NBC/MSNBC News’ Steve Kornacki Discusses Presidential Politics at Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership Event

In March 2022, people across the country took notice of the Peacocks when the men’s basketball team made a historic and remarkable run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. While some fans were completely new to Peacock Nation, some supporters were faithful over the years. One example is National Political Correspondent for NBC News/MSNBC Steve Kornacki. 

Kornacki proudly wore his Saint Peter’s hoodie on air on the TODAY Show when he covered the Sweet 16 teams. He shared that he got his Peacocks gear before the team’s March Madness run. 

Perhaps it was this affinity for Saint Peter’s that motivated him to accept an invitation to speak on campus this month. 

Ginger Gold Schnitzer, executive director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership, was interested in developing a program that would shake things up and get students motivated to participate in a primary election. 

The Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership at Saint Peter’s University was established in 1994 to be a forum for the thoughtful discussion and analysis of key public policy issues, be a bridge between classroom learning and real world politics, and to promote civic engagement. 

“The presidential primary season is a great opportunity to focus on voter education and participation,” explained Schnitzer. “I believe that many of our students don’t yet feel part of this important season in our national politics. In my mind, there was no one better than Steve Kornacki to excite and encourage them.” 

Schnitzer was thrilled when he accepted the invitation. “I knew his energy and engaging style was exactly what we needed to heighten our campus’ interest in, and understanding of, the presidential primary season.”

Schnitzer’s intuition was right! The event was extremely well-attended with an engaged audience of students, faculty, administrators, local media and community members. 

The Saint Peter’s Tribune covered the content of his talk in great detail, particularly Kornacki’s focus on polling data that has been observed this election season. 

Before Kornacki left campus, the Saint Peter’s community sent Kornacki on his way with an Elite Eight basketball, a brand new Saint Peter’s hoodie and an open invitation to come back to campus anytime.   

Pictured from left: Ginger Gold Schnitzer, J.D., executive director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership; Cameron Harty, senior associate director of athletics for facilities, operations and recreational life; Katie Arcuri, director of athletics; Steve Kornacki; Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University; and Pete the Peacock. (Photo credit: A.H. Mirza)


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