At this point in the presidential race, students like myself do not have time to sift through crooked statistics and tired rhetoric. We have enough of those things on our plate already, considering that we’re reviewing for midterms.
Romney and Obama could have saved us the trouble. Most of the students I spoke with at New York University, which I attend, were already informed about the policy issues addressed during the televised train wreck. And those who were undecided said that they were still thinking through both policies because the debate offered little to them.
“I thought both candidates did an excellent job at talking their way around some key issues,” John Facey, a junior studying creative writing, said.
The candidates were just picking on each other like boys in the school yard. One friend likened Jim Lehrer’s authority to that of a high school substitute teacher: only after the fifth warning did the kids eventually settle down.
And just like almost every American who watched the debate on Wednesday, the student voter population was left scratching their heads once Lehrer finally called it a night.
“I think most of us left more confused about their policies after the debate than we did before the debate,” one female student in my journalism class commented.
Another journalism student: “All that Big Bird nonsense on Twitter was just hyped because there were no other money quotes in the debate.”
Between the proposed Sesame Street cessation, the possibly imaginary five trillion dollar budget cut, and Obama’s freestyle closing statement—the debate was full of laughable moments, despite the fact that some of my fellow NYU colleagues may have found it a bit boring.
Romney had been waiting for this moment for six years, while Obama had been running the country. It was blatantly obvious that Obama just wanted to celebrate his anniversary with Michelle. Many of the students I spoke to tried to reason the POTUS’ lack of animation:
“The dude looked pretty tired. And I think he looked kind of dispassionate while Romney was really fired up and ready to go,” Griffin Simpson, a sophomore studying political science said. “I think if you look past that—if you look at their actual rhetoric and what they’re both saying—Obama even at his worst held his own.”
Of course, many of the student voter population’s concerns about the economy were confronted by both parties; but Obama could have definitely helped himself if he would have dedicated some of his lecture time to women’s rights or the 47%—both of which are domestic, vote-swaying issues. Romney could have benefitted by double-checking some of his facts.
It may have been today’s Nixon vs. Kennedy, but it definitely has not defined or decided the election.