- Arts & Life
Barack Obama’s campaign manager for the 2008 presidential election came to campus last Wednesday to drum up support for Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic nominee for this year’s U.S. Senate race in Connecticut.
David Plouffe, who has also worked on the campaigns of former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt and Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, took a swipe at the Republican nominee for Senate, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon.
He said that while there were many races this year where the Republican and Democratic nominees were very similar, “there could not be a wider chasm” between the two candidates for Senate in Connecticut.
“The last thing we need is more silliness, immaturity and game playing, and Blumenthal is the opposite of that,” Plouffe told the crowd of about 20, including several faculty members and professors.
The rally was sponsored by the QU Democrats and the Pre-Law Society. Plouffe and April Lawson, a field organizer for the Blumenthal campaign, both stressed the importance of face-to-face interaction with voters, even in the digital age.
Lawson made reference to McMahon’s financing of her own campaign, saying that while it is difficult facing a challenger with “functionally unlimited resources,” it could be done if enough volunteers made phone calls and went door-to-door.
Plouffe predicted that young voters will become a bigger factor in future elections.
“Barack Obama would have been a footnote in history if it weren’t for people under 30,” he said.
Plouffe also said that he anticipated large Republican gains in the House and Senate, but he wouldn’t speculate as to how large.
“Considering the economy and the amount of traditionally Republican seats that Democrats hold, it would be an abject failure for Republicans to not take control of the House and Senate,” he said.
Devon Jerome, president of the Pre-Law Society as well as a volunteer for the Blumenthal campaign, said that he didn’t think interest in politics at Quinnipiac was as high as it should be.
“Students must remember that their part in an election and their vote are just as important as everyone else’s,” he said.
He went on to say that students could help sway elections by doing simple things such as putting up a sign, e-mailing friends and family, attending a rally and voting.
Photo credit: Anna Brundage