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Politicians Passing As One Of Us

With the upcoming political conventions, candidates are banking not only on their platforms to win over voters, but on their personalities. 

They look to identify with various groups of voters and they do it by "passing", stressing an aspect of themselves to connect with their audience.  Having a beer at a state fair or bringing your 78-year old mother along to at a retirement community are ways politicians look to pass as one of us.

Monday we look at passing with Dr. Marcia Dawkins, a leading scholar in identity and politics.  We'll identify the top reasons people in general look to pass and examine in detail which parts of themselves Republican and Democrat candidates are playing up out on the campaign trail in their bid to show they're just like us.

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Ph.D. is a politically-active, diversity-oriented, technology-loving intellectual entrepreneur from New York City. She co-founded the Multiracial Communication Center and served as visiting scholar at Brown University. She has written for The Huffington Post, Truthdig, The Root, and Cultural Weekly, and appears on television and radio to share her expert opinion on diversity, media, culture, and politics. Marcia travels the world speaking and advising and lectures regularly as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles and resides on Twitter as @drdawkins09. Her books, "Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity" and "Eminem: The Real Slim Shady", are critically acclaimed.


Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.