Student organization holds Democratic debate watch party

Jackets Engaged aims to get students involved in politics through on-campus activities

The 2020 presidential election has been stirring up a lot of media attention and attention from younger voters. Jackets Engaged is the on-campus organization dedicated to getting students involved in the political process and understanding how it directly affects them.

The CNN notifications earlier in the week said that the Democratic Debate on Oct. 15 was going to be the biggest in primary history. Held at Otterbein University, a fellow liberal arts school in Ohio, 12 candidates took the stage with all the contenders vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

The Brain Center for Community Engagement hosted a campus watch party that was organized by Ally Crays, senior class president and marketing and PR coordinator for Jackets Engaged and Cameron Monaghan, senior student director of Jackets Engaged. Students came and went as the event progressed, rising discussion about what was discussed in the debate.

“We mainly just talked about what people saw as the highlighted topics of the debate. There wasn’t a really huge consensus in that regard,” said Crays.

At Otterbein University, the monitors in the spin room showed the debate in real-time with commercials announcing the candidates and their credentials.

The 12 candidates included Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, and Tom Steyer.

It was the first debate since the impeachment inquiry of President Trump and since Senator Bernie Sanders participated in since his heart attack earlier this fall. The impeachment inquiry and the health of the candidates would be hot topics of the night.

Right off the bat, CNN’s Anderson Cooper announced that no opening statements would be made and began the discussion Trump impeachment inquiry.

“Senator Warren, I want to start with you,” Cooper said. “You have said that there’s already enough evidence for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office. But the question is, with the election only one year away, why shouldn’t it be the voters who determine the president’s fate?”

“Because sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics,” said Warren, “And I think that’s the case with this impeachment inquiry.”

Across the board, the candidates agreed that President Trump should be impeached.

They all agreed on many topics from healthcare to the international issues going on, like in Syria. However, the paths they each want to take to reach the same goals put them at odds.

The new frontrunner, Senator Warren, took the biggest hits on all of her policies and plans during the night. New York Times national editor, Mark Lacey, asked point-blank if Senator Warren would raise taxes on the middle class to help pay for all her plans.

Her answer boiled down to “costs will go up for the wealthy [and for big corporations], and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.”

The debate lasted three hours, but the media stayed for roughly an extra hour to get private interviews with the candidates who came out to speak. All eyes were watching for the bigger-name candidates: Senator Warren, Senator Sanders, Former Vice President Biden, and Mayor Buttigieg. Only Senator Warren came out to speak with the people.

According to a FiveThirtyEight article, Senator Warren won the night with Mayor Buttigieg, and Senator Sanders was in second place.