Volume 74, Number 23 | Octuber 6 - 12 , 2004



Pundits in the park: How they called the first debate

Villager photos and interviews by Jennifer Bodrow

Name: Hugh Pearson
Age: 47
Lives: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Occupation: Author and journalist

What did you think of the debate?
I thought Kerry was extremely impressive. He looked very presidential. Bush came off looking very flustered and defensive. Kerry won the debate. He came off looking like he knows what he’s talking about. Bush came off looking like he doesn’t even know what he’s doing in Iraq.

Do you think the debate will affect anyone’s vote?
I hope it changes things. I’m not that optimistic, because it seems like too many people have already decided what they think about Kerry.

What issues are most important for you?
Top issue is Iraq. I’m tired of seeing 19- and 20-year-olds die for a cause that is totally empty. I wished Kerry had asked Bush that if working-class people’s kids are good enough to be going to fight and die in Iraq, then why aren’t his daughters going to Iraq and risking their lives?
Who will you vote for and why?
Kerry seems like the best alternative for getting Bush out of office. I originally wanted Howard Dean. And if I thought my vote wasn’t going to be wasted, I’d vote for Ralph Nader. I just can’t fathom another four years of Bush.

Name: Elizabeth Lieb
Age: 25
Lives: New Jersey
Occupation: N.Y.U. graduate student

What did you think of the debate?
Kerry got off to a bit of a slow start, he was namedropping and pandering a bit to the moderator, but he definitely came out strong with very decisive answers. He was definitely helped by his performance last night. Bush came across as wavering and not very direct.

Do you think the debate will affect anyone’s vote?
We’re basically talking about three percent of the population who haven’t made up their minds yet. Those who are undecided won’t change their decisions based on it, but I think it gave Kerry more visibility and will allow people to see what he’s about. Bush, as president, has publicity built into his job. Everyone sees him. Everyone knows what he believes. It will give the people who were wary about Kerry a little boost in the right direction.

Who will you vote for and why?
Kerry, because in terms of social issues I’m definitely liberal. I think the people Bush has working behind him, they’ve shown they have conflicting interests with special interests. I don’t think Bush is independent enough to do what’s best for America.


Name: Myts Pakayanagi
Age: 30
Lives: Queens
Occupation: Master’s student in education

What did you think of the debate?
Maybe Kerry made a good impression. Bush seemed to be a little cynic, focused on criticizing his opponent. Kerry seems to be more positive for the future.

What issues are most important to you?
I don’t have a right to vote, but if I were an American citizen, a sense of balance for foreign policy — not focusing on a certain area because of the American financial profit. I want an American leader to focus on the whole balance of international issues.

Who will you vote for and why?
Kerry emphasizes on the North Korean issue, which is a big threat to Japan. Bush doesn’t seem to focus on Asian peace. If I could vote, I would vote for Kerry.


Name: Maura Nolan
Age: 50 +
Lives: Village
Profession: Yoga instructor

What did you think of the debate?
I actually thought it was a debate. I was expecting it to be really canned and predictable, but I thought it was pretty good. I thought Kerry did excellent.

Do you think the debate will affect anyone’s vote?
I do, I think some of the undecideds will come over to Kerry’s side.

What issues are most important to you?
The war, homeland security, the economy, education.

Who will you vote for and why?
Kerry. I think he genuinely cares about people and I think he understands our place in the global world and he will not be alienating the rest of the world the way Bush has.

Name: Julie Hill
Age: 38
Lives: Maryland
Occupation: Marketing writer

What did you think of the debate?
I think Kerry came off with very strong points about what is going on in Iraq, and President Bush came off as a doddering old fool who couldn’t string two thoughts together.

Do you think the debate will affect anyone’s vote?
I think it will affect people who haven’t made up their minds yet, but I think that people who are strict Republicans and strict Democrats made up their minds a long time ago.

What issues are most important to you?
Gay marriage, I’d like to see it legalized everywhere, but I don’t think any candidate is going to do that, though.

Who will you vote for and why?
Kerry. Kerry understands what the people need and Bush is more interested in foreign affairs and not what is going on in the U.S. itself, and that’s what we need to be focused on now.

Reader Services

WWW thevillager.com
Email our editor

ADVERTISING



Home

The Villager is published by
Community Media LLC.

The Villager | 487 Greenwich St., Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

Phone: 212.229.1890 | Fax: 212.229.2790
Email: news@thevillager.com



Written permission of the publisher must be obtainedbefore any of the contents of this newspaper, in whole or in part, can be reproduced or redistributed.