Political reporter comes to campus

Jenn Press

For a behind the scenes look at political campaigns, Walter Mears, a veteran political correspondent for the Associated Press, will present “Tales from 11 Presidential Campaigns.”

The lecture will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Mancheski Executive Seminar Room of the Lender School of Business Center.

This event is free and open to the public.

He is the author of the new book “Deadlines Past,” which covers 11 national campaigns, beginning with Kennedy vs. Nixon.

Professor Paul Janensch, a professor of journalism, said he spoke with Mears a number of times when he was covering national politics.

Janensch was the top editor of three newspapers that belonged to The Associated Press.

“I heard him speak last fall to a conference of New England newspaper editors. His comments were full of insights and humor, and soon after he finished, I asked him if he could come to Quinnipiac,” Janensch said.

Mears began with the Associated Press in Boston while still a student at Middlebury College in Vermont.

“Upon graduating, he was hired by the Associated Press as a full-timer, covering all kinds of news. He then opened an Associated Press bureau in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, where he covered state government and politics,” he said. “He was reassigned to Boston and started covering Sen. John F. Kennedy’s campaign for president. Since then he has covered every presidential election through 2000.”

One of Janensch’s goals of Mears’ lecture is to encourage faculty to include information from the lecture in their spring course plans.

“Students who are now taking or will take courses in communications, political science and American history will learn more about American politics from listening to Mears for one hour than they will from a 600-page textbook,” Janensch said.

Janensch said he felt Mears would be an asset to the student body because he will offer an insider’s view of what really occurs in a presidential campaign.

“Presidential campaigns are messy,” he said. “Often candidates are not what they seem; our primaries, conventions and Electoral College are clumsy and inefficient but miraculously, the system works pretty well.”