Ethan Bachand ’22
Chief News Editor
On Tuesday, December 3, the J.D. Power Center put on their Kickoff to 2020 event in Seelos theater as a way to engage Holy Cross students with the upcoming presidential election. Professors Alex Hindman, Daniel Klinghard, and Greg Burnep were joined by alumni Tim Bishop ’72 and Peter Flaherty ’87 for the panel. Originally, Chris Matthews ’67 was also scheduled to make an appearance, but could not make the event due to the weather.
Doors were open before the advertised 7:30 P.M. start, as students had the opportunity to register to vote, contribute to a poster on why the vote, and participate in the J.D. Power Center’s first straw poll for the 2020 election. Additionally, a table was set up regarding the Washington D.C. and New York City semester programs. Despite this early opening, most seats remained empty for the first fifteen minutes of the event.
Professor Klinghard opened the night by talking about what was planned for the evening and the J.D. Power Center. After that, he invited students to join him at the front of the theatre for a President Primary trivia contest. 12 Students had the opportunity to compete for Barnes and Noble gift cards by answering challenging Trivia that examined past as well as current Presidential candidates. By the end of the game, most seats had been filled.
After the trivia was complete, Professors Burnep and Hindman took the stage with Congressmen Bishop and Mr. Flaherty to begin the open discussion portion. The two Political Science professors traded questions, asking about not only the Democratic field of candidates but also what a general election would look like.
Following the initial round of questions, the microphone was opened up for students to ask their own questions. Most questions in this section revolved around the general election, with a few exceptions dedicated towards the general state of politics in our country.
After the original line was depleted, Professor Klinghard resumed control of the stage to end the Kickoff 2020. Professor Klinghard thanked his fellow faculty, the alumni, as well as those in attendance for their participation. He concluded by stating that the straw poll results would be released by the J.D. Power Center later in the week.
Speaking after the event, sophomore Angelo Carbone said that: “I really enjoyed the kickoff event. I found it was very informative, and it was awesome to hear Mr. Flaherty’s insight in preparing for debates against Donald Trump. Something I would have liked to see Mr. Bishop and Mr. Flaherty touch more on would be a more critical interpretation of what got Donald Trump elected and how whatever those causes were will play out in the 2020 election.”