A Gathering of Colonials: Public Discourse on the Presidential Election

Hear ye! Hear ye! On Wednesday, March 9, Boston area alumni convened at the Lenox Hotel to enjoy a rousing discourse about the state of the 2016 Presidential campaign. Moderated by WGBH News Director Kate McCarthy Zachry, ESIA BA ’01, attendees were treated to a lively discussion between Professor Emily Thorson, professor of political science at Boston College, and the Honorable Mark Kennedy, director of GW’s Graduate School of Political Management.

In a debate-style format, each panelist weighed in on candidate issues, antics, and agendas, and enlightened the audience by sharing insights gained from years of research and service. A former assistant professor at GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Thorson recently joined the Boston College political science department where her research focuses on information effects in politics—at both the aggregate and individual levels. The Hon. Kennedy, currently a member of the GW faculty, previously served in the public sector as trade advisor to Presidents Bush and Obama, and as a member of U.S. Congress (R-MN), where he acquired a reputation for bipartisanship.

“Kate was a wonderful moderator,” says Barbara “Barbie” Hunley, GWSB BBA ’10, co-chair of the GW Boston Alumni Network, “and both panelists were respectful, speaking in non-partisan terms most of the evening.” Ms. Hunley also observed that the topic didn’t stray too far from potential Republican candidate Donald Trump, and that both speakers “certainly united over the scary thought of Trump as nominee.”

Other topics included the impact of social media on the campaign, the effect of polarization, the low number of people voting in the primaries, and the gender issue, which does not appear to be an important factor for most voters. In reference to the Republican candidates, the Hon. Kennedy stated that Trump is disliked by all of the Republican elite, and that Ted Cruz is disliked “just a little bit less.”

And of course, what would a discussion about a presidential campaign be without a prediction? The Hon. Kennedy believes “in his heart” that Trump will not get the Republican nomination, but whichever Republican wins, “Hilary will beat.”

Sorry to have missed it? Fortunately for Colonials across the country, several more of these panel discussions will be held in locations coast-to-coast. Come one, come all for a thought-provoking evening among fellow alumni who want to become more informed about the 2016 race to the White House.

Register now to join other Colonials in your area for an entertaining evening of food, drink, and political discourse:

Wednesday, March 30 | 6:30pm @ the Hotel Monaco

Featuring Professors Danny Hayes (CCAS) and Suzanne Zurn, GSPM ’99 (GSPM) and moderated by Executive Director of the GreenLight Fund, Omar Woodward, ESIA ’05, CCAS ’07.  [REGISTER]


Tuesday, April 5 
| 6pm @ Howells and Hood

Featuring Professor Steve Roberts and the Hon. Mark Kennedy and moderated by award-winning independent broadcast and print journalist, Lisa Leiter, CCAS ’93.   [REGISTER]


Los Angeles/Orange County
Wednesday, April 27 | 6:30pm @ Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel

Featuring Dr. Lara Brown, Political Management Program Director, and Dan Schnur, lecturer in the Graduate School of Political Management, and moderated by owner and president of Klink Campaigns Matt Klink, GSPM ’95.  [REGISTER]


San Francisco
Thursday, April 28 | 6pm @ Google Headquarters

Featuring Dr. Lara Brown and Dr. Danny Hayes and moderated by Dr. Stephen Haber, ESIA ’79. [REGISTER]


Mary Follin

Related posts

Leave a Reply