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Staples Students Reflect On National Political Conventions

From President Barack Obama to former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney and seemingly everyone in between, the Democratic and Republican National Conventions of 2012 ended after an intense couple of days. Both presidential candidates, as well as their wives, recited speeches.  The conventions also featured notable others: Clint Eastwood, former President Bill Clinton, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Caroline Kennedy, Condoleezza Rice, and vice presidential candidates Paul Ryan and Joe Biden.

Staples students were certainly tuning in throughout both conventions and had some pretty strong thoughts on the success or the lack of success of the speakers.

In terms of the first lady hopefuls, the general consensus of those interviewed was that Michelle Obama outperformed Ann Romney, but not by much.

“I think Michelle Obama gave a great speech,” said Daniel Kaseff ’14. “Better than Ann (Romney), but mostly because she (Michelle) is more experienced in these kinds of things.”

Along with First Lady Obama, several students thought Clinton shined for the Democrats.

“He energized the base, and made a strong argument to Independents, while also using powerful rhetoric and humor to paint Obama’s presidency in a good light,” Holtz said. “In addition, unlike Paul Ryan’s speech, fact-checkers have upheld most of what Clinton said.”

Kaseff’s personal favorite, however, was Mass. Senator John Kerry.

“John Kerry was, in my opinion,  one of the best speakers out of both conventions, and I liked that joke he made about Osama being worse off now then four years ago,” he said.

Along with Michelle Obama and Clinton, Holtz felt that one other, lesser-known speaker, deserved some recognition. Along with calling San Antonio, Tex. Mayor Julian Castro “incredible,” Holtz said, “Castro is bound to be an up-and-coming star in the (Democratic) party.”

For the openly Democratic Will Haskell ‘14, there was one Republican speaker who he thought spoke quite well, although there was one major issue.

“Though it kills me to admit it, I thought Paul Ryan upstaged every other speaker at the convention,” he said. “He rallied up the crowd in a way no other speaker could. Yet, what his speech had in charisma, it lacked in facts.”

So at least among Staples students, Democrats and Republicans were very comparable during their respective national conventions. Much of the same should be expected come Election Day in less than two months. Then, however, it will be up to the voters.


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