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

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CCPA concludes debate watching party

As the presidential candidates made their final appeals to the American public on Wednesday night, SMU students gathered in O’Donnel Hall for the conclusion of the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs program’s series of debate watching parties.

As usual, speech and debate team directors, Professors Ben Voth and Chris Salinas provided an analysis of what to expect from candidates during the debate. Both professors agreed that this debate, since it is the last, would most likely be the least anticipated, and therefore the least viewed. Salinas referenced a Dallas Morning News article when he noted that in order for McCain to win, he should scare the public. Warning them that, “things will get worse before they get better,” and, “they need someone with experience and can’t take a chance on Obama.” Despite different rhetorical strategies, the professors agreed that each candidate must distance himself from negative associations: Obama from William Ayers and McCain from President Bush.

When asked what they thought would be the primary debate topics aside from the economy, Voth mused that rather than asking direct economic questions, Schieffer would dance around the issue with inquiries into banks, homeowners, and mortgages. Salinas then added that healthcare, energy policies and the environment would be prominent issues.

Despite an attendance of around sixty people, this debate had the least audience involvement. Previously, students cheered every time their candidate gave a witty, insightful remark. This time, however, the only interaction came from a student in the front row who clapped when McCain told Obama, “If you had wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”

Rather than the usual debate-about-the-debate format, Salinas led the audience in a discussion that focused on individuals’ opinions of the candidates, where one of the four undecided students observed, “I’m not excited about either candidate.”

Although the proceedings were somewhat different for this final debate watching party, the conclusion remained the same: the students voted and, as always, McCain won.

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