Morning Wood: UMass President Marty Meehan launches 2020 campaign

The candidate of the students



University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan announced Friday that he is running for President of the United States, launching his bid for the Democratic nomination.

Meehan served as a congressman from 1993 to 2007, has already pledged to divest from fossil fuels, but was ambivalent about most positions during his press conference, saying he really wanted to “talk to the people” before making any solid decisions.

“Working at the University, especially on the Amherst campus, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be an American. UMass Amherst is a microcosm of what America should be: opportunities for middle-class families, over-the-top exceptionalism and a growing underground of white supremacy,” Meehan said.

Over the next 18 months, Meehan plans to exclusively campaign on the various UMass campuses, with the exception of the Boston campus. Democratic political analyst Don Keigh called the move “risky” but “bold.”

“Some people might say not visiting Michigan and Wisconsin is just giving Trump the election,” Keigh said. “But I’m a firm believer that the past is the past.”

“I’m going after that student vote,” Meehan said.

Meehan’s campaign combines the issues of national debt with education, with an ambitious plan to increase recruitment of international students at extremely high tuition rates.

“Local private colleges are facing an existential threat,” Meehan said. “And that existential threat’s name is Martin Thomas Meehan.”

Inspired by his 2018 acquisition of the defunct Mount Ida College, Meehan plans to absorb all failing private colleges in the United States and convert them into profitable micro-colleges offering no financial aid at all.

Repeatedly referencing his campaign slogan, “A candidate for the students,” Meehan expanded on his campaign platform in an hour-long speech attended mostly by students looking for the free food.

“My first move in office would be relocating the nation’s capital. Did you know that Washington, D.C. was originally a swamp? It still is,” he laughed.

The ideal U.S. capital, Meehan said, was Amherst, Mass., because congressional officials would find it so difficult to get to Boston for an airport that “they would actually stay and do their jobs.”

In Amherst, all state dinners would be catered by UMass Dining, a move to avoid embarrassing scandals like when incumbent President Donald Trump served fast food to visiting athletes.

UMass political science junior Al Coholic said he looked forward to volunteering on Meehan’s campaign, as it would be the “ultimate power rush.”

“As a political science major, I start every Tinder date by declaring my support for an obscure candidate and ranting about how people who support mainstream candidates are the reason Trump won,” Coholic said. “Having someone as irrelevant and obscure as Meehan is perfect.”

Coming from a high-pressure career in education, Meehan feels the most prepared out of all the Democratic candidates to combat issues facing the country.

“After more than a decade of dealing with sit-ins in my workplace and student government officials harassing me at meetings with the Board of Trustees, ISIS will be a cakewalk,” Meehan said.

A youthful 62 years old, Meehan believes that he will show more vigor on the campaign trail than the elder statesmen and women he is running against.

“I have the utmost respect for Senator Elizabeth Warren, but she’s 69 years old. [Former Vice President] Joe Biden is 76 and [Senator] Bernie [Sanders] is practically half-dead at 77. Presidential races are a young man’s game, and I’m fit and spry and ready for action.”

At the same time, Meehan said a candidate must be “old enough to know” what is best for the country, an opinion which eliminates candidates like South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (37) and former Representative Beto O’Rourke (46).

“We don’t want someone in Washington, D.C. who’s going to break the law everywhere he goes and undermine the American democracy,” Meehan said. “We deserve a bureaucrat who’s willing to follow the rules, listen to our problems and do the bare minimum in response!”

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