Three Huntington High School seniors participated in Hofstra University’s recent lecture series luncheon that featured keynote speakers Edward Rollins and Howard Dean.
Lindsay Saginaw, Gaia D’Anna and Zachary McGinniss attended the event at the Hofstra University Club. Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky, Principal Brenden Cusack and Chairman of Humanities, 7-12 Joseph Leavy accompanied the teenagers to the campus.
Messrs. Rollins and Dean discussed the current political climate with a special emphasis on how next November’s congressional elections will influence both politics and policymaking throughout 2018.
Mr. Rollins is a well-known Republican political strategist, analyst and commentator. He managed Ronald Reagan’s 1984 presidential campaign that culminated in a 49 state sweep, resulting in one of the biggest landslides in US history. He has played a major role in nine different presidential campaigns and worked under four different presidents, including twice serving at the highest level in the White House. He has provided analysis and commentary for three major television networks.
“It was a humbling experience to meet and listen to Howard Dean and Ed Rollins,” Ms. Saginaw said. “These two men, whose ideals are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, both know so much about American democracy and bipartisanship. It was interesting to hear their contrasting and sometimes similar views on current world issues. I hope to one day be as knowledgeable as they are and who knows, maybe have a presidential campaign myself under my belt one day.”
Mr. Dean grew up in East Hampton before moving to New England. A medical doctor, he found his way into Vermont politics, eventually being elected lieutenant governor and governor. He ran for the Democratic Party’s 2004 presidential nomination and later served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He is currently speaking across the world, guest hosting television shows and working as an MSNBC political contributor.
“I thought it was an overall amazing experience,” said Mr. McGinniss about the Hofstra event. “In a time when America is so polarized, it was great to see that people who completely differed in ideology were able to get along. They could discuss their viewpoints civilly and still maintain a friendship.”
Messrs. Rollins and Dean are both senior presidential fellows at Hofstra. Huntington was among about two dozen Long Island districts to send delegations to the event. Students were able to ask questions, but time grew short and the Huntington trio was unable to pose their queries. Not to worry, that didn’t put a damper on the day.
“It was a great experience to listen to two friends on opposite sides of the spectrum be able to joke around with each other while respectfully expressing their own views,” Ms. D’Anna said. “They were both so knowledgeable. I was really able to get a better insight through their expert opinions.”