NYU Reacts: Second Presidential Debate

Lexi Faunce, Diamond Naga Siu, Abraham Gross, Natasha Roy

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Red and blue collided Sunday night as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took to the stage for the second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis. The event was formatted as a town hall, with the Republican and Democratic nominees taking questions from both moderators and St. Louis residents. NYU students shared their thoughts on the debate and the tumultuous election.

“I think Hillary was overall way better prepared than Trump, and she was way more calm … Trump just kept repeating things that didn’t make any sense the entire time. It kind of makes me just fear for the future of this country in a lot of ways. It seems like Trump doesn’t have any actual plans for what he wants to do. At least Hillary … said some actual things she was planning to do.” — Grace Meng, CAS freshman

“In my opinion, the last Presidential Debate was the first time Hillary Clinton addressed the American people as the imminent victor of this election. Trump’s scandal has made him, to borrow Clinton’s language, irredeemable. She honestly could have answered every question with Ke$ha lyrics, and she still would have won that debate.”
— Rose Asaf, CAS sophomore

“I feel like overall, even though Trump did significantly better this time, Hillary still had more points that really worked it, and Trump was really just talking about emails the whole time, just always bringing it back.” — Christian Weinschenk, Steinhardt freshman

“I found the presidential debate nearly as humorous as Saturday Night Live this week. Donald Trump is literally a parody of himself.” — Sarah Proctor, Tisch junior

“I thought it started out really rough, like it got kind of nasty and ugly and a little bit frightening, but I think towards the end, it started to calm down. It ended on a very positive note, but I think there was definitely less policy and substance than the first debate, which is a little disappointing.” — Ryan Zull, CAS freshman

“[Trump] was very inappropriate as far as decorum is concerned, and though I will concede to the fact that he did everything he needed to to solidify his base, he’s just alienating moderates left and right. But how much will change? I do not know. I’m getting sick and tired of childishness that is present in our politics, and I’m ready for someone to just step up and completely be the adult, not play with the quibs, not say zingers and one-liners that they think are funny and tweet-worthy and hashtag-worthy.” — Kira Burkhauser, LS freshman

“Only 10 percent of the debate was even focused on addressing real issues, while 90 percent consisted of the candidates launching personal attacks on one another — and that’s being generous. As a swing state voter already faced with two unpleasant options, I want to hear less reminders of how awful both candidates are as people, and more talk about how each is going to handle important issues like the environment, education system and national debt, so I can allocate my vote to where it will cause the least permanent damage.”
— Abby Lyall, Stern junior

“I honestly thought that the second Presidential Debate last night was mostly the two major party candidates attacking each other while little policy was discussed, just like in the previous one. This attacking, I feel, shows that they’re mostly basing their campaigns on the fact that they aren’t the other candidate and less on actual policy. What could’ve helped this debate promote a better dialogue is if third party candidates like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein were included, since their alternative views on policy could educate viewers that there are more options.”
— Doug Braff, LS freshman

“Donald Trump has a such a low bar set for him with his supporters that people are saying he did well when most of what he said was false. Hillary Clinton, as usual, remained classy and poised as she answered questions and kept the focus on the American people. I know where my vote is going, but the debates are fun to watch during the midterm season [because] they take the stress away. Sad that this is what American Politics has come to: a reality star making a mockery of the highest position in the free world.”

— Gabrielle Buchanan, Gallatin freshman

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 11 print edition. Email the News Team at [email protected]

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