Hey politicos, excited for tonight’s presidential debate? Concerned about the future of America? Aware of the huge debate viewing party taking place in Richardson Auditorium with commentary from Anne-Marie Slaughter?
Too swamped with problem sets and midterms to attend?
We at UPC have got your back – tonight we’ve embedded ourselves on both red and blue sides of Richardson Auditorium, and we’ll be liveblogging not just the presidential debate, but Princeton’s live reactions too. We’re on standby for campus verbatim too, so if you’ve got any witty jokes, fact-checking action, overheard commentary or Big Bird jokes, send them our way! Email email@example.com, tweet @UnivPressClub, or post ‘em in the comments. Show us what you’ve got, Princeton.
Zach Beecher ’13 introduces campus fave Anne-Marie Slaughter. She’s sitting on the Democrats’ side of the auditorium, but chose to dress in classy neutral (black) instead of red or blue tonight. Cheers for her from both sides.
AMS says we’re likely to hear questions pointed at specific foreign policy issues tonight – when are we getting out of Afghanistan? How much support will we show for Israel? What about Iran? Romney and Obama actually don’t disagree dramatically on these questions, Slaughter says. “On the specifics, you’re not likely to hear a big difference.”
AMS gives bipartisan credit for effective anti-terrorism policy. “I think we can ask Americans on this, ‘How do you feel? Do you feel safer 4 years ago than 10 years ago? I think the answer’s going to be yes.”
AMS on Clinton’s apology: “She was right to say that and frankly that’s the woman I work for. She had to step up and own it…but president can’t hide behind secretary of state. It would surprise me and be a bad political move to say, ‘Oh yeah, that was Hillary’s fault.’”
Second speaker! AMS wraps up with a shout-out to Hillary Clinton (“She’ll step up and own it”) and final point that there won’t be a huge axis of difference between Obama and Romney, but that Barack will offer a solid debate. Now we’ve got politics and international affairs professor John Londregan on stage. He wasn’t too fond of Romney’s 47% comments or of the left’s depiction of Republicans as “clinging to their guns,” he says. What solution does he offer for those who aren’t huge fans of either candidate this year?
“I am hopeful that in 2024 or 30, in some years, two of you will be competing candidates!” High hopes…
Oh, some commentary on the actual scene here: full house! American flags hanging from the balcony, red and blue balloon arches at the from doors of Richardson, CARDBOARD CUTOUTS of Michelle and Barack for photo ops (was there a Romney one on the other side? I didn’t see) and free foam fingers! There’s a pretty visible chunk of kids wearing red or blue in the front rows, but everyone else behind looks more neutral. In terms of dress, at least. We’ll see how the audience vibe goes when the actual debate starts.
The second speaker is talking for a long time. People are getting antsy… overheard from the Democrat side:
“They should have food for us.”
Also, from the blue crowd as he leaves the stage: “Time to watch Obama whup some ass.”
Crowley: “My role is to make sure questions get answered…”
Good luck with that.
And we’re on! “Fashion report: the two men switch ties. Romney tries to win over the democrats with the blue.”
AND THE FIRST QUESTION IS ON POSTGRAD EMPLOYMENT! So pertinent. We are hanging on to their every word.
Romney: “I know what it takes to make sure you get good jobs.”
Auditorium: “HOW? HOW??”
But Romney also gets the first cheers of the night with: “When you graduate in 2014, I’m going to make sure you get a job.”
Romney’s 5-point plan gets high fives from Team Red: “Yeah, hit it!”
Obama: “Ask executives at GM, Chrysler…”
Team Red: “Who wants their jobs?”
Obama: “Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, he has a one-point plan.”
Blue side exploding in cheers. “He’s getting real. That was real.”
“Obama’s balls became steel.”
“These people are going to lead our country!” Giggles hysterically.
Oh yeah, and we have presidential debate bingo! Generously distributed by USG and the Princeton Tiger. Bingo spots already hit: Clean coal, Energy independence, The American People, Middle Class… waiting on Obligatory gay veteran, “I met [name] in [swing state]“, Candidates avoid answering questions about illegal immigration, Sasha and Malia have school tomorrow…
Romney interrupting the moderator. Cries of “Candy!” and “Sit down!”
Also from the newsfeed:
Overwhelming cheers for “You wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal!” Also, we got our first Big Bird mention.
“Talking about math that doesn’t add up? How about four trillion dollars in deficits?”
Obama promises help for women along with increase of Pell grants and aid for education.
“More hot girls in college? I’m down.”
So much hooting and innuendo at Romney’s women comments right now.
“Obama is strutting like a peacock right now.”
Even team Red is having fun with “binders full of women.”
“I like my women like I like my notes…in my binder!”
Hey look! Behind you! It’s Obama!
For those of you stuck in Richardson (or the underbelly of Firestone), you just missed an awesome talk by Margaret Atwood on zombies, which is a euphemism for soulless politicians. Atwood told the audience she didn’t watch debates… and it’s not because she’s Canadian.
“On such occasions, I crawl under the bed and read Lord of the Rings. I know how it comes out. The Dark Lord never wins.”
Ooooh literary burn! But on a more serious note, when did the Tea Party turn into Hobbits?
We got Team Red cheers for the first Reagan reference.
Lone Team Blue infiltrator: “No.”
Also blowing up on the newsfeed: for all you fact-checkers, the deets on Romney’s tax plan are here: http://www.romneytaxplan.com/
“No, I haven’t looked at my pension, it’s not as big as yours.”
While Richardson seems to be a hotbed of interesting/audible comments, Frist is pretty quiet, with students alternating between consuming their late meal french fries and eyeing Obama and Romney and the ridiculous quantity of red, white and blue on the screen.
There are some serial mumblers around me, however, but all I’ve been able to hear has been the following four words, uttered during Obama’s response about immigration.
“HE’S JUST SO HANDSOME!”
Talk about a power suit. But how does Obama figure out what to wear every day?
Ooh and the debate turns to exactly what AMS predicted. Libya, Iran, Israel, Syria, Clinton… “10 points for Professor Slaughter!”
Obama: “The secretary of state works for me. I’m the president.”
Blue crowd: “30 points for President Obama.”
Onto the last question…so, do we have a winner? (Or a bingo winner, for that matter?) To the comments!
Anybody else see a resemblance between Obama’s waiting for Romney to stop talking face and this turtle face?