Archive for April 23rd, 2007

Gov. Mike Huckabee Discusses Health Care With Nursing Students

Gov. Mike HuckabeeAfter starting his day with a 5K “fun run” with supporters in downtown Manchester, republican presidential hopeful and former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee discussed health care with nursing students. He visited Saint Anselm College on April 17.

Gov. Huckabee spoke about the nation’s health crisis as well as his own experience losing 110 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes. “If I can regain my own health, so can this country, but this country better do it in a hurry,” said Huckabee, who wrote about his experience in his book Quit Digging Your Own Grave With a Knife and Fork.

Huckabee spoke about a healthcare system that is broken. “We have a completely upside-down healthcare system in this country where we train doctors to treat disease, not prevent it, and reimburse people to be sick, not well.”

He also focused on childhood obesity and what he called a pandemic that is killing kids. “We’re raising the first generation of kids who won’t live as long as their parents or grandparents,” said Huckabee.

He urged students to “go change the stinking system and make it right,” but cautioned that real change would happen over a generation, not in a four-year presidential term. Huckabee cited changing attitudes toward seat-belt use, litter, smoking, and drunk driving as examples of how societal views have change over time.

In the short term, he advocates making health care less expensive by enacting medical liability reform, shifting to electronic medical records, making health insurance policies more portable, and helping people open health savings accounts.

Often displaying a great sense of humor and wit, Huckabee described his own efforts to stay healthy by offering two nutrition rules: “If it comes through a car window, it’s not food. And if it wasn’t food 100 years ago, it’s not food, it’s a product.”

As part of our ongoing series, we make the speeches of presidential candidates who visit the New Hampshire Institute of Politics available to you. After you’ve listened to each podcast, we invite you to leave comments. The New Hampshire Institute of Politics is non-partisan and does not endorse political issues or candidates. Visit the institute's Web site at for news and a list of upcoming events.

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Causes and Consequences: Douglas Brinkley’s Overview of Hurricane Katrina and the Emergency Response

In this podcast we feature a recent lecture delivered by Dr. Douglas Brinkley, professor at Tulane University and author of the book “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.” Brinkley spoke at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on April 11.

Dr. Douglas Brinkley at Saint Anselm CollegeDr. Douglas Brinkley did not plan to write The Great Deluge nor did he plan to be an eye-witness to one of the greatest natural disasters that the United States has ever experienced: Hurricane Katrina. Brinkley, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, shared his first-hand account of surviving the wrath and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in a lecture at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Detailing all aspects of the hurricane, from the warnings issued prior to its catastrophic hit, to the initial reactions, to the rescue and cleanup missions-of which the nation is still in the midst-Brinkley proclaimed that "the breakdown in New Orleans was New Orleans." Some residents simply ignored the warnings while others could not afford to acknowledge them.

Problems cited for the number of people stranded centered heavily around the elderly. Many seniors planned to stay until they received their social security checks, others would not think of leaving their pets, and more still were abandoned in homes by "irresponsible and negligent" staff. Brinkley also cited New Orleans' lack of a proper Emergency Operations Centers as a cause to the hindrance of successful evacuation efforts. Mayor Nagin fled; the police department crumbled; and the city allowed evacuation buses to sink rather than overcome labor disputes for the good of its own people.

As Brinkley went on to tell personal stories of survivors dying of thirst, being crammed into the Superdome with 23,000 others, and the poor residents of the Ninth Ward just wishing that the president seemed to care as Lyndon B. Johnson said he did following Hurricane Betsy in 1965, the impact of Katrina set in.

Looking to the future, Brinkley sees two visions: Americans will either respect New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as American heritage centers that must be rebuilt and preserved no matter what the cost, or the people of this country will move on and allow New Orleans to be just the "sliver by the river" that remains. Brinkley hopes the nation will choose not to abandon its people in times or peril and will restore his home state to the glory it once possessed.

By Robyn Dangora '10
New Hampshire Institute of Politics

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Saint Anselm Runners Conquer the Boston Marathon

Saint Anselm's Boston Marathon runners

Saint Anselm student John Harran '08 ran the 111th Boston Marathon for the first time April 16, crossing the finish line with a highly respectable time of four and a half hours in the worst weather conditions since 1970. Boston Athletic Association president Tom Gilk said of Monday's race, "A day that by all accounts shouldn't have happened" reported The Boston Globe. However, 13 years ago, at the age of nine, Harran vowed to complete the Boston Marathon as a tribute to his father, a marathon runner and member of the Boston Police Runners Club, who passed away in 1993.

Harran was just one of 20 students, two alumni, and one professor who made up the annual contingent of Saint Anselm College runners. In preparation for the long haul from Hopkinton to Boston, students trained with cross country coach and psychology professor Paul Finn. For four months the group ran on pavement and trails, building up to a long, 20 mile run and then slowly tapering before the big day. Professor Finn said this year's group had a good combination of first timers and returners, which is "great because they help one another out."

Harran ran the 26.2 miles in the wind and rain wearing the Marine Corp Marathon jacket that his father had worn in the same race in 1987. He said he actually picked up speed at the end of the race, never even realizing that he was crossing "heartbreak" hill because he was so focused on the crowds and the feeling of incredible accomplishment that his father had told him about so many years before. "You feel exhilarated when you push your body to the level that you have to in a marathon," said Harran.

The group's marathon journey once again began at the home of Trustee Michael Sullivan '70 and his wife, Anne-Marie, who supplied the pre-race bagels. The group then assembled at the starting line in their Saint Anselm singlets ready for the challenge that lay ahead. After all was said and done, the group met again on Tuesday for post-race ice cream at the coffee shop.

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