Kick-Off Rally begins Election Simulation season

HTML tutorial

During the next few weeks, don’t be surprised to see President Barack Obama or 
Governor 

Mitt Romney 

walking down 

the 

fifth 

floor 

or 

campaigning 

in 

history classes.

The Kick-Off Rally, which took place on September 21 during seventh band in the Courtyard, marked the beginning of the Election Simulation. It gave the presidential campaigns, local New York candidates, special interest groups, and supporters the chance to promote themselves to the senior class.

The annual Election Simulation began in 1996 by the Humanities Department in collaboration with Dr. Michael Krasner of the Taft Institute for Government at Queens College. Growing in popularity every year, the Simulation is a distinguished feature of life at Townsend Harris. It gives seniors the opportunity to adopt the personalities of presidential candidates, senatorial candidates, and other representative candidates, as well as their spouses and running mates. Moreover, it helps the Townsend Harris students get more involved in the political process and yearly elections.

The 2012 Kick-Off Rally was a clear indicator of the effort and energy that the seniors will put forth to not only keep the 16-year tradition alive, but also make it a memorable, important Election Simulation for the school.

Both the energy from the candidates and the crowd impressed Principal An- thony Barbetta, who enthusiastically declared, “Let the [Election] Season begin!”

Dr. Steinmann, veteran to the Election Simulation, said, “I’m very proud of everyone. It was a great start for this important election. There was a good combination of appeal to the THHS community as well as their representations of the candidates in the real world.” The only inadequate part of the Rally was the short 45-minute time slot. “It was disappointing that there wasn’t enough time for the Special Interest Groups. However, it happens every year.”

The presidential candidates who had to impress the 300-person crowd with their short two-minute speeches reacted to their performances. Marco Gallagher, the senior portraying Republican candidate Mitt Romney  

 said, “It was nerve-wracking 

up 

there, but I 

got my point and ideas across.”

Khalid

 Abdin,

 the

 senior portraying President Barack

 Obama, 

was also 

made 

nervous

 by the 

spectacle. 

At 

one 

point,

 Khalid

 characterized

 the

 president’s 

views 

as 

“pro-abortion.” He  

says, 

“I 

apologize and really did mean to say pro-choice. Everyone makes mistakes, and we’re still in our best interest to win.”

Seniors, active members of the

 crowd, had mixed
 reviews of the Kick-Off Rally.

Romney’s communications team manager, Damaris Sierra, senior, 

said, 

“The 

Kick-Off Rally was really exciting and it was fun getting into the spirit of the election. I thought that the Republican candidates did very well and wish them success in the elections.”

Walid

 Rahman, senior, said, “There was a clear

 division between those who were prepared and those who were not, between those who knew their information,

 and

 those

 who didn’t.”

Laura

 O’Shea,

 senior

 and

 Joseph 

Concannon’s 

wife, 

said,

 “It 

was

 nice 

that
 the smaller campaigns got to introduce themselves to everyone since no one really knew anything about them yet.”

“I 

feel 

the 

kick-off 

rally went well for myself and all the other candidates. The crowd was lively and spirited and the motivation from all the supporters 

definitely 

helped 

everyone get through their speeches. I for one had a great time at the kick-off

 rally, and am looking forward to making more public appearances throughout the election,” said Diego 

Cotte,  

senior, 

portraying Tony Avella.

“In my opinion, the Kick- Off Rally was a huge success for both parties. I feel that the overall vibe of the rally was perfect: the sun shining, people cheering, and posters everywhere. There was just a lot of positive energy surrounding the event, and that is what made 

it successful,” said Denis Poretsky, representing Eric Ulrich.

Terell Drayton, senior and Radio Host, said, “Some people prepared their speech better 

than 

others. Nevertheless, 

it was entertaining.

I’m still undecided though so there 

is 

a 

lot 

of time for [the candidates] 

to gain 

voters.”

“The energy of the kick-off rally was really exciting, and I thought all the candidates who gave their speeches did an amazing job. The rally set off 

a great start to the campaign season,” said Stephanie Chen, senior, 

representing Grace Meng.

Ameer Kazmi, the senior portraying Joseph Concanncon said, “I thought I made a great connection with the crowd. Even though I’m a downticket candidate, 

every election 

is important to the people.”

close