The Choice: Meacham and Geer on 2024

American flag

The Choice, produced by the Dialogue Vanderbilt, is a four-part podcast focused on the key moments and ramifications of the 2024 presidential election between former president Donald J. Trump and current President Joseph R. Biden. Vanderbilt’s Jon Meacham and John Geer will blend history and political science to offer insights and context about this rematch of the 2020 presidential contest. One objective is to offer an evidence-based assessment of the election that rises above the typical kind of comments offered by the overly ideological news media. The second, and related, objective is to show how this electoral battle fits into the long arc of American history.  

The series will premiere at the end of August. There will be editions in September and October, then a concluding session that assesses the results and implications of the 2024 rematch. Each conversation will last about 45 minutes.   

History has shown us that this country is often closely divided, and 2024 promises to be hotly contested. “Small d” democracy is not for the faint of heart, and 2024 may be a true test of that claim.      

Jon Meacham, co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Political Science and Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in American Presidency, is a renowned presidential historian, contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, contributing editor at TIME and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. 

John Geer, a professor of political science who also holds a Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt Chair, leads the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy and serves as a senior advisor to Chancellor Daniel Diermeier on critical strategic initiatives promoting democracy and open dialogue. 

Geer and Meacham will co-teach an Elections 2024 course this fall with professors Nicole Hemmer and Josh Clinton. This class appears poised to be the largest in-person class in the history of the university, with likely nearly 1,000 students enrolled. That level of interest underscores in a different way the importance of this upcoming battle for the White House.