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Nine officials in President Barack Obama administration hold graduate degrees from GW. Hatchet File Photo.

Nine officials in the Obama administration hold graduate degrees from GW — the fifth-most out of any graduate program worldwide.

GW tied with Columbia University for the No. 5 slot, just behind neighboring Georgetown University, for the number of alumni in Obama’s inner circle.

Harvard University topped both the undergraduate and graduate list with 23 and 38 alumni, respectively. GW did not make the list of the top undergraduate schools.

Out of 250 officials surveyed by the National Journal, 40 percent of officials boast degrees from Ivy League schools, compared to 25 percent graduating from public universities.

Northeasterners dominate Obama’s administration, making up more than one-third of the president’s second-term officials. Only 18 percent grew up in a state that voted for Governor Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Officials from Texas, the nation’s second-most populous state, make up less than 2 percent of the president’s administration with four officials, while New York came in as the top state with 40.

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Updated: Tuesday, April 23 at 9:12 p.m.

Detroit federal officials charged a former student Tuesday for threatening to distribute nude photos that he obtained illegally of more than a dozen women.

Adam Savader, 21, is in federal custody in New York, facing charges of cyberstalking and extortion. He allegedly sent threatening anonymous messages to 15 women between May 2012 and February 2013, according to a release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Police officers from Ann Arbor, Michigan initiated the investigation after an alleged victim came forward and said someone had hacked her email account and obtained nude photos.

With the help of FBI investigators, the detectives then identified 15 victims in D.C., Detroit and Long Island, New York. The Washington Post reported that many of the victims are “college students who knew Savader.”

Savader is not currently a student, according to GW’s online directory. University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said the Office of the Registrar would not be able to verify when Savader left GW until Wednesday morning. He transferred to GW as a sophomore in fall 2010 and stayed at least through February 2012.

The 21-year-old is also well-known on the campaign trail, previously interning for former presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, as well as vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison, according to the FBI release.

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Jim Lehrer and Martha Raddatz said the proliferation of tweets during the 2012 debates had mixed implications. Raddatz said the real-time feedback helped add to the debates, while Lehrer pushed back against some criticism he received for not asking tough questions. Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Amelia Williams.

Three moderators of last fall’s presidential and vice presidential debates brushed off criticism that had bounced around social media about their questions and toughness at a Monday taping of The Kalb Report.

In a debate season known for one-liners like “binders full of women,” moderators Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer and Martha Raddatz said at the National Press Club that they knew the popularity of Twitter would put them under a microscope too.

“Scrutiny, thy name is Twitter,” quipped Raddatz, an ABC News correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator.

The harshest criticism from pundits and social media users around the world had mostly been directed at Lehrer, a PBS broadcaster who was blasted by some for not pushing candidates on tough questions during a presidential debate.

He fought back against those allegations Monday, explaining that the debates are designed for the candidates to show what they can do – not for the moderator to practice hard-hitting journalism. Instead, he said, the moderator is responsible for listening instead of prodding candidates with “gotcha” questions.

Some of the Twitter criticism was also light-hearted, Schieffer added in the forum hosted by Marvin Kalb and sponsored by GW.

Schieffer, a CBS broadcast, described his confusion with Twitter’s popularity and discussed his first interaction with the site after he moderated the final presidential debate: “One of [the tweets] said, ‘Who is that old guy? Is he a Muppet?’”

But Schieffer commended the role that presidential debates play in the American political process, allowing Americans to step away from partisan news outlets to share a stage for 90 minutes.

“Republicans will sit through listening to Barack Obama in order to hear what Mitt Romney has to say, and Democrats will do the same,” Schieffer said.

 

 

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David Rehr, an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Political Management, presented the results of the college’s study of how social media affected the presidential election Friday at the National Press Club. Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Delaney Walsh. 

The majority of Americans rely just as much on social media as traditional press to follow politics, according to research performed by the Graduate School of Political Management before the 2012 presidential election.

The study found that although social media is not the primary forum for voters to educate themselves about candidates and issues, it has pushed people to share and shape their opinions based on their online friends or followers.

David Rehr, a part-time professor in GSPM, and John Kagia, the director of strategy and insight for the research firm ORI Results, led a team of GSPM professors in the study of 806 people. The results were released Friday at the National Press Club.

Because of user’s personal connections on social media, many view sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr as a higher-quality sources of information than in the past, according to the survey results. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they found social media equally or more credible than traditional media, a sign of the waning influence of newspapers and broadcast news.

“The implications for our broader political lives – political advocacy, civic engagement, business – are huge,” Kagia said.

