Blog: The Educated Reporter

Second Presidential Debate: College Student Quizzes Candidates on His Future Prospects

There was indeed more attention paid to education during Tuesday’s presidential debate — a college student concerned about his own future snagged the very first question. Jeremy Epstein, who attends Adelphi University, later told a local NBC News affiliate that he was no longer undecided, although he doesn’t make clear who is getting his vote.

Both President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney got the chance to answer Epstein’s query — what would they say to reassure him, and his parents, that he’ll be able to earn a living when he graduates in two years?

Romney’s response included a folksy pledge to help Epstein find work when he graduates. Listening to Romney, Epstein said he felt like he was ”staring into my soul, just right through me … I felt like, you know he offered me a job five minutes into the debate, I felt like his answer was sincere,” according to the NBC New York interview.

However, the president’s assertion that he believed not only in Epstein but in his whole generation also seemed to make an impact on the 20-year-old. 

“The way the president spoke to me and kind of said you know ‘We believe in the youth of America’ … that really, you know, hit a soft spot and I understood what he was talking about,” Epstein said.

The first question aside, as Inside Higher Ed notes, the most pressing issues for the post-secondary crowd were “mostly on the margins.” While I didn’t come close to filling up my Education Buzzwords Bingo card, there was certainly more direct discussion than during either the first presidential debate or the vice presidential debate. Education Week blogger Michele McNeil has a nice wrap-up over at Politics K-12.


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