With the recent CNN sponsored Democratic Presidential Debate held here on campus, the visit of Republican Congressman Ron Paul on the South Mall, as well as the coming visit of former President Bill Clinton tomorrow in front of the tower, UT students have had the extraordinary opportunity to experience the presidential race on a personal level.
No matter what party you pledge your allegiance, it was clear that the debate on campus was historic for Texas and UT. With the incredibly close race run by Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Texas has become a key player for the upcoming nominations. Although only a select few students out of 50,000 were able to attend the actual debate, it was an honor to see our campus host this event.
Business Senior and Texas Parents Most Outstanding Student for 2007, Dustin Deas, witnessed the debate live.
The debate was an amazing experience because students were able to see two of the most prominent presidential candidates talk about the countrys issues and their ability to be the next president.
Deas did not believe there was a clear winner necessarily, but that both spoke about the pertinent issues that are key for the future of America and foreign relations.
They both had great points about healthcare, the economy, and the war in Iraq. I would have loved for them to talk a little bit more about education reform since they were on a college campus. Overall the debate was an experience that most students would only have had the opportunity to see on the UT campus and it was very well worth it.
I was a few people away from getting into the debate watch party at the Union before they ran out of bracelets. Lacking enough room for students to participate is in a strange way an inspiring problem. It demonstrates the fervor that students have to participate in their government.
Not only are students and many young people energized by this presidential race, but people from around the world are watching. While standing in line I met Julia, a wonderful exchange student from Germany. She and her friends were excited and interested in what our potential leaders had to say. I found this very striking and powerful. Here was this graduate physics student from Germany waiting in line just as anxious and curious as I. It was at once flattering and amazing. We cannot underestimate the power of this election and the power of our vote.
A yearning for our country to reconstruct the honorable and just American image and ideal shattered by war and conflict has catapulted us into an exciting and passionate presidential race. Expectations of Americans ride high for the next Commander-in-Chief. The rope the economy walks raises higher each day, tuition costs and loans are strangling young aspiring students, families are being torn apart at the seams of a map, and each day across the ocean men and women are falling. America, Americans, and the rest of the world deserves better.
Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak tomorrow Wed. Feb. 26th at 5:30 p.m. on the Main Mall.
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