Monday, September 22, 2008

Forum where Barack Obama and McCain went on at Columbia

Saw this in The Star .

This was held at Columbia University, where pink pau is studying!

First World or Free World, it is still bread and butter issues that dictate the phenomenal race to Washington. Pollsters are holding out for the candidate who finds his voice for the people in these days of economic troubles, especially after the stunning fall of Lehman Brothers.

DUSK was settling in but the mood at Columbia University was bright as the campus awaited for America’s two most watched men.

The Ivy League school was playing host to a forum for the ServiceNation Summit on Sept 11; Barack Obama and John McCain would discuss volunteerism and national service.

A large screen was erected near Low Library. The crowd of students began to swell long before the simulcast of the forum began.

One female undergraduate posed with a life-size cut-out of the Democratic contender. Others clapped whenever Obama’s name was mentioned by a speaker.

The mood was infectious; there was hardly a poker-face in sight.

“It’s predominantly for Obama,” Tara Machen, a final year Arts undergraduate, said of the campus population.

But, she assured, there had been no fights between Obama and McCain supporters among the students. “We enjoyed the diversity of views,” she maintained.

Youthful enthusiasm aside, the mood of the country remains negative.

Neil Newhouse, a co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, said their latest survey found that at least 67% of Americans felt that their great nation was on the wrong track and George W. Bush was getting the thumbs down as President.

As a pollster, Newhouse has done research in countries such as Bulgaria, Jamaica and Venezuela “but I have not had numbers that are as negative as what we are seeing currently.”

The economy is the priority of the American electorate now, he said, instead of Iraq which was once the burning issue at hand.

In a sense, the Democrat Party has an edge over its rivals.

“The biggest doubt about McCain is that he will continue Bush’s policies,” said Stan Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, who has served as pollster for leaders like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela.

Look to the 2006 US midterm elections, he said, as a backdrop. “It was like an earthquake then when the Republicans lost control of the House Representatives and the Senate.”

Prior to Monday’s collapse of Lehman Brothers, Greenberg said Obama had a mere three point advantage over McCain.

“Obama has energised the young people but I believe that economic issues are not his passion,” he said.

Hillary Clinton, for comparison’s sake, had eyed more the blue-collar workers.

Both Newhouse and Greenberg were at a discussion on “Post-Convention, Pre-Debates: A Look at the Race to the White House in Key Battleground States” organised by the Washington Foreign Press Centre on Tuesday.

The Republican camp, according to Newhouse, had been hit by “Palin mania”.

“I can’t tell you how excited they are. She is getting numbers that comes to almost unanimous in terms of polling,” he said.

Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, has the highest positive rating for a vice-president contender since Al Gore in 1992. But the question remains: Will the numbers stay strong for her?

“So, the vice-presidential debate on Oct 2 between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will be a lot of fun,” he remarked.

The last couple of weeks revealed “a clear sense that McCain has the wind at his back,” he said.

Polls conducted during the first week of the month showed that he was gaining ground more than Obama.

But neither Obama nor McCain was particularly strong on the economy.

“The first one who finds a voice on this (the fall of Lehman) in the next 72 hours will have an advantage,” Newhouse said.

In a way, both candidates “even each other out,” he added. According to him, Obama has his biggest edge €“ vote for change €“ but the Democrat’s main weakness, his inexperience, is McCain’s biggest strength.

Still, Newhouse refused to read the tea leaves for the outcome of the battle for America’s highest office.

“It is still up for grabs. This is an extraordinary election with more twists and turns to come. Issues have zig-zagged. This is not a campaign that goes on a straight and narrow path,” he said, “so I don’t even dare to predict it.”

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C Guevara said...

hey Mr.Yeoh,

I'm previously a jitsinese as well, graduated last year.

while googling up blogs of jitsin people, i found yours, which is the most informative i've seen so far among the ex students.

I own a blog, which is JitSinExpress, it was initially serving as a class blog, bt now transformed into a random one.

I'd like to ask for your permission to link my site to yours. Is that ok? I'll put a link of your blog in mine too.

Well, it doesnt matter if you are not planning to do so. I'll still updates to your blog frequently:P

Chen Chow said...

C. Guevara, thanks for dropping by. Yes. do link to me and I am doing the same too!

Great that you are linking all Jit Sin folks together!