A leader planning for his time
Hubbard graduate eyes political career
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of a series of Saturday profiles of area residents and their stories. To suggest a profile, contact features editor Burton Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HUBBARD — Mark this down on your calendar: 19-year- old Zachary Resater of Hubbard will win a resounding victory in his run for the presidency in 2036. File this under “self-fulfilling prophecies.”
“It was the musical play, ‘Hamilton,’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda that sparked my interest in politics,” Resater recalled. “I’m a big arts person. The play prompted me to study Hamilton’s works, biographies of James Madison and George Washington, and the Federalist Papers. I learned why these three men defended the constitution and why they thought this was how America should be run.”
Born Feb, 6, 2000, Resater attended Hubbard Elementary, Reed Middle School (now Hubbard Middle School) and Hubbard High School. His mother is the Hubbard High secretary and his father is a P.E. teacher at East High School
Resater is now a B.A. student at Ohio’s Miami University majoring in political science. This semester, he is living in Washington, D.C., as a student in The Fund for American Studies Capital Semester on Leadership and the American Presidency, in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Institute.
This is a key part of his game plan. Along with 14 other students from around the world, Resater is studying politics, economics and leadership while also serving as an intern at the D.C. think tank Civic Nation.
“I thought about law school but decided instead to get right into the political sphere,” Resater said. “Here in D.C., I’ve made a lot of great connections who can help kickstart my political career. My main goal is to run for political office, to hold a seat here in Washington, D.C., and to represent the people of my district. As soon as I get my B.A., I’m ready to jump in. I would love to run for Congress in 2025, a Senate seat at 30, and then run for president at 35.”
Ironically, the founding fathers who inspired Resater to aim for this lofty goal would probably frown upon it.
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were quite vocal in their opposition to a permanent political class. George Washington thought of himself as a land surveyor, farmer, and soldier–not a politician. He instinctively felt that changes in leadership were essential to a vibrant, democratic republic. The framers of the Constitution abhorred the very notion of a “career politician.”
Nevertheless, Resater believes he has the right stuff for it.
“I am a proven leader at 19. Some people will say I am inexperienced, which could be true. But in anything that I’ve done, I’ve always been held up as the leader. A couple of weeks ago in class, for example, I was chosen as the class leader. I was team captain of my sports teams at Hubbard High. I was the president of the class. My leadership abilities, my charisma, my public speaking ability, and my ability to relate to people … will resonate.
“We just had an award ceremony here, and I had to give a speech in front of 300, relative strangers–presidents of universities, some big-name people. Tim Acosta from CNN was there. Everyone told me that I had great stage presence.’
In this respect, Resater is much like Bill Clinton. At the age of 16, while attending the American Legion Boys Nation, Clinton shook hands with President John F. Kennedy in the Rose Garden of the White House. “It was that handshake that inspired my life of public service.,” he later said.
Like Clinton, Resater is a Democrat. “I am not going to vote Democrat simply because I’m a party voter. I like to analyze the candidates’ policies and the people themselves before I make my decision. I agree with most of the Democratic Party policies and platform, but I consider myself a moderate.”
As a member of Generation Z, Resater feels that his older millennial friends get a bad rap. “People think millennials are lazy and don’t care about the issues that were important to older generations. But I think it’s quite the contrary. There is always going to be a generation gap, which isn’t a bad thing. Some people think they do things better than other people and that’s how the generation gap goes. My Gen Z friends learn from the way things were done by baby boomers and millennials. I think we’re going to take what they have done and make it even more advanced.”
How does Resater feel about those who say that career politicians who have never had to make a payroll or turn a profit are not qualified to lead the nation?
“I was a business student for the first semester of college,” he responded. “I left because I felt my true calling was politics. No one has all the answers. If you think you have all the answers, you’re wrong. Knowledge is the key to becoming a good politician. You surround yourself with knowledgeable people who know the answers. You bring them onto your team. You don’t try to be Mr. Superhero and try to do it all yourself. Presidents have cabinets. Members of Congress have teams of advisors who understand the problems that they may not understand themselves.
“The key to becoming a successful politician is knowing you don’t know everything.”