Jesse Wegman makes a case for abolishing the Electoral College — and for picking the window seat

Jesse Wegman and his older daughter at a pond in Wellfleet.
Jesse Wegman and his older daughter at a pond in Wellfleet.

Jesse Wegman may call Brooklyn home, but when he wants to get away from it all, the Massachusetts native cannot wait to get to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. The former Newton resident is a member of The New York Times editorial board and writes about the Supreme Court and legal issues. The 46-year-old also just published his first book, “Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College.” Wegman will discuss the book and the Electoral College versus popular vote debate at a Kennedy Library (virtual) Forum on May 27. “The Electoral College wasn’t created for the reasons people think it was, and it doesn’t do the things that people think it does today. It actually violates the ideals of one person, one vote, and majority rule, because it doesn’t treat those equally and it lets the person who wins fewer votes become president,” he said. “It also ends up essentially erasing 80 percent of American voters every four years because they don’t live in battleground states, which are the only states that matter to the candidates of both political parties because of the way the Electoral College functions.” We caught up with Wegman, who lives with his wife and two daughters, who are 6 and 3, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination?


Wellfleet. The ponds, the ponds, the ponds.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing?

Grilled striper and fresh corn. Two summers ago, a friend staying with us took a charter fishing boat out of Provincetown, got caught in a wild afternoon thunderstorm, and somehow still managed to catch a 10-pound striper, which he brought back and we grilled that night. The best fish I've ever had.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?

Iceland. My wife made me say this one. I promised her as soon as the world turns right side up, we’ll go.


One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?

A book — any book — by Charles Dickens. I don’t even necessarily read it. I just want it there beside my bed.

Aisle or window?

Window. I'm tall so really I should choose the aisle, but I'm also mildly afraid of flying, and I know that as long as I stare out the window at the ground, I keep the plane from crashing.

Favorite childhood travel memory?

Sitting on the back porch of a tiny cabin in Menemsha, on Martha's Vineyard, watching my dad eat a bucket full of clams and helping him throw the shells into the marsh below.

Guilty pleasure when traveling?

I don't mean this as a cop-out, but the fact that I get to go on vacation at all, in the company of the people I love. When I'm traveling alone? Cinnabon.

Best travel tip?

Always wipe down the tray table.