Last Thursday, April 3 the HBS Democrats Club had dinner with former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who now serves as the Chairman of Senator Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) campaign for President. Mr. McAuliffe was in town to participate in a Study Group with Harvard Kennedy School Visiting Fellow David Yepsen, a columnist for the Des Moines Register.
While at the Kennedy School, Mr. McAuliffe discussed the presidential nominating process, gave his insights on the 2008 Democratic primaries, and encouraged the students in attendance to become involved in politics.
Following the talk at HKS, Mr. McAuliffe joined the HBS Democrats at the Redline Restaurant in Harvard Square. Over the next hour he fielded questions from the group related to the campaign and his life story. Serving as the Chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign largely entails Mr. McAuliffe to be a promoter of the candidate and her ideas. Although not involved in the day-to-day management of the campaign, he nevertheless demonstrated a deep understanding of complex policies and the problems facing the world. “His enthusiasm was completely contagious,” said first-year student Dan Beck, “one couldn’t help but be excited about the political process after spending just a few minutes with him.” Additionally, Mr. Yepsen provided unique insight into how reporters affect politics, as he compared the media’s treatments of the two remaining Democratic candidates.
After the dinner, Mr. McAuliffe caught a flight to the crucial state of Pennsylvania where he’ll begin a whirlwind tour of the United States taking him to ten states in ten days. During that tour he’ll be addressing audiences of various sizes in support of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. Despite his busy schedule, he mentioned taking great joy in spending time with the Democrats Club, and declared his hope for another future gathering.