Students watch debate, like Obama’s message

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama opened by discussing their health care plans at their last scheduled debate.

Students watching the debate cited health care as an important issue in the campaigns, as about 40 people gathered last night in the Rathskeller for a debate-watching party organized by Students for Obama.

Some sat at the bar, some lounged on giant bean bags and others sat at tables and booths. They listened, staying silent except for occasional applause.

Kellie Stewart, president of Students for Obama, said health care is important to her because she doesn’t have health insurance.

“It’s horrible that we’re spending our money on an endless war when our own citizens are suffering,” she said.

Jared Matthews, vice president of the group, said he agrees with universal health care and likes Obama’s voting record.

“I think being able to unify, to bring Republicans and independents, that’s how he’s going to be able to get his policies through with universal health care and ending the war,” he said.

Freshman nursing major Anna Bailey came to the party to learn more about each candidate. She said she can’t decide between voting for Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama in next week’s primary but considers herself a Republican.

“I think the bipartisan system makes it very difficult to get someone that’s going to do the job correctly because they have to stick to their party,” she said.

Bailey said she likes Huckabee because his Christian values are in line with her own, but she likes Obama because of his hope for the country.

“I think health care is important,” she said. “I’m not sure how Barack’s health care plan will work.”

Freshman sociology major Shira Green said she wants to see how the candidates are different from one another and see them articulate more than a message of change.

“I want to hear them say what needs to be changed and what they’re going to do to get this change going,” she said.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].