Campaign 2012: A Look Back

"At Saint Anselm, it is part of our educational mission to help students develop the skills and wisdom they need to live in and help lead our nation. Our New Hampshire Institute of Politics, founded more than 10 years ago, embodies that mission not only for our students but also the citizens of our state."

Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., President, Saint Anselm College

In the Granite State, it's all politics, all the time. Home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New Hampshire citizens and Saint Anselm students are presented with extraordinary opportunities to interact with the men and women who seek our nation's highest office. The 2012 campaign has moved on to South Carolina, and beyond, leaving New Hampshire to ponder the campaign that was. Here is our look back at campaign 2012.

Where Students Enroll in Election 101

New Hampshire's Saint Anselm College Comes Alive for Presidential Primaries

"At tiny Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire…the student body of 1,899 pulses with politics. Every four years, as the state heads into its first-in-the-nation presidential primary, the college is transformed into a hub of campaigning, town-hall meetings and high-profile debates. The gym becomes a press room, and campaign signs line Saint Anselm Drive. CNN blasts from televisions in the campus coffee shop, where display cases brim with political paraphernalia and students can be heard arguing over who will be the last candidate standing…" (Wall Street Journal, 1/6/12)

Building Buzz…

A visit by General David Petraeus to the college for a conversation in March 2010 (video) resulted in much chatter on whether the visit to the college was the precursor to a Presidential bid. Shortly after the four-star General's visit, he would be assigned as commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. Petraeus now serves as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Here Come the Candidates…

Candidates, and soon to be candidates turn to Saint Anselm College and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics as "something of a proving ground" says Carl Cameron, chief political correspondent for Fox News Channel. Accordingly, it was no surprise to see many of the 2012 candidates visit early, and often.

A New Hampshire Town Hall Meeting
Gov. Rick Perry, Joined by AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

A Policy Address: Entitlement Reform
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

No Apology: The Case for American Greatness
Former Gov. Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich Forum
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

America in Danger: The Mounting Financial Crisis and How Liberty Can Save Us
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14)

Student Perspective: Inside America's Classroom…

Students participating in the EN330 "political communication" course were be invited by Fr. Jerome Day, O.S.B. to submit their weekly logs to the Saint Anselm College blog, offering a glimpse inside "America's Classroom" as we approached the 2012 New Hampshire primary.

"Who determines who the front-runner is in an election cycle? Is a candidate given the title of front-runner based simply on his or her credentials or is it based on how much fame they have obtained over the years? My naivety led me to believe that a candidate was given the title of front-runner based solely on his or her credentials and what they had done for America. However, through the start of this semester, I have begun to realize that it is the media who controls who the front-runner is in a presidential election." (Student Lyndsay Robinson 9/12/11)

Debates and Conversations…

Saint Anselm College was a media hub once again during the 2012 cycle, hosting nationally televised debates with CNN (June, 2011) and ABC News (January, 2012). You can click the date links for coverage from the Saint Anselm College blog, including video, behind the scenes student blogs, and more.

The college also sponsored a Lincoln-Douglas style conversation between Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich in November, 2011 garnering international attention for it's one-on-one style. (View our photo gallery)

Meeting the 'Lesser-Known' Candidates…

New Hampshire, $1,000 and a signature is all it takes to get onto the primary ballot. In 2012, 44 candidates registered. 35 of these 'lesser known' individuals were invited to appear at the NHIOP. Each candidate made an opening statement and responded to questions, in a broadcast aired by C-SPAN.