No matter who wins next November, we’re not going to elect the first African-American president. Given the depth of our current recession, the election is going to be important for a very different reason. There hasn’t been a president since [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan who’s faced such immense economic challenges. Whoever wins the election will have to lead the [United States] and the world as we shift from a mostly industrial to a technological society. The last time the U.S. economy underwent such a dramatic transition is when we went from an agriculturally-based economy to an industrial one.
– Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics
I’m trying to pay really close attention so I can be well-informed next November. I feel like at the moment it’s too early to take any of the candidates seriously … within the next few months the serious candidates will come out of the woodwork, I think we’ll get to hear from [Mitt] Romney who I think is Obama’s only serious competition, but it should be an interesting scenario.
– Miguel Contreras, senior majoring in civil engineering
Obama is still well liked but the Republicans have a good shot because of this economy. They just have to get the right candidate to run against him.
– Jack Ostler, senior majoring in geology and economics
I’d like to see more of a commitment to educational support, whether it’s Pell grants or libraries. Some of the top schools, like Princeton, have enacted a no-loans policy … I’d like to see more policies that enforce that. If they’re going to do some trading of favors, I’d like to see it go toward education rather than some of the other things they spend taxpayer money on.
– Adam Sexton, Library manager at Doheny Memorial Library
I don’t feel very good about the elections. The only person I’ve actually heard a bit about is Cain, and between the ridiculous ‘blame yourself’ quotes and sexual harassment allegations, he doesn’t seem very appealing. I guess it’s going to be four more years for Obama, and I’m alright with that.
– Aruna Uppal, graduate student studying education
What Obama is trying to do is put out a house fire with a squirt gun. Give the man some resources.
– Spencer Di Dio, senior majoring in economics
The biggest problem I see is the lack of bipartisan cooperation … within the Republican primary it’s going to be Romney in the front row; everyone else seems to be self-destructive. … It depends what happens in the Congressional and Senate elections. Obama has begun to alienate some of his core supporters by moving toward the center. Clinton was able to do that, Obama not so much.
– Stanley Rosen, professor of political science
I’d like to see a reform on border policy — that’s been delegated a lot at the state level but it’s a national threat. I’ve lost my faith in Obama at the beginning of his term, but at certain points there were events which have regained my faith in him. … I think he’s the best qualified candidate we have right now.
– Mayir Adato, senior majoring in business administration
I just don’t think any of [the candidates] is strong enough. Even Obama is not strong enough, but neither is the alternative. Obama has a stronger financial base. Right now Republican nominees appear to me very weak … but, you know, Obama is really unpopular now. His approval rating is about as low as any president’s has ever been.
– Victoria Xie, senior majoring in history and economics