Guest Commetary: Gubernatorial debate flowed easily with conversational approach

Daniel Vasilchuk

In the gubernatorial debate, which jokester made us laugh more?

I hurriedly snapped a quick close-up shot of Phil Angelides with my cell phone and put it in the other hand, just in time, as he came up close to me and shook my hand. That was the first time I had ever seen him in person and he made quite an impression on me.

I was one of the five honors students to go to the debate by luckily winning a ticket. And as we -Karissa Horton, Jared Juntunen, Nicole Thomas, Chrissy Griesse and I – gathered before going to check in, we discussed the several issues at hand for each candidate. We knew Angelides would have to do something quickly, because, if you’ve noticed, the current governor has been busy. He made an appearance with Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama and even actor George Clooney.

“Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides-was relegated to the media sideline,” wrote Clea Benson of the Sacramento Bee. Phil Angelides needed to broadcast a positive image of himself at the debate if he wants more votes.

“Those of you who missed the one and only gubernatorial debate in California missed a lot,” said freshman psychology major Karissa Horton.

You missed the entertaining antics of both candidates as they tried to outdo one another. Before the event began, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said,”I wish I had that many people in some of my movies!” seemingly very comfortable at the debate.

Freshman government major Jared Juntunen said, “(the) governor’s goal for this debate was to maintain his confidence and to exude that confidence by showing that he isn’t fazed by Angelides’ aggressive attacks.” There were many.

As Angelides desperately tried to create his image, Gov. Schwarzenegger simply fended off his attacks by remaining calm.

Remarks from the governor such as, “I feel like I’m having dinner with my Uncle Teddy on Thanksgiving,” solidified my opinion on how this event seemed more like a joke than what it was supposed to be. The vibe of the audience was not a serious one and Angelides kept his cheery disposition most of the time and made it clear that he had a plan.

“I have a plan to fully fund our school-I’m going to increase financial aid,” Angelides said. Angelides kept alluding to how he will help middle-class families, and Gov. Schwarzenegger kept saying how he will make the economy go “Boom!”

It seemed to me that Gov. Schwarzenegger did not have a plan. His vagueness in how he was going to go about accomplishing his goals was evident.

As undeclared freshman Rita Jenkins said, “Phil won [the debate] because he didn’t tip-toe around the questions when they were asked. He gave us actual goals.” Horton had a slightly differing opinion.

“In terms of taking over,’ Angelides’won.’However, Schwarzenegger demonstrated the most confidence and used proper forms of debate. Schwarzenegger will win this election,” she said.Now it’s up to you, the voters, to decide who you want in power. So take the initiative and vote!

Daniel Vasilchuk can be reached at [email protected]