California Gold Medal for Literature, all of which he received in the year 2000. Kennedy was educated at Stanford and Yale. The author of many articles, he has also penned a textbook, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, now in its thirteenth edition. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
David Kennedy: I think the big issues of the 2008 presidential election are likely to be Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq. Whether Iraq is still some kind of shooting conflict at that time or not, its legacy, I think, is going to be with us for a long time to come. I think there will be other issues on the table. My own view is the time . . . that the country at large feels that the time for a solution at long last of the issue – healthcare provision, and universal healthcare, and bringing healthcare costs under some kind of control as a society. That will be on the table as well. I think environmental issues will be prominently on the table. I think immigration will still be on the table, because the opportunity to take it off the table with legislation just recently has failed. But I think dominating everything is going to be Iraq and its penumbra. That is to say what Iraq has to tell us about America’s role in the world; about the definitions of national security policy that we feel comfortable with; about the means we have with which to relate to the rest of the world and try to bend the rest of the world to our objectives. I think all of that big complex of issues that . . . at the center of which Iraq stands rather dramatically is going to be the dominant issue of the campaign.
Recorded on: 7/4/07