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.[…]
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.