Students Support Bradley Campaign
By Trudy Garber Hoya Staff Writer
A group of 16 Georgetown students traveled to New Hampshire this past weekend to join 1,000 people from across the country to campaign for Bill Bradley. The weekend consisted of door-to-door solicitation, a fund-raising party and the distribution of informational pamphlets, according to Jason McGrath (SFS ’02), who organized the trip.
He has been helping with Bradley’s campaign for two months in a research office and said he saw this trip as a wonderful opportunity to directly help the candidate.
McGrath advertised the trip to students by word of mouth and by e-mailing members of the College Democrats Club, he said.
Approximately 300 other people from the Washington, D.C. area traveled to New Hampshire to take part in this weekend’s campaigning. Kevin Keith, a campaign activist on Capital Hill, was the main organizer for the greater Washington D.C. area.
Georgetown students traveled on a 10 hour bus trip up to New Hampshire with students from other nearby colleges such as George Washington University, Marymount and American University.
The group spent the majority of Saturday in Manchester, N.H., knocking on registered Democrats’ and Independents’ doors and explaining Bradley’s campaign platform, McGrath said. He added that he tried to convey to the local citizens that “Bradley is a leader with big solutions for big problems . He will use the government’s resources for the right things, such as to stop child poverty and strict gun control.”
“It was really cool to go door to door to hear people talk about their views of the candidates and their campaigns,” McGrath said. “I read about it in the newspapers, but this was first hand.”
Peter Denton (COL ’03) said his favorite part of the trip was talking to people in Manchester about Bradley. “People were very nice – they invited us in and offered us food and drinks. I think I opened people’s eyes to Bill Bradley, both in name recognition and the issues on his campaign platform. I especially liked telling people about his campaign finance reform proposals.”
The group attended a casual fundraising event on Saturday night at the Manchester Holiday Inn. Among the 2,500 guests at the event were Harvey Kietel, an actor who starred in “The Piano,” and Bob Cousy, a former member of the Boston Celtics. Both gave rally speeches at the event, McGrath said.
Bradley also spoke, addressing his vision for America as well as how pleased he was to have one thousand people gathered to help him campaign.
“It was a great experience, completely different from anything I had ever done. We got to see up close what goes into a presidential campaign. I even got to shake Bill Bradley’s hand,” said Jill Wohrley (SFS ’02).
“He is a very genuine person – you can sense this when he speaks,” McGrath said.
On Sunday, the Georgetown group distributed more of Bradley’s campaign information in Derry, N.H.
“I think it’s wonderful that 1,000 people cared enough to give up their weekend and campaign for Bradley. New Hampshire is a very important state in the presidential election, and it is also great to show strong support here,” said McGrath.
“I don’t think as an individual I made a difference, but I am sure as a group we did,” McGrath said. He plans to take another trip back to New Hampshire in January to do more campaigning, he said.
There will be an early primary in Maryland, and he said he hopes to start campaigning for Bradley in the area within the next few weeks.