The House of Representatives as seen on Dec. 18, 2020.

The House of Representatives as seen on Dec. 18, 2020.

Daily Point

Dates for the State of the Union 

As Washington readies for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, some of Long Island’s representatives in D.C. will make statements of their own, showing who they are (or how they want to be seen) by whom they invite to attend the speech with them. 

Each member of Congress is allowed to bring one guest. 

In the Senate: 

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s guest is Jonathan Fisher, 6, a Bronx native, who suffers from a seizure disorder and chronic lung disease.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand’s guest is labor activist Hacheler Cyrille, who was fired from her job at Kennedy Airport while she was pregnant.

In the House of Representatives:

  • 1st District Rep. Lee Zeldin’s guest is 95-year-old World War II veteran William Schlosser, of East Patchogue, whose exploits in Europe for the U.S. Army included landing at Normandy the day after D-Day and fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.
  • 2nd District Rep. Thomas Suozzi’s guest is Linda Beigel Shulman, of Dix Hills, whose son, Scott Beigel, a Dix Hills-raised geography teacher and cross country coach, was one of 17 people killed in the Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
  • 3rd District Rep. Pete King, who will be attending his last State of the Union as he isn’t running for reelection in the fall, is bringing his grandson, Jack, 15. Jack’s mom, Erin King Sweeney, who served on the Hempstead Town board until she moved to North Carolina last year, said that she was going to be her dad’s guest, “But Jack begged me to go,” King Sweeney told The Point, adding that her son “will probably be the only red-headed 15-year-old in the chamber.” King, meanwhile, said he expects his grandson will “get a lot out of” the experience. “Jack has a more promising future than Erin does,” King said with a laugh. 

Fourth District Rep. Kathleen Rice is not taking a guest.

—Lane Filler and Randi F. Marshall @lanefiller and @RandiMarshall

Talking Point

Now hiring for higher ed

Want a job as a college president? Come to Long Island! 

Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz’s recent retirement announcement means Long Island will have at least four simultaneous presidential searches at local colleges and universities. 

While Rabinowitz, who will have served as Hofstra’s president for two decades, won’t leave until next year, Hofstra plans to start its search immediately.

Hofstra joins Stony Brook University, Suffolk County Community College, and SUNY Old Westbury in looking for a new president. Combined, the schools serve a total of more than 68,000 students.

All four schools are at various stages of their searches. Due to their varying sizes and focuses, they likely look at different candidate pools. Stony Brook is down to about a dozen candidates, and its search committee started holding interviews last week, a process that could continue into mid-February. And Suffolk County Community College has posted its search and is gathering candidates. 

SUNY Old Westbury, however, is only at the start of its presidential search process, one that was delayed because the school didn’t have a chair of its College Council and search committee. As a result, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III has put off his departure, and is continuing to lead the school, a spokesman told The Point. 

But the transitions at the top of higher-education institutions don’t stop there. Molloy College just appointed a new president – James Lentini, who comes to Long Island from Oakland University in Michigan and will start in July. And Nassau Community College’s new president, Jermaine Williams, began his tenure in July.

While the schools are different in many ways, Rabinowitz told The Point that there are also similar needs and interests that will continue even after the leadership turnover is done.

“There was always a feeling of cooperation on issues that are common to higher ed, where nobody was competing. We were all trying to make our institutions better,” he said. 

As for the new crop of presidents, Rabinowitz added: “It will take time for them to get to know each other, to get to know the groundwork, but they can do that, too.”

—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Don't panic

Tom Stiglich

Tom Stiglich

For more cartoons, visit

Final Point

The Point hits the road

The Point is heading to New Hampshire, as the 2020 Democratic hopefuls change venues for the season’s first primary. 

We’ll be moving among the candidates and reporting back here and on, trying to get a sense of who will have the strength to make it to the New York primary and beyond. 

New Hampshire is a unique venue in American politics, the kind of place where if you’re a state senator and it’s your birthday, you can expect to get a few calls from thirsty candidates, says one New Hampshire Democratic strategist. 

But here’s another truism that may have more impact on the results next week: candidates from neighboring states tend to do well in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. 

Winners include John Kerry in 2004, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Paul Tsongas over Bill Clinton in 1992. Massachusetts legend Sen. Ted Kennedy came in second in 1980, but that was against sitting president Jimmy Carter. 

This bodes well for Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren of Vermont and Massachusetts, respectively. They have strong ties to the Granite State already — Sanders has regularly spoken at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO’s Labor Day breakfast, and Warren has campaigned for NH candidates across her border. And the media market bleed-over from Boston and Burlington means that voters hear about them when they turn on their TVs. 

Then there’s the fact that neighboring candidates can mobilize their supporters at home to come over for a day to knock on doors. 

“The next-door neighbors have a phenomenal advantage in the final week,” says former U.S. Ambassador Terry Shumaker, a co-chair of Bill Clinton’s NH campaigns and current supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden. 

That all may be a point in the progressives’ favor, though it’s unclear how much it lifts former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who’s a local but also a low-polling late entry into the race. 

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano


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