The Johnson Center Atrium was full Thursday night as students closely watched the live vice-presidential debate. Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska crossed swords on issues such as the economy, international affairs, the role of the vice president and their readiness to lead.
Going into the debate, both candidates needed to overcome negative public perceptions. The bar had been set low for Palin due to recent interview gaffs and Biden needed to overcome an image of being condescending and rash.
“I expected Palin to make an a** of herself and she delivered,” sophomore Nicole MacCracken said.
Josh St. Louis, the second vice-chair of the College Republicans, agreed that Palin’s abilities had been in question. “I was really nervous coming into this debate especially because of the recent ABC, CBS interviews and the fact that Joe Biden is a beast.” But immediately after closing statements were made, St. Louis said, “I saw two things. . .Vice President Palin and Citizen Biden.”
During the debate, the crowed of almost 200, commented constantly on the debating politicians, cheering and clapping when agreeable comments where made. “I’m definitely reassured that John McCain made the right decision in picking her. You can tell by her closing remarks where she quoted Ronald Reagan, she’s ready to lead,” said freshman Vinny Prinzivalli.
Whether students liked or disliked Palin, after the debate most discussions revolved around her. “Honestly, I had a hard time focusing on [Biden] anytime [Palin] was on the screen,” said Tierney Kaine, a senior English major and Mason Votes official Blogger.
This was the first and only vice-presidential debate. The next presidential debate will be next Tuesday, Oct. 7.