September 25th, 2008
07:12 PM ET

"Has our preparation been in vain?"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/25/art.vert.olemiss.debateprep.jpg caption="Mississippi students act as stand-ins as the Commission on Presidential Debates prepares, Thursday, for the presidential debate scheduled for Friday at the Ford Center in Oxford, Mississippi." width=292 height=320]Graham Purcell
Student Body President at Ole Miss

We have been patiently waiting the day of the Presidential Debate since its announcement in November. With all of the anticipation and excitement, we are eager to see what the final result might be "Will there be two candidates?"

"Has our preparation been in vain?" We have looked forward to this day, and unfortunately, these questions now weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of those who have put so much effort into the debate.

Since classes started in August, the mindset of campus was to make it to the debate. From our Student Newspaper to the Half time show at the football games, everything has been geared towards a larger performance on this national stage.

Oxford, MS rarely has the eyes of the world upon us. As you shift your attention to our campus we hope you see the prodigious strides we’ve taken since the last time the world’s attention focused on Ole Miss, just 46 years ago.

Those whose perception of Mississippi or Ole Miss is clouded by the events of 1962 will marvel at the giant leap taken by our university. Today, students of every race and ethnicity comprise a diverse community proud of the opportunities that this university has to offer.

The Educational opportunities surrounding the debate have been tremendous. We have over 19 separate academic courses that are offered with a debate/election theme. Students participated in town hall meetings, forums, and debates in and around campus. However, the most dynamic aspect of this time is our opportunity to see the American political system at its best, right here at our own door step.

Filed under: Raw Politics
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Timothy

    Mccain camp is not playing the Democratics like a fiddle. It is the American People that Mccain is trying to play us like a fiddle. Mccain thinks the American people are dummies and can'nt see that Mccain is pulling a lot of stunts. Mccain will not tell the American people where he want to led this country and how to fix this economy"s mess. if he were elected as President. Mccain don'nt have a plan.Mccain not ready to debate Obama. Mccain is not ready to lead. Mccain is not able to multl task and if Mccain can'nt multi task than tell me how in the world can he be trusted to run this country.. Last point Mccain would not tell his Republicans party where he stand on the bail out bill for it or agaist it Mccain went up to Washington to bring this to a close. Please what a joke.

    September 26, 2008 at 6:23 am |
  2. John Mark

    McCain should compensate the school.. ooooo wait McCain doest think that the 5 million laid down is actually a lot of money...

    September 26, 2008 at 3:37 am |
  3. sandra o.

    like the debate is a crisis that requires the same attention than the ECONOMIC CRISIS that we face!!
    wake up america!!
    we are in Crisis! who cares about a stupid debate!
    oh! and call me if you need me!! hahaha

    September 26, 2008 at 2:56 am |
  4. Kip, Calif.

    Its obvious McCain's "help" wasn't needed in Washington. First they seem to have a deal, then he arrives, and it unravels (kind of like his campaign). Thanks for the help John. Call me a cynic, but I think this whole thing by McCain is ultimately a ploy to postpone or cancel the VP debate since its obvious that Palin isn't ready to pass the VP test. The first suggestion after "suspending" their campaign was try to conveniently postpone Friday's Pres. debate to the VP date and have the VP debate at a later, unspecified date. Obama wisely rejected a postponement saying a President should be able to multi-task.

    Now, that he is backed into a corner and the economic rescue plan up in the air, I predict that McCain will skip the debate or he would look weak for going back on his word to stay in DC until the plan is done. To try and get out of that self inflicted damage, they will try to spin their way out of it (some variation of "Country First" crap). I also predict that they will again propose that the Pres. debate replace the VP date and postpone the VP debate to a later date.

    If the McCain campaign is successful in this gambit and the debate commission buys this BS, my next prediction is that they will find a way to get her out of the debate altogether. Somehow, there's going to be "scheduling" problems or they'll say "there's only a few weeks for her to introduce herself to the American people" (you know, debates and interviews just take too much preparation, better to keep her in her cocoon).

    September 26, 2008 at 2:13 am |
  5. rrs

    Nestore I agree with you.
    Apparently she has more executive experience than Obama, I would love to see the two of them debate. I would love to see her debate with anyone, I think we all know she will flop.
    The republicans know if she debates it will be a disaster for the republicans, therefore they want to delay the presidential debate.
    There should be no reason why both debates can't go on while trying to solve this economic crisis.

    September 26, 2008 at 12:18 am |
  6. Pat

    Regardless of which candidate you support, it goes without saying that this turmoil about whether the debate will be held wasn't necessary.
    Not living in Mississippi, I am wondering if the historical nature of this election is being talked about. I think it is so cool that the first debate by the first Black Presidential nominee is being held at Ole Miss. Ole Miss has come a long way, baby.

