With one week to go in the hotly contested race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Union students were treated to an insider's view of the campaign Tuesday afternoon.
Beth Myers, a senior advisor to Romney's campaign and his former chief of staff when he was governor of Massachusetts, shared her thoughts with the 150 students in the class, Presidential Election 2012, in F.W. Olin Auditorium.
At the start of her talk, Myers asked that her comments be off the record to allow her to be candid with the class, and for the next hour, the mother of Curt Myers '15 provided a fascinating account of life behind the scenes of a presidential campaign.
Myers walked the class through a chronological snapshot of the campaign, from the moment Romney officially announced his candidacy for president at a family farm in Stratham, N.H., in June 2011, right up through the three presidential debates.
She touched on the high points (Romney's performance in the first debate against Obama) and the low points (losing to Newt Gingrich in the Republican primary in South Carolina).
She also elaborated on a remark made by Romney at one of the debates that took on a life of its own, that he brought "binders full of women” to his Cabinet selection process in Massachusetts.
Myers recalled the ruse used to keep the media from finding out early that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was Romney's pick for vice president. The back story vaulted Curt, who sat in the second row for his mother's talk, into the national media as he was enlisted to help keep the pick secret until the official announcement. To read an earlier story in Politico about Curt's brush with fame, click here.
"Beth Myers provided an in depth and fascinating overview of a presidential campaign," said Zoe Oxley, professor of political science, who, along with Cliff Brown, chair of the Political Science Department, organized the class.
The class is similar to Election 2008, which gave students a primer on everything from the role of the media to the psychology of polling in the race between Obama and John McCain.
In addition to Myers, other guest speakers have included U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko and Rachel Racusen '04, deputy national communications director for Obama's campaign.