Photo courtesy of Andrew Wilson

Presidential Candidates Speak at NH Democratic Convention

A group of Boston College students traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday to see the Democratic primary candidates address constituents at the New Hampshire State Democratic Convention.

The trip was organized by Congressman Joe Kennedy in support of the Elizabeth Warren campaign, coordinated by the group BC for Warren, and advertised by the College Democrats of Boston College (CDBC). Accordingly, BC students travelling with the group were asked to hold signs in support of Senator Warren as the candidates arrived at the venue.

However, College Democrats Vice President Kathryn Berman, MCAS ‘21, emphasized that "College Democrats of Boston College does not endorse any candidate before the primary."

Instead, the organization will “connect students with opportunities to volunteer for as many... Democratic candidates as [they] can find.” Students interested in volunteering may reach CDBC on Facebook.

In attendance at the convention were all 19 candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election, including frontrunners former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. All 19 candidates were given roughly 10 minutes to address the crowd.

Outside of their allotted speaking time, most candidates also hosted opportunities for the audience to meet with them during the convention, as well as organizing local events after the convention, according to Berman.

For example, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang hosted a pizza party nearby, while the Sanders campaign served ice cream in partnership with Ben and Jerry’s. Additionally, the Warren campaign conducted a local canvass.

Additionally, “leaders from state, local, and specific interests” addressed the crowd, including New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheeen and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

This convention stands as an important opportunity for the candidates to gain support in the pivotal New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11, the first primary of each election cycle, following the Iowa caucus. A strong performance in the New Hampshire primary allows candidates to gain early momentum, which can often decide the fate of campaigns.

Berman stated that the most notable moment of the convention for her was when  “Senator Warren got a two-minute standing ovation” upon entering the stage.

According to Berman, this was an encouraging display of energy and support that demonstrates the passion of Warren’s supporters, which is only bolstered by their willingness to volunteer and “fuel the grassroots movement that [she hopes] is going to help [Warren] win the nomination.”

The third Democratic debate will be held this Thursday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m., featuring a reduced field of the leading 10 candidates. Students are invited to join a Debate Watch Party hosted by College Democrats at Fulton 230.

Additionally, College Democrats will be organizing “nonpartisan voter registration drives as the primaries and voter registration deadlines approach.”