Tri-State residents speak out about latest debate

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

Many people across the Tri-State were watching the gridiron matchups

Friday night, but others were focused on the head-to-head contest that will help determine the next president of the United States.

More than a dozen people took advantage of Ohio University Southern's Debate Watch to come together and watch the St. Louis, Mo., debate between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry and then talk about it.

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"This community dialogue is essential. It allows people to air their views and express their ideas," said Dr. David Lucas, associate professor of communications studies and event host. "That is the beauty of America … No one is going to be drug out of here and shot for their opinions."

So who won? It depends upon who you asked, but most of those in attendance felt the President gained the edge in the town-hall format that was more casual and allowed for less personal attacks.

"I thought that Bush did much better than in the previous debate," said Ironton resident Charlie Walters. "I think this debate was important. I think it is real important to get food (for thought) from the people and not from the press."

Still, Walters said he did think that Kerry presented himself well and may have tied the President in terms of presentation and style.

South Point resident Tammy Rowsey was just happy to hear the candidates talk about domestic issues.

"Abortion and same-sex marriage are the issues the American people are waiting for. We want a yes or no answer," she said. "We haven't been able to get that. We got that tonight."

"The war in Iraq is a big part of our lives but tonight we got into our backyards."

OUS joined universities and colleges across the country that hosted similar debate watches.

The idea was generated several years ago by the National Communications Association but this is the first time that OUS has hosted such a forum.

A final debate will be Wednesday in Tempe, Ariz. It will focus solely on economic and domestic policy.