VP debate must probe candidates deeper

| Staff Columnists

It is officially debate season. While debate fever may be running high, the usual partisan behavior is not as visible. This election season, many college students seem to be on the fence about even being interested in the political changes of 2008. To many, the candidates do not reflect students’ ideals, or don’t have the charisma to capture the attention of the American public.

If anyone watched the presidential candidate debates last Friday, the debate seemed lackluster and boring. Obama didn’t seem to believe in what he said and McCain didn’t say the right things at the right time. Obama and McCain both seem to be afraid of taking strong stances. Yes, they might have taken firm positions about issues, but when questioned deeper, they seemed unsure whether they would keep that position after becoming president. Because of this, some Democrats and Republicans are having problems gravitating toward their party leaders.

The American public will get a better viewpoint of each prospective administration by watching the VP debate than it has in any previous election. In previous elections, candidates were partisan. The candidates were able to sustain strong positions on most topics (except Sen. Kerry), which kept a healthy debate raging until the end. However, this election season has seen divided opinions on both sides of the aisle.

During the VP debate, I hope the questions will force the candidates to move past reciting memorized rhetoric and speak as truthfully as they can. With any luck, they will stutter, fumble and break some party lines, but as long as I get to see how they would influence their president, I don’t mind. Some straight-forward questions need to be asked regarding the recent “Bailout” plans created by Washington, why or why not they would give a date for withdrawal of troops in the Middle East and exactly what they would do to improve the American economy.

In the end, much of the American public is tired of the dispirited conflict between the two parties trying to gain more leverage in Washington. What people want is for the candidates to shape up and tackle real issues and not toy with “popular” hot-button issues that only seem to affect us and other Americans. For example, with major banks and financial institutions crumbling, the economy is deteriorating at an unhealthy rate. As college students, we are superficially shielded from the financial crisis, but we will be affected as soon we step into the job market.

Hopefully, we will be hosting a lively debate that forces the VP candidates to speak candidly. This is an important election, as many issues that will decide the future of this great nation are at stake.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe