Dartmouth College: home of the controversial conservative publication Dartmouth Review, from whence came in the 1980s Laura Ingraham, Dinesh D'Souza and all sorts of ugly mishegoss. If you were in college back in the 1980s and 1990s, that's what Dartmouth was known for -- being a petri dish for some of worst in gay-bashing and race-baiting in America.
New decade, new America, and a new politics coming from Hanover, NH:
Vanessa Sievers, a Dartmouth College junior, was not content to wait tables or make coffee as a side job. Instead she ran for treasurer of Grafton County, N.H., and won, unseating the incumbent and unleashing a war of words.
The current county treasurer, Carol Elliott, 68, called Ms. Sievers, 20, a "teenybopper" in an interview with a local newspaper, The Valley News, and said she had won only because "brainwashed college kids" had voted for the Democratic ticket.
Ms. Sievers beat Ms. Elliott by 586 votes out of about 42,000 cast, and won big in Hanover, home to Dartmouth, and Plymouth, home to both Ms. Elliott and Plymouth State University.
Ms. Sievers, now a New Hampshire resident, said she has worked as a bookkeeper and served on the school board in Livingston, Mont., while a student there.
"I have always been interested in finance and involved in politics, which are the reasons why I decided to run," she said.
Ms. Sievers’s big investment in the campaign was a $51 advertisement on Facebook, which she paid for with her own money.
"I took advantage of new media, and she did not," Ms. Sievers said.
This is how the Christian Coalition did it two decades ago, and how we must do it now: bit by bit, row office by row office, county by county, Democrats need to organize, run, gain experience, gain credentials and gain power.
The fifty-state strategy is also a 435 congressional district strategy, and it permeates into every elected office on the local level. Age is no object, as Sievers notes:
I don't know why people think college students are less informed than other members of the community. A lot of students get very, very involved in their communities, are extraordinarily involved in politics in the area, in doing community service, everything. I think college students are connected, and sometimes know more than the 'real' citizens. ... I think we're just as real citizens as anyone else in the county.
2006 and 2008 were only the start -- when are you going to run for office? What's your next step?