Byrne Students Experience Presidential Politics at Christie, Clinton HQs

Student's in Ruth Mandel's Byrne Seminar, "You and the 2016 Election: What to Watch, How to Watch and How to Participate" got an inside look at how presidential campaigns work by visiting two national campaign offices on Thursday, October 22. In the morning, the students toured Chris Christie's campaign headquarters in Morristown, NJ. The group heard from campaign manager Ken McKay, chief strategist Mike DuHaime, chief messaging officer Maria Comella, fundraising director Cam Henderson, political director James Garcia, and several other staff members - and, in a surprise treat,  Mary Pat Christie, who chatted with the students and explained her husband's position on Social Security reform, a central plank of his campaign platform. Next the group traveled to Brooklyn, where they toured the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters. Among the staffers who spoke to the students: campus engagement organizer Eden Tesfaye; digital organizer Jessica Morales Rocketto; deputy counsel Joslyn Massengale; primary states training director Nick Black; internship program manager Jaclyn Uresti; and Rutgers alumna Victoria Mayer, a staffer on the West regional desk. Conclusions from the two visits? 1) To work on a presidential campaign, it's essential to believe strongly in the candidate and the cause; 2) Internships are an invaluable pathway to a career in politics, and every student should undertake as many as possible.  

This story originally appeared in the November 2015 edition of the Eagleton Institute of Politics Newsletter