On December 4 — on the eve of the 2015 MSBA Delegate Assembly — Delegates were treated to presentation from nationally renowned Hamline University professor David Schultz.
Schultz’s talk — “A Political Junkie’s Guide to the 2016 Elections: What it Means for Minnesota” — provided Delegates with an insider’s look into politics on the state, national and local level.
Here are our top highlights from Schultz’s presentation:
- Schultz recounted “coming into the national scene” as a political analyst when he kinda-sorta predicted Jesse Venture would win the race for Minnesota’s governor in 1998. A news outlet had put-words-in-his-mouth … quoting him as saying Ventura “had a chance.”
- He said political centrists continue to decrease as partisanship and political extremism grows.
- He added that politics continues to merge with entertainment to form “poli-tainment” — citing how this has evolved from Nixon on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in 1968, to former actor President Reagan using his acting skills to be effective in front of a camera during his presidency, to Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show” in 1992 to presidential candidate Donald Trump today.
- “Partisanship is what drives people to vote.”
- “You don’t convince people with numbers, you convince people with stories. Politics is about a story.”
- “This will be the most expensive presidential race in U.S. history.” (Schultz joked that he gets to say this every year.)
- “The presidential election is already over in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Only 10 states are really in play.”
- “Basically, whoever wins Hamilton County, Ohio, will win the election.”
- Schultz predicts Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will win their respective parties’ nomination for president.
- “Education funding will be an issue in Minnesota politics in 2016.”
Visit http://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/ProfessorSchultzPresentation-DA2015.pdf for Schultz’s outline of the presentation.
MSBA Director of Government Relations Grace Keliher concluded the evening by sharing some best practices for Delegates (and their board colleagues) to utilize in their advocacy efforts.
The government relations team announced that MSBA will observe its own “Advocacy Month” ahead of the shorter, two-month state legislative session that begins in March 2016.
Visit http://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/AdvocacyMonth2016.pdf to view a list of tasks you can participate in to bolster your advocacy efforts.
Also, visit http://www.mnmsba.org/StandUpForPublicSchoolsToolKit to access resources from MSBA’s Stand Up for Public Schools Tool Kit.