The research was some of the first to track an election that attracted a flurry of memes and hashtags after debates and campaign rallies.

Rehr and Kagia started the project after noting that social media activity around the 2012 election differed from the previous one, when Twitter was in its infancy.

Kagia cited Obama’s response to Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair speech” at the Republican National Convention as a hallmark of the more interactive role they saw social media play this election cycle.

The president’s social media staffers responded to Eastwood’s criticism with a viral hit: a tweet saying “This seat’s taken,” accompanied by a photo of the president seated in the Oval Office and a donation link.

The analysis also comes as GSPM tries to pump up its research portfolio, part of the director Mark Kennedy growth plan for the professional school.

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Sophomores Annika Boone, Ninio Fetalvo and Robert Wood react at the College Republicans watch party after hearing that Obama is likely to win Pennsylvania. Becky Crowder | Senior Staff Photographer

For conservative students, the bad news kept coming Tuesday night – but the worst came shortly before 11:30 p.m. when Fox News called the election for Barack Obama.

A group of five students in the College Republicans joined arms together, beaten down all night as voters rejected candidates they campaigned for, like Linda McMahon, Scott Brown and George Allen.

Sam Goldstein, an international affairs major, said he was worried that another term for Obama would hurt his fight for pro-life issues.

“They were saying it was a dead heat so I was hoping and praying for it,” Goldstein said. “I’m very afraid. I feel like we’re already going in the wrong direction and now it won’t end.”

Students who tuned to Fox News all night said they worried that an Obama win would hurt their personal job prospects, their core issue in this election.

Freshman Will Rodenberg said he was disillusioned with Obama’s reelection.

“I’ll have a better chance of getting a job if Romney is elected. The progress Obama has made so far is next to nothing,” Rodenberg said.

Michael Viviano, a freshman history major, said as Romney’s chances were thinning that even though Obama’s reelection would mean more “gridlock,” he would still go to the White House to watch celebrations.

“I’ll go to the White House then drink myself to sleep,” he said.

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Students climb the trees in front of the White House as hundreds crowded Pennsylvania Avenue. Jordan Emont | Photo Editor

Updated Nov. 7, 12:09 a.m.

Cheers can be heard for blocks as students surge toward the White House to celebrate President Barack Obama’s reelection.

News outlets predicted an Obama win against Republican challenger Mitt Romney at about 11:15 p.m., after the president clinched Ohio.

Chants of “four more years” broke out at the College Democrats watch party before students rushed out of the Marvin Center toward 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. City police are trying to control the mobs and have pulled celebrating students from trees.

The Foggy Bottom Campus’ streets silenced as hundreds of students shifted east, chanting”U.S.A!” to welcome Obama’s next term. Car horns blared and screaming floods of people poured down the streets.

Some students carried American flags to the White House at about midnight. Becky Crowder | Senior Staff Photographer

Georgetown University students joined the scene at about midnight.

Students also swarmed the White House after Obama was elected to his first term in 2008.

- Colleen Murphy, Chloe Sorvino, Matthew Kwiecinski, Jordan Emont and Catherine Barnao contributed to this report.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Margaret Kahn.

To describe the room’s atmosphere in Busboys and Poets, D.C. resident John Turner pointed to a peace sign made of pebbles engrained in the floor.

“See this one pebble?” he said about a tiny white rock in the design. “That’s probably the Republican here.”

The crowd at Busboys and Poets sports mostly Barack Obama and Joe Biden pins, roaring with applause when each state is called for the president. All TVs are turned to MSNBC, with patrons crammed in between tables and booths for a view of the screen.

“[Busboys and Poets] is more progressive than Obama,” Turner said. “This is not your typical Democrat hangout. It is the epicenter of progressive and radical politics.”

When asked what would happen to him if Romney secures the presidency, Turner, who owns a green technology company, was bluntly pessimistic.

“The apocalypse is upon us. It is truly the end of time,” he said hypothetically describing a Romney win. “The Mayan calendar is right on schedule.”

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College Democrats and Republicans joust at a Marvin Center watch party Tuesday evening. Gabriella Demczuk | Senior Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writers Catherine Barnao and Cory Weinberg. 

A mix of nerves and cautious optimism has filtered throughout the about 350 students on the third floor of the Marvin Center as presidential election results roll in.

As east coast states begin to report their results, students from both sides of the aisle have planted inside neighboring rooms. Both groups are festive and filled buffet lines, with the College Democrats tuned to MSNBC and the College Republicans fixed on Fox News.

