Thursday, July 21, 2011

From Congress to My Classroom: Zack Space

One of the perks of my job is that from time to time I get to have some great guest speakers come talk to my classes. Today was no exception. Former U.S. Representative Zack Space (D-OH) drove up from Dover to visit both my American Congress and American Presidency classes. Space was elected in Ohio's 18th CD in the wake of the scandal that embroiled Bob Ney, the six term Republican member of that district. The 2006 wave carried Space and several freshman Ohio Democrats into Congress where he eventually landed a spot on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Space's talk today included such topics as the current debt-ceiling fight, civility or lack thereof in Congress, and some of the tough votes he had to cast including health care and the cap and trade bill. One of 54 members of the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, he was frequently caught in the middle on many policy issues. Space served two terms and was defeated by Bob Gibbs in 2010. Of course, 2010 was a tough year for Dems, but especially for Blue Dogs as the herd was thinned by over half .

If the students were grading Zack Space, he'd get an "A" as he was funny, knowledgeable, and forthright. I hope he agrees to come back in the future.

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