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Cornellians in Politics Roundup

Since "Mini Super Tuesday" has been getting lots of media attention over the last few days, and Reunion weekend is ongoing, I believe this is an appropriate time for a survey of the Cornellians who are currently in politics.

Rob Andrews, J.D. '82, U.S. Representative (D-NJ)
Andrews has served the heavily Democratic 1st District since 1990. His first election, with a nine-point margin of victory, was his most competitive. He challenged Sen. Frank Lautenberg for the Democratic nomination in 2008, while Andrews's wife ran in the Democratic primary for his Congressional seat. Andrews lost to Lautenberg, but his wife won; Andrews then angered some people by replacing his wife on the Congressional ballot. Still, he cruised to a 46-point margin of victory that fall.

Bajrakitiyabha, LL.M. '02, J.S.D. '05, Princess of Thailand
I know very little about Bajrakitiyabha or the Thai royal family, but here's an interview (with a Cornell mention!) about her efforts to assist incarcerated women.

Ken Dryden, B.A. '69, Canadian Member of Parliament
Dryden lost four games in three seasons in goal for the Cornell men's hockey team, leading Cornell to three Frozen Four appearances and the NCAA title in 1967. Dryden won six Stanley Cups and numerous accolades during his eight years playing for the Montreal Canadiens. In the prime of his hockey career, Dryden took off a year to finish his law degree at McGill. Dryden has served in the Parliament as a member of the Liberal Party since 2004, and in 2006 he ran unsuccessfully for his party's leadership role.

Bob Filner, B.A. '63, Ph.D '69, U.S. Representative (D-CA)
Filner taught at San Diego State before running for Congress in 1992. He represents a strong Democratic district, but he's needed to win several close primary elections to remain in office. Filner's Republican opponent this November is a former tank commander who was wounded in Fallujah.

Gabrielle Giffords, M.R.P. '96, U.S. Representative (D-AZ)
Giffords, who represents a district (8th) in which Republicans outnumber Democrats, should expect a strong challenge this fall. She's been in the national news recently for calling for more federal assistance along the border; her district is one of two in Arizona which borders Mexico. Giffords married an astronaut and is a Rhodes Scholar.

Mark Kirk, B.A. '81, U.S. Representative (R-IL)
Kirk is the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois. He's gotten some pretty bad attention recently for lying on the campaign trail and campaigning while on active military duty. Kirk has served in the House since 2000 and defeated Democrat Dan Seals in each of the last two elections.

Clinton and Bush Cabinet Appointees
Obama doesn't have any Cornellians in his Cabinet, but there have been plenty over the last 18 years:
Sandy Berger, B.A. '67, National Security Advisor (1997-2001)
Samuel Bodman, B.S. '61, Secretary of Energy (2005-2009)
Stephen Hadley, B.A. '69, National Security Advisor (2005-2009)
Janet Reno, B.A. '60, Attorney General (1993-2001)
Paul Wolfowitz, B.A. '65, Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001-05)

See also:
William Brownfield, B.A. '74, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia (formerly to Chile and Venezuela)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, B.A. '54, Associate Justice, Supreme Court
Ann Coulter, B.A. '84
Keith Olbermann, B.S. '79
Michelle Rhee, B.A. '92, Chancellor of Schools, District of Columbia

Elie Bilmes | Posted on June 11, 2010 (#)

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