The first presidential debate between Senator’s Barack Obama and John McCain commenced on Friday with the financially unsound economy, education and the protracted war in Iraq garnering the majority of the debate among the candidates, as well as from the audience who watched from home and posted their reactions on Twitter, a social networking and microblogging service.
College students have a large stake in this particular election for many important reasons and therefore, some watched the debate closely to gauge the candidate’s responses to the essential questions. For example, the troubled economy and the education system personally affect the 18-22 year-old age group on a daily basis, whether it’s the distressing worry of a crumbling job market after graduation or the increase of college tuition and the availability or lack there of student loans.
Kletourno who was watching the debate with some friends said “Two of my friends just joined me, Mike and Heidi, and they say ‘amen’ to education as a priority.” KylieJelley, watching the contest live, expressed her own concern with the burgeoning economic crisis. “With the economy continuing like it is, we will have to invest in education,” she said. Education was also spoken about in other underlying topics, such as the now failed government bailout package.
When McCain was asked a question by the moderator concerning the proposed $700 billion government bailout, and what programs he would have to cut out if he were president to help pay for it, McCain verbally maneuvered a bit and then mentioned a “spending freeze.” Erin, a viewer watching with Adampaul33 liked Obama’s response which including an analogy of McCain’s “spending freeze,” and the futile successes it would yield. Adampaul33 said “Erin likes Obama’s analogy on a spending freeze-‘like using a hatchet instead of a scalpel.”
Elreynolds watched the debate with her roommates who were still concentrating on education even as the candidates had moved on to another topic. “Brian thinks that the [education] system is too flawed to ever fix,” said elreynolds.
Another reason that this debate and election have attracted a close eye from the “Millennial” generation is the war in Iraq. Many young people have friends overseas who are fighting in combat situations, and who are risking their lives daily.
One related topic concerning Iraq that the viewers and Barack Obama discussed quite fervently was the question of “Should we have ever gone to Iraq.” Edoody101 said “Whether or not Obama liked the way we entered Iraq, it does not matter since we are there.” “I’m not a huge McCain fan, but I like that he’s looking forward…let’s stop talking about ‘should we have entered Iraq,’” said ereed8. “My friend just got back from Iraq this week…timing is pretty good,” she added.
Foreign policy goes hand in hand with the war, and benjaminswill noticed a tacit tactic employed by McCain during the debate. “McCain is certainly playing up his foreign policy experience,” he said.
Hard issues aside, the viewers also found some humor in watching the candidates. One such instance was the facts that it seemed the Senator’s were blinking excessively during the televised contest. “Ya they’re both blinkers. I guess I can’t use that as the deciding factor in whom I’m going to vote for,” said kletourno.
The debate ended and the audience remarked on the serious stature each candidate displayed throughout and the upcoming debate between Governor Sarah Palin, Joe Biden. “Biden will just overwhelm Governor Palin with his verbiage,” said Ashley_Coulombe.
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