Students Join Embassy Officials to Watch and Discuss the Three Presidential Debates
Over the past month, between 25 – 40 Senegalese youth have joined American officials at the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section to watch and discuss each of the three presidential debates.
On October 3, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clashed in the first of three scheduled debates in Denver, Colorado, before a packed group of students and other Denver residents. Mr. John Silver, Regional English Language Officer (RELO) led the first debate viewing and discussion, providing explanations to the audience about the positions of the two candidates, and then answering questions such as the impact of the debate on the voters’ choice.
On October 16, the second debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, offered the only opportunity for American voters, to directly ask questions to the candidates. The themes suggested an American electorate whose main concerns are the economy and unemployment, as the country continues to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Ms. Kristin Stewart, Cultural Affairs Officer, led the second debate viewing and discussion, explaining why the issues of the economy and of the employment were central to the American voters.
The third and final debate was held on October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. It was exclusively devoted to foreign policy and interested, beyond American voters, all those who care about international relations. The themes reflect international issues that challenge U.S. diplomacy: Libya, Iran, the Middle East, China, terrorism and women’s rights. Ms. Kristin Kane, Counselor for Public Affairs, led this final viewing and discussion, explaining the U.S. position on international issues regardless of the political color of the incumbent President.