The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Elected Officials and Candidates

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: John Wentworth, Class of 1836

This article is part of a series honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

For a contemporary of Lincoln, it was impressive to be known for one’s height. Towering at six feet and six inches, John “Long John” Wentworth, Class of 1836, cast a long shadow over American politics as the nation headed west for new prosperity. 

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Erastus Root, Class of 1793

This article is part of a series honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

Erastus Root graduated from Dartmouth in 1793, when the College was in its infancy. In fact, the first ever visual depiction of the college was produced in this year, which portrays students playing an early precursor to baseball on the Green. Root’s contemporary, Daniel Webster, wrote in private correspondence that he would “play ball” on the Green often during his days as a freshman on campus. While it is unclear how involved Root was in early sports at Dartmouth, it is well known that the Connecticut native was a prolific intellectual, with expertise in several academic fields.

The Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy Project

When he was a student in the late 1920s, Nelson A. Rockefeller ’30 helped the nearby town of White River Junction recover from the Great Vermont Flood of 1927. His only request was to not be featured in any newspaper or other media article because his father, John D. Rockefeller, discouraged such publicity. Unearthing a little-known anecdote such as this one, connects undergraduate students to Nelson Rockefeller—a public figure who went on to contribute his wisdom, energy, and resources to the nation as a governor and vice president.

The Rockefeller Center was dedicated in September of 1983 in honor of Nelson Rockefeller. At the same time, his Class of 1930 dedicated a wall in the Center that recognizes all Dartmouth alumni and alumnae who have served in public office with a plaque bearing the individuals’ names and service.

Public Program: "Is America Great Again Yet?"

Is America great again yet? We are approaching the conclusion of Trump’s first 100 days—the conspicuous yardstick for which pundits, the media, and politicians alike measure the direction and achievements of an administration. It has been an eventful 2017. Have Trump’s actions been congruent with his campaign promises? Are his accomplishments thus far befitting of his campaign philosophy? Are his supporters content? What do these days forecast for the rest of his term?

Public Program: Race, Religion and Justice in America: From Obama to Trump

How did we get here and where are we going? How can activism and faith aid us in making a difference? With the knowledge that a different world cannot be changed by indifferent people, we as the greater public must be aware. President Obama’s former spiritual advisor Joshua DuBois offers similar advice to president-elect Mr. Donald Trump in an interview with the Washington Post, saying we “must address the harm; only then can we have any chance of moving forward into hope.” As the nation deals with further racial polarization and divisive issues in religion and the nature of justice, Obama’s “Pastor-in-Chief” could shed some light on foreseen challenges in race and religion under the Trump Administration

“Finally, It’s Over: The 2016 Election and Its Aftermath”

How did we get to where we are today? Where are we going to go from here? This election cycle has been one of the most divisive campaigns in our nation’s history. It has been a very long and out-of-the-ordinary presidential campaign and a neck-and-neck U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire. A panel of American politics faculty members assessed the results of the national and state elections. This event analyzed the candidates and what their win – and loss – means for the state of New Hampshire and the rest of the countr and wrestled with the questions that have been bothering us throughout this election.

The panelists included Dartmouth College government professor and department chair Dean Lacy. Professor Lacy also serves as the Director of the Program in Politics and Law at the College. His research and teaching focuses on American and comparative politics, particularly elections, public opinion, and lawmaking. Additionally, Professor Lacy has written on the use and importance of economic sanctions in international relations, third party candidates, economic voting, referendums and initiatives, and divided government.

The 1968 Election & the Disappearance of Republican Moderates

42%. It’s the percentage of the voting electorate that currently identifies as “independent,” according to a recent Gallup poll, and it’s a number that seems especially just during this polarized political season. One might portend that as this number grudges forward, both Republicans and Democrats would conduct a concerted effort to charm these election-deciding voters. However, the 2016 election and the GOP platform especially represent a complete and total departure from moderation.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell visits with Students

The Rockefeller Center welcomed Governor Jack Markell (D-DE) on April 27, 2016 for a coffee hour with a small, bipartisan group of Dartmouth students.

Governor Markell immediately opened up the conversation for students' questions. Discussion points ranged from the 2016 presidential election and party politics to transnational trade and globalization. Much of the conversation focused on economic issues. The governor described how his past career in the private sector, working in high-level positions at Nextel and Comcast, had prepared him for the public sector.

Governor Markell has made great progress with Delaware's economy. He discussed measures put in place to develop the skills of workers through programs such as Coding Academy, CNA and customer service training, and language immersion schools. These programs support Governor Markell's belief that American workers have the advantage of creativity and innovation, but too often lack the technical skills that jobs require.

The Wild 2016 Race for the White House: An Informed Analysis

With the 2016 presidential election approaching rapidly, politics has once again risen to the forefront of many of our thoughts. As primaries and caucuses for party nominations quickly come and go, the competition to win the nomination becomes ever stiffer as voting results force some nominees to the frontlines of the battle for the presidency while others are forced to drop out. Now perhaps more so than ever, the media and the public alike are also becoming politicized as debates regarding likely nominees and general election scenarios rage on. This intense scrutiny focused on the 2016 presidential election is, perhaps, partly due to the various conflicting forces at play in this presidential election, from the great ideological divergence between the potential nominees of the opposing parties to the different personas adopted by potential nominees within their own parties. A number of important developments, including the sudden loss of a Supreme Court Justice and a new round of terrorist attacks in Europe, have further intensified this election.

Is There Life After Iowa and New Hampshire?

With the passing of the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary, two crucial steps in the lead up to the Presidential election have now occurred. As members of the Dartmouth community, many of us had the opportunity to participate in Tuesday’s primary. Political primaries are an essential component of the political process as they hold outsized sway over public opinion. Despite the relatively small number of voters, the media, the American public, the candidates, donors and other politicians pay close attention to the results of these early contests. Everyone seeks an answer to the same question – which candidates have the ability to progress onto later primaries and to potentially win the election?

The Rockefeller Center hosted a panel of Dartmouth Government Department faculty who study American politics, to share their expertise. The panel included Professors Joseph Bafumi, Linda Fowler and Dean Lacy and was moderated by Professor Ron Shaiko.

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