AS Presidential Debates: Shit Gets Real

After attending a highly entertaining and informative debate between the candidates for President of the Associated Students of Western Washington University, I can say that I will gladly and enthusiastically vote in the elections next week.

That might seem a little weird. But the thing is, last year I didn't have the first clue about any of the candidates running for either President or VP. Except the incumbents, maybe. But I felt that voting on an incumbent, knowing nothing about their goals for the coming year, their accomplishments in the previous year, or even their eligibility compared to a challenger, would be an irresponsible waste of my vote. So I didn't vote.

This year will be different.

The debate was lively and extremely well-moderated. Everything ran quite smoothly; if two soft chimes don't count, nobody went into overtime with long-winded exhortations. The moderators' questions were direct (literally), pointed, and very often loaded. It was great to hear such critical questions being tossed at the candidates ("Why did you pick such a vague mission statement?" "Why do you keep taking sole credit for what was voted on by a seven-person panel?") rather than the typical softball cotton-candy "interviews" that we see in the media. That a student-run debate with student candidates had harder questions than a typical CNN interview says a lot about the general suckitude of cable news. But I digress.