Poll closures in blue states like Connecticut and Massachusetts evoked raucous cheers from the College Democrats watch room, which filled every seat within 15 minutes of doors opening. They counted down the seconds until the clock struck 9 p.m., when 14 states’ polls closed.

The room is jammed from wall to wall, with students snapping photos in front of a Barack Obama cardboard cutout, and cheering when the president won small victories and booing when CNN projected Republicans would keep the House.

College Democrats enter their Marvin Center watch party. Becky Crowder | Senior Staff Photographer

Sophomore Alex Dolan said he’s “really optimistic” about an Obama victory, especially as counties reporting votes in Florida started to show a surprising lead for the president in the state.

Dolan added that only this week did he start to feel that “there’s no way [Obama] can lose.”

With Romney coming into tonight as an underdog, conservative students also are down in the numbers game. In a Hatchet poll last week, more than two-thirds of students backed Obama.

Colin Foster, a freshman majoring in political science, said the liberal campus makes it “fun to be an underdog.” He joked with his liberal friends earlier today that the countdown was “12 more hours” of Obama’s presidency.

Though he predicted a nail-baiting Romney victory, he said he’d still make the four-block sprint to the White House when the election is called, even if it’s late into the night.

“It’s a tradition and a memory,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a happy memory but as happy as it could be.”

Sophomore Spencer Gibbs, a sociology major who called himself socially liberal and fiscally conservative, sat in the Continental Ballroom watching predictably red states like Georgia and Kentucky go to Romney.

“In dire times, social issues take a backseat,” Gibbs said.

He said he wasn’t “overly optimistic” about a Romney win, but added “who knows if we’ll even have a clear winner tonight?”

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Economics professor Donald Parsons said he doubted Tuesday’s presidential election would have serious consequences for the U.S. economy. Ashley Lucas | Assistant Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Alyssa Bruns.

The economy has been at the heart of both presidential candidates’ campaigns this year,  but professor Donald Parsons argued Monday that the results of Election Day are unlikely to impact the U.S. economy.

In the first event held by the newly formed GW Undergraduate Economics Club, Parsons said he doubted the country will see serious change despite both candidates trying to paint the election as a choice between two opposing economic doctrines.

“It’s not going to matter very much when you wake up on Wednesday morning,” Parsons said.  “The fact is, there is a political equilibrium out there and it’s run by a lot of people with a lot of cash, and they buy politicians.”

Parsons, a labor economist, was wary of the lack of substance in each candidates’ campaign promises, like skimpy budget plans. He added that while he prefers Romney’s economic policies, he has followed the campaign with serious skepticism.

“The truth is, there is absolutely nothing either of these people say that you would want to take as any indication about what’s going to happen in the next year,” he said.

But Jay Shambaugh, an associate professor of economics and international affairs, held out hope.

The former chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, Shambaugh said he’s experienced firsthand how presidents hold sway over economic policies.

He served as one of the president’s lead economic advisers in the year after Congress passed a stimulus package that economists say helped spur the economy.

“I think there is some real distance between these candidates on economic policy issues,” Shambaugh said. “Well, I will say in my case, I do think that broadly, the president’s approach is a better approach.”

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With two weeks until election day, the country has warmed to the prospects of a Mitt Romney presidency.

Mitt Romney is gaining momentum with two weeks left until election day, outpolling Barack Obama 49 to 47 percent among likely voters in the latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll. Photo used under Creative Commons license

A POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll found Monday that Romney held an edge over Barack Obama for the first time since May – outpolling the president 49 percent to 47 percent among 1,000 likely voters nationwide.

Pollsters found the difference in the enthusiasm gap. Eighty-one percent of Republican voters said they were extremely likely to vote, compared to just 73 percent of Democrats.

“Romney has improved in national polls because of greater enthusiasm among Republicans and his large lead in the South,” Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster and president of Lake Research Partners, said in a release.

Likely voters in the bipartisan poll also gave Romney higher marks on most economic issues, like the federal budget, spending, the economy and jobs. Obama earned higher approval on issues like foreign policy, Medicare and standing up for the middle class.

About half the interviews with likely voters were held after the last presidential debate, showing a “slowing trend toward Romney,” said Chris Arterton, a professor of political management and lead professor the battleground poll.

“All indications are that we are headed into another very, very close election in a divided country,” Arterton said in the release.

The POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll, housed in the GW Global Media Institute, will release its latest findings each of the next two Mondays before election day Nov. 6.

Obama and Romney will square off on foreign policy in the final presidential debate Monday night in Boca Raton, Fla.

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