UVA student reactions to Clinton’s visit mixed
Students at the University of Virginia had a lot to say following Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) question-and-answer session with UVA professor and political pundit Larry Sabato on Monday. While some may have had their personal loyalties to other candidates before Clinton's visit, there was a broad sense that they were also impressed with her poise and expansive knowledge of issues. Students were eager to share their reactions with anyone holding a microphone or a pen and paper. Here's a smattering of reactions:
"I was impressed with her articulateness. She had difficult questions and gave profound answers. She's run a fantastic campaign with Obama's praise and resources, she's come further with such great odds stacked against her."
-Reed Arnold, first year
"I was glad to have her come, it's wonderful that she's here for the younger generation."
-Leslie Janikowsky, first year
Supprters of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in the class were not persuaded, citing their candidate's effect on both a local and global scale:
"I support Sen. Obama because Tim Kaine was the first governor outside of Illinois to endorse him. The leadership Gov. Kaine has exhibited for Virginia, I'd like to see for the whole country, and I think Obama embodies his ideals."
-Alex Dimitri, first year political philosophy major
"I think that this election is a historical moment for the country. If Obama gets elected, it will be a world community and more people in the country will be more aware."
-S.W. Dawson, Center for Politics Intern, fourth year,
For some students, the actual issues were at the core of their loyalties:
"With salaries low and the economy and job market the way they are, it gets harder and harder for young Americans to find satisfaction with their governments. I think while the Democratic party is having trouble deciding which candidate to endorse, Obama may have the best shot against McCain because Hillary Clinton is so polarizing."
-Brian Paulson, first year
"UVA students are engaged and want a President who will deliver on the promises. She had to know about energy, foreign policy, and taxes, and that shows something. People were ready to challenge her and that's an honor. I saw some kids walking out who looked like traditional Republicans and they said 'You know what, that wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be.'"
- Ryan Conner, Hoos for Hillary co-founder, third year
Of course, not everybody was impressed with Clinton or Obama:
"I don't consider her a positive female role model. I see her solution was taxes and big government and I see that as oppressive and anti-American."
-Anne Bowie, Burke Society- conservative political group at UVA, first year
"My favorite expression is know thine enemy and always be aware of the other side. As a conservative political group, the Burke society provokes ideas through debate and today was a good example of that."
-Luke Mancini, President of the Burke Society, first year
"Obama's inexperience and liberal voting record and Senator Clinton's insincere policy positions must contrast with an image of Senator McCain as an experienced and proved leader willing to work across the aisle to better our country."
-Robert Martin, President of the College Republicans, fourth year
With Obama's sweeping victory in Tuesday's primaries, and his 60 percent win in Virginia, it's clear that the youth vote was a factor in Obama's gains with such a record voter turnout.