Word Count: 522
Edited by: Tiffani Haynes
The first presidential debate of the year between the two running mates occurred Friday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. Yet, before the debate even aired there was controversy. Republican nominee, John McCain wanted to hold off on the debate to discuss the bailout for Wall Street. The scheduled topics for the debate were foreign policy and the economy.
While Democratic nominee Barack Obama expressed that McCain would pick up where Bush left off, McCain played on Obama’s lack of experience in Washington. Most people who watched the debate could not say for certain who won. Twenty-one-year-old Malcolm King, an English arts major was unsure if McCain was prepared for the debate.
“McCain would be a little less prepared than he was, but he had a lot of information and statistics,” King said.
He also mentioned that he was impressed by Obama he was “brilliant because he never lost his cool,” even when McCain talked about his inexperience. After the debate, King felt that Obama won but admitted that the Republican had presented himself well.
“McCain had many opportunities to show his side,” King said.
Ayanna Dean, a 21-year-old criminology/criminal justice major at the University of Maryland in College Park, didn’t even think that there would be a debate with McCain trying to delay the meeting.
“I really wanted him not to show up, but he knew he couldn’t do that,” Dean said.
She went on to say that there were so many people who paid good money to see the two candidates square off and he might have lost supporters if he didn’t show.
Some people who are avid Obama supporters felt a sense of respect for McCain after the debate, but this came with a lack of respect also.
“McCain held his own and used his age as an advantage rather than a disadvantage,” said twenty-three-year-old Margel Overton, a jazz piano performance major at the University of the Arts.
Overton went on to say that McCain had some good points about foreign policy, but he is “out of touch with American citizens,” while Obama comes across as, “caring for the real people of America.”
Both Dean and Overton felt that McCain should have chosen another running mate for his vice president because Gov. Sarah Palin was not the best candidate for the position. Dean refers to the fact that Bush made a law against teaching sexual education in school and Palin’s teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock.
“If Obama’s daughter was pregnant, he would be disqualified from being voted in as the President of the United States,” Dean said.
According to the Associated Press, shortly after the debate there was a draw, but other polls suggested that Obama won the debate. Regardless of the polls, both candidates faired well in the debate against one another. If people were using this debate to decide on their candidate, they may have to watch more than just one to make up their minds. Many thought that McCain would come unprepared, but this was simply not the case. The vice presidential debates with Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are next on Thursday, Oct. 2.