    September 25, 2008 at 11:53 pm |
  7. Nestore Biasi

    If Presidential Candidate McCain cannot show up for the debate he should send his Vice President Candidate in his place.

    The purpose of a VP is to stand in the wings ready to jump in whenever the President is unable to. Let's hear what she has to say.

    September 25, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  8. Chris

    The American public has prepared for this debate, not just Mississippi. If McCain doesn't show and disrespects the American public with this snub and insult, he will be handing a large percentage of Swing voters to Obama. I am so confused with McCain's logic that I would not trust him with my house cat. We have too much at stake for this stupid, pompous, arrogant political stunt.

    I remember being advised when I was young, "Half the battle to success is to just show up." McCain has already arrived in his mind.

    September 25, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  9. KIm

    Obama is on his way ! Hang in there Mississippi !

    September 25, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  10. Ron , West Coast

    the heck with McBush, Obama should attend the debate with the intention to debate , ( whether McBush shows or not ).... Put the ball in McBush`s court . It will show that Obama can be trusted to keephis word.
    McBush is really showing his true colors. He puts his campaign ahead of the american people. He`s down in the polls, he chose the wrong running mate, it just goes to show that he`ll do anything to win the presidency at any cost. His judgement is lousy, his temperment is bad. He is`nt presidential material .

    September 25, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  11. Erika

    McCain will show. I would bet money on it. And his aides are working right now on trying to explain during the debate why he changed his mind and decided to show up.

    McCain is trying to present himself as a sensitive, reactive president in touch with the people and their pressing needs. He did it with Gustav, and now he is trying the same strategy with this economic crisis, a disaster in itself.

    Well it's backfiring and it's not making you look good.

    I want to vote for you, so start earning it.

    P.S. Was that McCain on a metro on his way home? Since when does he take the metro?

    September 25, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  12. James Dylan

    First and foremost to address the ill informed comment's; Bill Clinton is the one who deregulated the banking systems, look it up since your obviously only watched liberal media has failed to recall the facts. This moment has been a decade in the making. And, I understand Obama has made his career a Presidential candidate but McCain had and has a job to do. It is a shame the democrats do not know the definitions of responsibilities and priorities except when it benefits them politically.
    Second to the student body president; sorry, but to quote Forrest Gump," It happens." Consider this an opportunity to see how the real world works and that sometimes plans need to be changed.

    September 25, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  13. Ann Z

    Gary Chandler – are you a U.S. citizen and just commenting from Canada or are you a Canadian that really shouldn't have a say in our political process anyway?

    Ann – nice to see you have the Democrats talking points down.

    Ole Miss students and staff – I hope the debate can go on tomorrow night as planned. All the work that your campus and student body has put into preparing is appreciated and applauded

    HOWEVER, I'd rather see the debate not occur and have a workable plan for the US related to this crisis than listen to either of the candidates spout the same lines over and over and over.

    I hope that an agreement can be made that represents the US taxpayers (the majority of US citizens are against what the current plan is) and have the debate occur also.

    As for blaming the Republicans on the current crisis, I suggest all of you start fact checking. The Democrats have a HUGE paw in everything that has happened, it's just that that information isn't being publicized because then the majority members in Congress and the media would have to lay blame on themselves. Republicans are not blameless in any of this, but the Democrats have a much larger piece of the blame pie.

    September 25, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  14. Roger

    It is a shame many people commenting on Senator McCain do not understand the concept of leadership. It is ridiculous for Senator Obama and others to imply that Senator McCain cannot multitask because he chooses to be part of solving one of the biggest national crisis in many years. Good leadership knows when to focus your attention when a major crisis is present and not divert your attention to lesser priorities. Senator McCain and Obama are proposing to be our future leaders and also are our elected senators. Both should be part of solving this major crisis not participating in a less important. I would assume these same people would have called for the candidates to continue debating after 9/11 also. If people really understood the implications of this economic issue on our National Security, maybe they wouldn't be so hasty to judge. Senator McCain is not calling for the debate to be canceled just delayed a few days.

    September 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  15. Jan

    RE: Stopping Campaign

    There will be an excuse forthcoming that it was such a large organization that the memo didn't get sent out to everybody in time.....

    September 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  16. Lynn X-Dem. for McCain

    The Democrats were the one's givning out failed loans for years!! I repeat People "Democrats"!! Obama Don't hide behind lie's of democrats! The democrat had control of the Congress for the past two years and did nothing! Were sick of Obama we could Puke!! Mr. McCain and Palin have our vote!!!

