After-action report: John McCain vs. Stuart Starky
Tonight played host to a great debate between Sen. John McCain and schoolteacher Stuart Starky. I blasted the third presidential debate for its initiation of absolute boredom along with its lack of civil discourse and actual debate of ideas. Such an attack will never apply to this debate; the level of civil discourse was incredibly good. Both candidates showed utmost respect for each other, with Starky even saying that McCain has done a good job representing Arizona as a U.S. Senator.
Moderating the debate were ASUA president Alistair Chapman, Wildcat editor-in-chief Caitlin Hall, and KAMP director Andrew Record. The format consisted of a two-minute response followed by a 90-sec rebuttal and 30 seconds for each candidate should extended discussion be warranted. Each moderator asked two questions, after which eight audience members were lucky enough to ask their questions.
The questions were surprisingly soft, however. Not a single question regarded Iraq or the war on terror. While the topics inevitably came up, I would have liked to see more discussion over it. Instead, some students asked questions over what kind of benefits they could receive from the federal government (pell grants, etc.) as well as the job security of college graduates. Starky went to far as to state that the federal government should fund full education for students from kindergarten to the sophomore year of college.
But while everybody else asked mostly soft questions, I decided to put them on the spot. I had the pleasure of interviewing both of the candidates after the debate.
Another disappointing factor was the exclusion of Libertarian candidate Ernest Hancock. This would have made the debate even better. Hancock peacefully protested in the back of the theater during the entire debate.
So here's what you've been waiting for. Interviews with the candidates and audio of the entire debate. Have fun.
And if the server's slow, you should know that I sat through the debate alongside a reporter from the Arizona Daily Star. So welcome to any Star readers who happen to come by my blog. Enjoy yourselves.
Update: Arizona Daily Star article