In the end, UH students praise Obama's performance


POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008

The normally bustling University of Hawaii-Manoa Campus Center and Sinclair Library commons area were quiet as students listened to yesterday's final televised debate between the two presidential candidates.


;[Preview] Presidential Debate Attract UH Students

Students and Faculty members gathered at the University of Hawaii campus center to listened to the Presidential Debate.


Watch ]





  Several students, including those who would be voting for the first time, said they had decided before the debate whom they would vote for and that the debate only affirmed their support. Most backed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

“;Pretty much all the debates repeat over and over. It's empty rhetoric,”; said junior Peter Sane, who was watching at Sinclair Library. He wanted to see whether Arizona Sen. John McCain could rebound from his recent decline in national polls.

At the Campus Center, scores of students were watching on the large-screen television.

Josh Kaakua, 28, an engineering instructor, said he wanted to watch the “;debate for the entertainment factor - to see if there's any all-out moves ... for the shock factor.”;

He also liked watching Obama speak.

“;He never gets frustrated. He always has the right thing to say,”; he said. “;He always has clear reasoning.”;

Geology professor Hope Jahren stopped at the Campus Center because she does not have a television in her office or home.

“;I just wanted to watch Obama seal the deal,”; she said.

Jahren praised Obama's thoughtfulness and discipline in choosing policy, contrasting McCain, who appeared “;all over the place.”;

As an educator, she supported Obama's thoughtfulness and care, feeling he is “;going to do us best,”; she said.

Cullen Yee, a Hawaiian-language major who supported McCain for his experience, looked for McCain's conviction in the debate but found him “;blinking his eyes too much.”;

“;Blinking doesn't show confidence,”; he said, adding he would back whoever was elected president.

Tyler Rambeau, 22, a political science major, praised Obama's ability to galvanize people to vote - either for or against him.

“;McCain was definitely on the defense,”; he said of the debate. “;This is basically McCain's last stand, and I don't think he's standing very tall tonight.”;

For Kapiolani Community College student Caitlin Molina, 22, it would be her first time voting, and she was backing Obama's energy plan, incorporating renewable energy, over drilling for oil.

“;I'd rather have that than drilling in the ocean,”; she said.

The event at Campus Center yesterday was sponsored by the UH-Manoa club Students for Barack Obama, which has about 350 members.

Club President Dave Spafford, 66, a retired orthodontist returning to school for a master's in marine botany, said his club is also trying to increase Hawaii's voter turnout.