Will You Choose to Ride the Wave or the Current?


Current Party logo designed by Olivia Gregory (’18) Wave Party logo by Billie Singer (’19)

Evan Hecht, Staff Writer

Attention all juniors and seniors: while you may not be able to legally vote, the AP Government students need you to help elect the next president. This year marks the fifth year of Ms. Cutrone’s presidential campaign project, and the race is just starting to heat up.

The project was originally conceived in 2013 when Ms. Cutrone was teaching her unit on campaigns but was finding it difficult to explain how a successful campaign works. She couldn’t figure out the best way to explain all the aspects of a campaign, such as how challenging it is to engage voters during the campaign and then actually get them to show up on election day. That’s when she came up with the idea to have each of her sections of AP Gov. run opposing presidential campaigns. Originally, each class period had two candidates running against each other. That changed the next year to each class period choosing one candidate to run against the other.

The goal of this project is to simulate a campaign as realistically as possible. Each class period chooses a presidential elect; if multiple people want to be that person, then each class has a primary in which every candidate gives a speech. After the elect is chosen he/she chooses their running mate, or vice president. From then on, the president-elect is in charge of forming a campaign team consisting of a Campaign Manager, Deputy Campaign Manager, Communications Director, and a Finance Director. It is the job of those staffers to “hire” people to work for them on the campaign. The campaign manager is in charge of assigning jobs to people in class every day when they meet.

To make the experience as realistic as possible, each campaign is given a set budget. That budget can be used to fund campaign items as mail pieces, palm cards, commercials, polls, social media posts, and buttons. To further simulate a campaign, negative campaigning and mudslinging are allowed. Students are told to remember that they are adult candidates and not high school students. Mudslinging is only allowed in relation to policy issues rather than student conduct.

Now, who are your candidates for the 2018 election, you ask? This year we have The Wave Party, led by Zachary Friedman (‘18) and Aidan Kluger (‘19), running against The Current Party, led by Danielle Twiss (‘18) and Matthew Grayson (‘18).

Now, let’s get to know our candidates.

Presidential candidate Zach Friedman (’18) and Vice Presidential candidate Aidan Kluger (’19) (Photo credit to Dani Nadrich (’18))

The Wave Party

The Wave Party has elected Zachary Friedman as its presidential candidate. Friedman received a degree in political science from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from Yale University. Friedman has served two terms in the House of Representatives followed by two terms in the Senate.

Running alongside Friedman is Aidan Kluger. Kluger graduated from Georgetown University and later attended Yale Law School. Aidan has served four terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate.

The Wave Party’s platform focuses on taking the values our country was founded on and applying them to modern day society. They want to “work towards a more equitable, just, and secure future.” Friedman wants to let the voters know that he and his running mate are dedicated to their work, as shown in Kluger’s previous dedication to music. Friedman and Kluger view themselves as qualified given their previous experience in government. Both Friedman and Kluger served as class presidents during their high school years, showing a strong passion for leadership. Friedman believes the greatest injustice in America is that “Americans are constantly put in danger as a result of poor policy decisions.” Friedman continued, saying, “The Wave recognizes how to reconcile differences and apply the constitution to a progressive society to ensure that legislation is best suited to the majority of Americans.” Friedman would like the voters to know that “The Wave is a symbol of change and progress, washing away the old and implementing the new.” The Campaign Manager of The Wave Party is Ben Tauber (’18), the Deputy Campaign Manager is Ah Young Shin (’18), the Director of Communications is Dani Naidrich (’18), and the Director of Funds is Nick Cardenas (’18). You can keep up with The Wave Party on FacebookInstagram @thewaveparty2018, and Snapchat @thewave2018.

Presidential candidate Danielle Twiss (’18) and Vice Presidential candidate Matthew Grayson (’18) (Photo credit to Olivia Gregory (’18))

The Current Party

The Current Party has elected Danielle Twiss as its presidential candidate. Twiss attended The University of Virginia during her undergraduate years and then graduated from Harvard Law School. Twiss clerked for Justice O’Connor and also served as the American Ambassador to Japan. Twiss has also served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Senator Booker and is currently serving as the Senator of Massachusetts.

Running alongside Twiss is Matthew Grayson, who received his undergraduate degree from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Shortly thereafter, he attended Yale Law. Grayson has also worked on Wall Street as a risk manager for Bear Stearns. Grayson is currently the Governor of New York. The Current Party is running on the ideas of extending Title IX rights to transgender people and eliminating de jure and de facto discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, eliminating the wage gap and implementing the Equal Rights Amendment, bringing back DACA and reforming the immigration court system while still maintaining tight borders, legalizing marijuana, and fighting climate change. Twiss wants to let voters know that she and Grayson are running because they “truly believe [they] are capable of making a difference.” Twiss continued by saying, “We come from very different backgrounds, but we both understand the American struggle and the American dream well.” Twiss states one of the foremost priorities of The Current Party is to “eliminate hyper-partisanship and foster a more cooperative and bipartisan government that works in the interest of the people.”

Twiss and Grayson believe that each of their strengths balances the others’ out; while Twiss has more experience in domestic public policy due to her current position as a senator and her previous experience as a diplomat, Grayson has more experience in state politics, given his position as a governor, and also claims an expansive knowledge of economics thanks to his time spent as a risk manager on Wall Street. Twiss believes the greatest injustice in America is “the treatment of marginalized people, such as minorities and the LGBT population.” The Campaign Manager of The Current Party is Naomi Friedman (’18), the Deputy Campaign Manager is Cassie Alexe (’18), the Director of Finance is Ben Altschul (’18), and the Director of Communications is Morgan Donohue (’18). You can keep up with The Current Party on Facebook, Instagram @thecurrentparty, and Snapchat @thecurrentparty.  

The election will take place on June 7th. There will be two voting booths located in the principal’s lobby, and the classes of 2018 and ’19 are allowed to vote.