November 20, 2015
New Hampshire Institute of Politics
On November 19, CNN's John King visited the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College to present a talk, "A Year of Disruption: How the Surprises of 2015 Reshape the 2016 Campaign." King is CNN's chief national correspondent and anchor of Inside Politics. He has covered the past seven presidential elections and reported both nationally and internationally.
Over the past few years, King has visited the Saint Anselm College campus to participate in presidential debates and conduct focus groups with New Hampshire voters.
Speaking to a crowded auditorium of students, faculty, staff, and members of the community, King discussed the transitional period that each party is going through as they gear up for the 2016 election, now less than a year away. He discussed the changes that are occurring within the parties and the change that the American people are looking for as they elect a new president.
"The old rules and the old history are helpful, but they are not the guiding light here," King said about the current race.
King explored the celebrity effect of Donald Trump, the fact that Bernie Sanders is a self-identified Socialist, and how the Republican Party has moved further right, while the Democratic Party has moved further left. Having served as a Governor or U.S. Senator is no longer the gold standard for viable presidential candidates he said. King pointed to the fact that those with little to no political experience, such as Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson are doing well, while Governors Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal have dropped out of the race. These were just several of the differences he mentioned that are making this election cycle unique.
The age of the current candidates was another theme that King raised to point to the change in current political ideology. Historically, the oldest president ever elected was Ronald Reagan who was 69 on Inauguration Day. Among those running today, many are of a similar age; Donald Trump is 69, Hillary Clinton is 68, and Bernie Sanders is 74.
Thomas Mannion '18, who introduced King, said, "I thought the event with John King was very informative. His analysis on polls and years of experience studying elections made it a great discussion. It was also quite an experience to meet and introduce such a successful person from my hometown of Dorchester, Massachusetts."
The numerous students in attendance echoed similar sentiments about the interesting and engaging nature of King's talk.
Arya Thapa '17 said, "I found the event itself to be exceptional in the sense that we were able to hear the political factors outside of the candidate/party perspective and more via the media."
Andrew Shue '18 added, "King's vast political coverage gave way to a great question and answer session and a productive discussion about the changing dynamics of Presidential politics."