Americans tuned in to the first of three presidential debates on Oct. 3. The College community weighed in on this past debate as it proved to be the most talked about topic come Thursday morning.
The first, 1-1/2-hour debate, included just six questions. Moderated by Jim Lehrer, of PBS Newshour, his questions” mainly focused” on the economy, health care, governing, and the role of government. A debate which featured an “Intense” presidential candidate Mitt Romney and “Out of form” President Barrack Obama as described by Ammerman campus counseling specialist Malika Batchie-Lockhart, left supporters of both sides with something to cheer and jeer about. There was an “aggressive winner” Lockhart proclaimed as she ran a vote-to-register booth in the lobby of the Babylon Student Center. Given her position running the booth she could not name her debate winner, but there was a clear understanding that Obama “Was not at his best” and that Romney had something to smile about.
Also at the booth was student and Liberal Arts major Javier Pagan who would describe the debate as a “Cat fight”. Pagansaid being a student allowed him to relay his endorsement for President Obama along with his disappointment over what he felt was a “lost debate” by the president. Sitting alongside the two was Taylor Lewis a Criminal Justice major who found that the debate was not the big “game changer” the morning news ran it to be.
As the morning news conglomerates ran their spins on who won the debate, one thing was clear: “Americans tuned in.” According to Rentrak (the leader in multi-screen media measurement serving the advertising, television and entertainment industries) 49,149,440 households tuned in for at least 1 minute throughout the broadcast.
“Everyone is talking about them (the debates) and I missed out,” said Claire Maddox, a liberal arts major who expressed disappointment in herself for failing to watch the debate. Though Maddox would proclaim she “will definitely watch the next debate,”
Lockhart would also bring into light the coverage of issues as being “poor”. Lockhart accredited this to a less than outstanding job by moderator Jim Lehrer. “Not enough domestic policy…nothing even on women’s rights. The debate lacked passion, direction, and needed more issues covered,” Batchie-Lockhart said.
This would be a sentiment expressed by many as those who tuned in like Alex West an accounting major viewed the format of the debate to be “messy” and “disorganized.”
“The moderator failed, he had no contro,l” said West as he explained his disapproval of moderator Jim Lehrer. Eddie Stevens a computer science major chimed in by saying that he felt “Romney may have won, but he did so by lying his a** off.”
There is no denying Romney had a night to remember, but as fact checkers like Politifact and Politico go through the statements and allegations made one thing can be made clear, based off the fact checks Romney may have his lies catch up to him.
President Obama who had a night to forget was dealt blows from all around.
“It was one of the most inept performances by an incumbent president that I’ve ever seen,” said TIME Magazine columnist Joe Klein. MSNBC reporter Chris Matthews agreed.
“I don’t know what he (President Obama) was doing out there….he had his head down. He was enduring the debate rather than fighting it,” said Matthews on the air after the debate.
As more and more faculty, students and pundits gave their opinions and made their responses heard, a common ground was found on the debate; Obama was not as aggressive as Romney and that the moderator failed to deliver as a moderator should. Yet as the 2012 presidential race enters its final stride we look upon these debates either to gain new perspective on why we should vote for a certain candidate or be reassured why we are voting for who we are. This debate was tuned into nationwide and with the vice presidential debate Oct. 11, we can be sure to find another nationwide audience and a College community ready to weigh in.