    September 25, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  17. LLoyd Stone

    It's really hard to be objective. We are in the midst of a GOP marathon. It is the final few miles which are the most challenging here. The home stretch of the Bush II marathon feels more like a plague. We must be prepared to offer tough questions to potential future leaders and help them avoid making the same mistakes twice.

    September 25, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  18. kim

    I'm sure if McCain is asked why he couldn't attend the debate he will throw it back at Obama with the tired, to oft used line of "well, I have invited him over and over to town hall meetings and if he would have come none of this would have happened"! Grow up McCain and stop playing the cry baby game it doesn't do anything good for your image!

    September 25, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  19. kim

    McCain has had his photo op so lets get on with the debate! I have heard him say numerous times that he has suspended his campaign but I guess that was a lie also because I live in Missouri and his ads have been running all day and night. What does it mean to suspend his campaign if he still runs ads, does t.v. interviews and so did his running mate (much to his demise I am sure)! I guess it is just another hail mary from the McCain campaign... I mean how stupid does he think the American people really are?

    September 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  20. Gary Chandler in Canada

    either delay the deal until the new ads are produced how HE saved the day, "took tremendous risk" <<< NOT (here he COMES to save the day) all PLANNED
    OR flippity flop on the 66% polling that opposes the deal and jump further into bed with the ULTRA RIGHT WINGERS

    September 25, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  21. Gary Chandler in Canada

    DOES ANYBODY GET IT??? It was a problem CAUSED by the GOPs. It was creatively timed GOP solution. NOW it is up to McCain to accept or decline the PERCEIVED Democratic solution.
    McCain SAID he was suspending his campaign to WORK on a solution. He LIED. He has not been up front and vigorous or straight talking. He has been sneaking around with GOP opposition to DELAY until after the DEBATE.
    AFTER THAT he will come out with how he SLITHERS (not stands)on the issue. It will be either A. get them to agree because HE saved the day OR B. or jump into bed with them and kill the REPUBLICAN CAUSED and REPUBLICAN proposed solution!!!
    Dems are getting played like a fiddle!

    September 25, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  22. ann

    Apparently John McCain has forgotten that a President has to keep many plates spinning and many balls juggling at the same time. It's something women have been doing for centuries: It's called MULTI-TASKING.....

    And in case this is a news flash for McCain, there are SEVERAL momentous crises waiting for him should be ascend to the White House with Ms. Palin who doesn't "blink" and is "wired that way".

    FYI– was amazed to find the source for Sarah's hubris when I came upon a video of an African pastor who was preaching in her Wasilla church and who called Sarah to the altar/stage for a hands-on blessing. He's some sort of "witch hunter" of some renown and controversy in Africa. He preached that "there are people who are wired to politics" and "those people should be prayed for and that's why I was glad to see Sarah here. We need the brethren right inside (the government)–tongue speaking, devil casting... We need believers there, people who are born again and who know God".

    So I conclude that having been annointed by an African Born Again Evangelical Devil Caster, Sarah righteously accepted McCain's invitation to share the ticket without blinking. Must be God's Will...
    If you don't believe me about his video, check it out yourself at 'irregulartimes.com'.)
    Let the debates begin. And keep the VP date as well. We want to hear all about Sarah's ideas and get a better idea of what makes her tick.

    September 25, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    This is beyond comprehension. McCain said the debate is off until a deal is reached. Now, he is NOT saying where he stands and reports are coming out that he is leaning towards killing the deal.
    Where, oh where, is the credibilty in that? He SAID he was going to Washington AND calling off the debate to get a deal.
    If he is publicly NOT supporting the deal and POSSIBLY lobbying to kill it; then, by his OWN STANDARD, the debate should go on!!! Right?
    The Republicans have played the Democrats and the Presidential Race like a fiddle on this one. (Just like when the Florida caused the Democratic crisis in the primaries)
    This whole thing has been master strokes, by the Masters!

    September 25, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  24. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Unfortunately, this debate happened to conflict with national economic disaster. It would seem the greater lesson for you as a student body president is to learn that sometimes representatives such as Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama need to first take care of those constituents who voted them into office rather than debate for a position neither of them holds currently. As a three-term senator in my undergrad program and as an executive branch member of my graduate student association in my doctoral program, I always had to remember who put me into office and who could take me out, that the crisis of the day mattered more than the public relations that could make me look good in the future, and that there were much larger problems than a university event being cancelled that sometimes had to be handled. Your advisors should be using this as a teachable moment in politics, economics, event planning, and life. There are bigger things than Obama and McCain sparring it out Friday night. The future of our economy is a pretty big one of those things.

    September 25, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  25. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Could you please explain why it is costing the University $5 million+ to hold this debate? What is that money being spent on?

    September 25, 2008 at 7:27 pm |