Academic Historian

James A. Thurber is a Distinguished University Professor of Government and the Founder (1979) and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies ( at American University in Washington, D.C. He was legislative assistant to U.S. Senators Hubert H. Humphrey, William Brock, Adlai Stevenson III, and U.S. Representative David Obey.  He also worked with Senator Barack Obama on ethics and lobbying reforms.  Dr. Thurber is the author and editor of numerous books including Campaigns and Elections American Style (2013) Obama in Office (2011), Rivals for Power:  Presidential-Congressional Relations (2013), Improving How Washington Works (2008), Congress and the Internet (2003), The Battle for Congress:  Candidates, Consultants and Voters (2001), and Campaign Warriors:  Political Consultants in Elections (2000).  In addition, he has published numerous articles in academic journals including Congress and the Presidency, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, Political Research Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Public Administration Review.

Has President Obama Changed the Way Washington Works?

In the following article, American University political scientist James A. Thurber, a leading authority on presidential and congressional politics, describes the effort of President Barack Obama to change one part of the culture of Washington, the influence of lobbyists.  Candidate Obama made that reform a … Read MoreHas President Obama Changed the Way Washington Works?