DePaul students, faculty declare Clinton debate winner


Members of the university community gathered for a debate watch party on the Lincoln Park campus Monday night.

The event, thrown by the political science department, saw students and faculty from all political backgrounds come together to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in one of the most anticipated political events in recent memory. And though the crowd was diverse in political persuasion, the consensus was clear: Clinton was the winner.

DePaul student Rin Meehan found the debate, “hilarious.” Having been one of her first opportunities to see the candidates speak, she believed Hillary Clinton won.

“Seeing them in person was definitely an insight into how they would be as President,” Meehan said.

Robert Kearney, a student representative in the political science department, said Clinton came across as more “poised and intelligent.” Kearney voted for John Kasich in the primaries, but plans to vote for Clinton in November.

Not everyone was convinced, however. DePaul student Hugo Gonzales, who supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries, said he was unsure whether he would vote in November.

“I don’t know who won, but we definitely all lost,” he said. “Obama ran on a campaign of transforming the nature of Washington DC … He didn’t follow up on that, and I’m not convinced that (Clinton) will follow up on that.”

Allison Check, who also voted for Kasich in the primaries, said she plans to vote for third party candidate Gary Johnson, who is running on the Libertarian ticket. Check recognized that Johnson is seen as an unrealistic choice, but she said “I’m voting my conscience and that’s what matters.”

Political science major Tom Rietz, said he wasn’t sure what tangible effect, if any, the debate would have on support for Clinton, his preferred candidate.

“I think Hillary Clinton won the debate. How this will affect her in the polls, I have no idea,” Rietz said.

Richard Farkas, a professor at DePaul since 1974, said he has never seen an election like this.

“I think anyone that’s been around a very long time is surprised by the intrinsic lack of respect (in) the tone and texture of the exchange of ideas. And the absence of detail is distressing,” he said.

Farkas noted that a Clinton-Kasich debate would likely have had a markedly less confrontational tone. That “debate would have been fare more substantial, and far more respectful,” he said.

The infighting that has taken place in the Republican party is something Dr. Farkas believes to be symptomatic of a coming split. He envisions moderate corporate-type Republicans realigning themselves to become politically independent. “They’re going to search for a political organization or party that better represents who they are,” he said.

The next debate will be Oct. 4 between vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.