Ray Suarez packs ballroom

By Matt Day

Kagin’s Hill Ballroom was a full house last Thursday night when broadcast journalist Ray Suarez spoke about his new book, “The Holy Vote,” addressing an audience made up almost exclusively of Saint Paul community members.
Suarez, who has degrees from New York University and the University of Chicago, has worked for institutions such as CNN, ABC, CBS, and National Public Radio. He currently is a senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Suarez’s book, which was published two months before the midterm elections of 2006, notes the transition religion has undergone in American political life.
“Religion and politics,” Suarez said, “have gone from being social unmentionables to something we talk about at the drop of a hat.”

He read from a prepared speech which touched on his personal and professional experience, historical anecdotes, and humor, bringing the crowd to laughter on several occasions.

Suarez spoke for about fifty minutes, after which he took questions from the audience. Two Macalester students took the microphone to ask questions.
Macalester has hosted journalists like Suarez since 1996 as part of the Broadcast Journalist Series, cosponsored with Minnesota Public Radio.
The speech and following questions were recorded and replayed last Friday on Minnesota Public Radio.