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Political expert discusses presidential election

David Schultz ’80, MA ’86, a nationally recognized expert in campaign law and politics, always knew he wanted to go to school at Binghamton.

For Schultz, who grew up locally and even took classes at Binghamton while still in high school, Binghamton University was affordable and he received a scholarship that covered most of his tuition.

“I always thought Binghamton was an amazing place to be,” he says.

More than 30 years later, Schultz is a political expert, an author of more than 25 books and a professor at Hamline University School of Business in Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Helene (Levy) Schultz ’81, MA ’83.

Schultz returned to Binghamton University in April to speak to the Binghamton University Forum and address several political science classes about the 2008 and upcoming presidential elections.

In one class, he attributed the success of President Obama’s 2008 campaign to Obama’s narrative: change.

“This time around the Republicans have an incredibly original narrative,” he said. “Do you want to know what it is? Change.”

Schultz also introduced students to the idea of “politainment,” a concept he has helped develop that merges politics and entertainment. He argues that politicians no longer have just the responsibility of trying to appeal to the most voters with their political platforms and stance on issues. For example, candidates now go on “The Daily Show” or “The Colbert Report” and they have to be funny and engaging as well as knowledgeable.

At the Binghamton University Forum (held at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City), Schultz told Forum members that the Obama-Romney race will come down to a number of swing states.

“The race is all over in 40 states,” Schultz said. “What we are going to see is 10 percent of the voters in 10 states determining who the next president of the United States will be. The billions of dollars spent — and the campaign rhetoric — is going to focus on a very small number of people.”

— Irene Bunnell

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Last Updated: 12/10/14