Federal

Campaign Notebook

February 04, 2004 2 min read

In New Hampshire, Tony Boarding School Welcomes Candidates

None of the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination attended the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H. But six of them descended upon the school’s bucolic campus at some point in the months leading up to last week’s New Hampshire primary.

Election 2004

While the candidates have been hitting school gyms and auditoriums all over Iowa, New Hampshire, and other states for “town hall” meetings, Phillips Exeter was particularly successful in luring a large number of Democratic hopefuls.

Even for Democrats, who consider their party the voice of the working class, an appearance at the elite boarding school was apparently not considered too politically risky as they chased New Hampshire voters.

Principal Tyler C. Tingley said in an interview last week that politically active students at the academy joined with their counterparts at public Exeter High School to invite all the Democratic candidates. Those who accepted were former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who has since quit the race, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, U.S. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, and former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont.

“We are delighted to have all the candidates,” Mr. Tingley said. “It’s really an honor.”

Officials at the school note that it has been visited by presidential candidates for decades, thanks in part to a now-retired dean who was particularly tenacious getting campaigns to accept the invitations.

Some of the Democrats may have felt more at home than others in a prep school environment. When Sen. Kerry addressed an assembly at Exeter on Jan. 21, after his victory in the Iowa caucuses, he pointed out that he attended rival St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H.

The audience reportedly hooted, but the senator quickly mentioned that he had had the “wisdom” to hire an Exeter graduate as his chief of staff and to marry a woman, Teresa Heinz Kerry, who had served on Exeter’s board of trustees.

Mr. Dean drew an overflow crowd of students and community members when he spoke Jan. 26 at Exeter’s Assembly Hall, one day before the New Hampshire vote.

The academy also drew a visit from CNN, whose campaign bus rolled up and produced such cable news shows as “Inside Politics” and “Crossfire” from the campus for a day.

“These students are interfacing with real people and hearing what they have to say about the issues,” said Jacquelyne Weatherspoon, the faculty adviser to Exeter’s Democratic Club. “They’re getting firsthand experience in what happens on the ground in a political campaign. It’s great experience.”

Mock-Election Update

New Hampshire students have voted in their first-ever mock primary and the winner is: Sen. Kerry.

The mock vote, held last month as part of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, was closer than the results of the real New Hampshire primary, which Sen. Kerry won by a substantial margin over Mr. Dean. In the student vote, Mr. Kerry got 28 percent to Mr. Dean’s 23 percent. Mr. Clark came in third with 19 percent, followed by Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina with 8 percent; Sen. Lieberman, 7 percent; the Rev. Al Sharpton, 6 percent; and Rep. Kucinich, 3 percent.

Participants in the first Iowa mock caucus had selected Mr. Dean, even as their parents and other adult voters put Mr. Kerry in first place. (“Dean Strikes a Chord With One Constituency: Iowa’s Younger ‘Voters,’” Jan. 28, 2004.)

—Natasha N. Smith

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools

Read Next

Federal Who Is Miguel Cardona? Education Secretary Pick Has Roots in Classroom, Principal's Office
Many who've worked with Joe Biden's pick for education secretary say he's ready for what would be a giant step up.
15 min read
Miguel Cardona, first-time teacher, in his fourth-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Ct. in August of 1998.
Miguel Cardona, chosen to lead the U.S. Department of Education, photographed in his 4th-grade classroom at Israel Putnam School in Meriden, Conn., in 1998.
Courtesy of the Record-Journal
Federal Obama Education Staff Involved in Race to the Top, Civil Rights Join Biden's White House
Both Catherine Lhamon and Carmel Martin will serve on President-elect Joe Biden's Domestic Policy Council.
4 min read
Federal Opinion What Conservatives Should Be for When It Comes to Education
Education is ultimately about opportunity, community, and empowerment, and nothing should resonate more deeply with the conservative heart.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Opinion What the Assault on the Capitol Means for Educators
Last week's assault on the seat of the American government points to a larger civic challenge that we must address together.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty