Students, professors react to political conventions

St. John’s students and faculty had mixed reactions to both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

One student, Meagan McEntee, a sophomore was excited to watch the RNC.

“It went really great,” she said. “The most exciting part was having the vice president introduced to the country, really for the first time. I definitely think his vice presidential choice has changed the way the election process is going to run.”

Some students feel that the RNC had more of a professional feel to it than the DNC did.

“The Democratic National Convention almost felt like a festival,” said junior Anthony Basile. “It felt like the Republican National Convention was more about business, even though they spent too much time on biographical information and not enough on political agenda.”

Rev. M.J. Callaghan, a St. John’s English professor, who attended both conventions, echoed a similar view.

“It didn’t feel as historical the day that I was there,” he said. “You had to wait later in the week for that. Their main focus was mostly the storms in the south, and the war in Iraq.”

As for the actual scene on the streets of St. Paul, “The protestors were more unruly than the ones in Denver,” Callaghan said.

“Some anarchists actually overturned a car, and the peace protest was one of the highlights of the convention.”
Inside the Xcel Energy Center, some students said that the scene at the RNC seemed joyful and exciting.

“There’s nothing in particular that I can remember that wasn’t really good,” said McEntee. “They we just all exciting speeches, and I think a lot of people who supported the Republicans, but weren’t that into it, will be really excited now.”

She added, “I’m really excited to see how things are going to go and see how Gov. Palin changes history.”

But after two conventions that left their mark in history, and two historical campaigns that have been going on for the past nine months, not everyone seems to be excited.

“The main themes of these campaigns are asking voters to have faith and hope for a better future,” said Basile. “Faith and hope are great reasons to support a religion, but I like to see facts and reasoning to help determine what political campaign to support.”