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An unprecedented presidential election

Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro


This year's road to the White House has been especially interesting. With Democratic presidential candidate and current President Joe Biden choosing not to campaign in New Hampshire and the cancellation of the New Hampshire Republican primary debates, things this year have certainly been different.

New Hampshire is the first state in the nation to hold the presidential primary election and the second state to hold a party contest. This means that while New Hampshire is the first to hold a primary election, it follows the Iowa caucus. Although only a few delegates are chosen during this election, the real importance comes from the massive media coverage during this time period, which is just as big for the candidates as the Iowa caucus. It is New Hampshire state law that they are the first in the nation to hold the first primary election. New Hampshire has held the first primary in each presidential campaign since 1920, a fact that New Hampshire residents as a whole seem to hold as a sacred part of their identity. 

Photo by Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro

The weekend prior to the New Hampshire primary, a group of classmates and I from Doctor Valerie Endress’ Com 450: Topics class traveled there to attend different political events. We had the opportunity to attend several events hosted by both Democratic and Republican candidates, live tweet coverage of events for our local news station NBC 10, attend a press conference, be interviewed by different national and international media, attend a forum discussion at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College, meet candidate Vermin Supreme and visit with Arnie Arneson, a former state representative for the State of New Hampshire, the first woman in the history of New Hampshire to run for the position of governor and current host of the radio show “The Attitude.”

We kicked off our political journey with a town hall event in Keene listening to and dialoguing with Democratic candidate and author Marianne Williamson. Williamson, who is 71, is seeking only one term in the White House, looking to implement fast change. She supports initiatives like Medicare for all and a ceasefire in Gaza. She is seeking to challenge current President Joe Biden, saying that while his administration has done well, they are moving too slow. 

After a quick lunch, we found ourselves across from the Dartmouth College green in Hanover to attend a rally for Democratic candidate Dean Philips. Philips, the Democratic Representative from Minnesota, was introduced by Andrew Yang, co-chair of the Forward Party and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, who spoke of Philips’ passion for bipartisan politics and his desire to bring the American people together. After a brief interruption that resulted in a YouTube content creator being removed and yours truly coming close to being toppled over by said content creator, Philips told the story of his experience on January 6, a pivotal moment for him because he realized that his coworkers of color would not fit in on the Republican side of the House of Representatives, so there was, in his mind, no safe place for them to hide. Using this example, Philips is running on the basis of bipartisan politics and would like to invite everyone from every political party, background, religion and ethnicity to dinner at the White House. He also supports Medicare for All and is a staunch supporter of LGTBQ+ rights, as his daughter Pia is a lesbian. 

The following day, we had the opportunity to attend the New England Regional Policy Roundtable as part of the New Deal Forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. Panelists, which included former mayors and state workers, discussed the benefits of “going green” and the steps that both states and individuals can take to become more “green.”

We did not stay for the whole of the roundtable, as it was announced that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was holding a spur of the moment press conference in immediate response to the cancellation of the Republican primary debate. DeSantis expressed his sadness over the cancellation of the debate and promised that he would remain steadfast in his journey to the White House. A few of my classmates caught up with DeSantis about an hour later, at a rally he held in Manchester. About a day later, he suspended his campaign. 

In Nashua, we caught up with Nikki Haley at her rally, where she stood her ground on removing “suggestive” books from school, yet advocating for finding new and exciting ways to engage children in math and reading. She also stood firm on her “catch and deport” proposal. 

Saturday afternoon, we attended a Donald Trump rally. Trump told the crowd what was wrong with America, how the Biden administration is doing America wrong and took digs at the potential policies of both Haley and DeSantis. One person was removed from the rally for making a comment.

Sunday morning, we met Armie Arneson, who graciously invited us into her home where she answered any and all questions we had about how politics work, including sharing her personal story of her political journey. 

Overall, my classmates and I had a wonderful time soaking up every opportunity we could. To see where we were and what our impressions were, please visit the Anchor X account at @TheAnchorRIC, or search the hashtag #NBC10NH.


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