The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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There you go again

Skillful debating can make or break a presidential candidate

Regardless of political preference, Ed Board thinks it’simportant for students to attend the “Rock theBoulevard” program today at 7:30 p.m.

The program is intended to motivate students to vote on Nov. 2and will feature the presidential debate, broadcast live from theUniversity of Miami.

Why is it important? In 1980, the Carter/Reagan debate decidedlyinfluenced the direction of the election in which Reagan won by alandslide. In 1988, Dukakis’ nonchalant reply to an importantquestion about his beloved wife doomed him in November. In 1992,Ross Perot jumped 15-20 percent in polls after the debate. Thatsame year, President George Bush glanced at his watch while waitingfor then-Governor Bill Clinton to finish speaking. In 2000, Gorerepeatedly sighed and made childish facial expressions whilewaiting for then-Governor George W. Bush to wrap up hisanswers.

In essence, the debate can make or break a candidate, dependingnot on what they say, but how they say it and how they act.

Sadly, these actions from years past will not reach TV viewers.The networks airing the debate will not use “cutaway”shots of the candidates waiting for their turn or of audiencereactions. However, this does not mean the candidates won’tact in a childish manner. Remember, even though the”cutaways” won’t air, it doesn’t mean thenetworks won’t be watching for a potential story.

Ed Board encourages students to watch this debate with care.After the Republican National Convention in NYC, Bush got asignificant bounce in national polls, while Kerry’s bouncewas comparably minimal after the Democratic National Convention inJuly.

The candidates will discuss a wide array of issues, includinghealthcare, tax cuts, foreign policy, national security and, ofcourse, the war in Iraq. But what do these issues have to do withcollege students? While some of the issues may not seem importantright now, they will affect you more than you think, especially ifyou’re graduating soon.

And just to clarify, when we say it is important for students toattend “Rock the Boulevard,” we mean actually watchingthe debate and taking note of the candidate’s mannerisms aswell as their answers and explanations. As college students, weunderstand the temptation to go strictly for the free food, drinksand T-shirts. For once, please resist the urge to eat and run. ComeNovember, it’s up to you to elect the next President of theUnited States. You need to be informed to make a good decision.

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