National Agenda speaker series kicks off with Convention talk
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 02:09
The Center for Political Communication’s first event in its “National Agenda” speaker series featured a panel discussion about the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
“Inside the Political Conventions” kicked off the 2012 series, “Road to the Presidency,” on Wednesday in Mitchell Hall.
Panelists included professors and Center for Political Communication members Lindsay Hoffman, David Wilson and Tracey Holden, who attended the DNC, and senior political science major Bradley Gunther, former Maryland governor and Congressman Robert Ehrlich and his wife and university alumna Kendal Ehrlich, who attended the RNC.
Ralph Begleiter, director of the Center for Political Communication, orchestrated the discussion by asking the panel various questions about what surprised them about the conventions.
Mr. Ehrlich said he has attended multiple Republican conventions, but Tampa, Fla. seemed like a scene from a futuristic movie. The National Guard and Secret Service patrolled the fenced-in area and protestors were kept separate from the event, he said.
“[The protestors] were there, they were in a different zip code,” Mr. Ehrlich said.
Mrs. Ehrlich said she thought that Tampa was “remarkable.”
“It didn’t look like our country,” she said. “Security was very visible.”
Gunther said he was surprised by the absence of protesters due to the strict security. He said the only protesters he noticed were Ron Paul supporters.
Freshman Dean Masley attended Wednesday’s discussion and said he thought the speakers helped give the audience a better understanding of the conventions.
“They knew the logistics better,” Masley said. “It was cool to see what surprised them and their personal insight.”
Sophomore political science major Brenna Crombie said she watched the DNC on TV for the first time. As a student in Hoffman’s “Digital Technology in Politics” class, she was able to see inside the convention via Skype.