Politics and Presidential Primaries: Students Weigh In

Glenn Ricketts

As the GOP presidential primaries continue, political analysts in campus undergraduate newspapers have been providing thoughts and commentary.  Here’s a sample of their coverage of the primaries and other current issues. 

  1. Rick Santorum and the GOP are far, far, off base: a writer for the University of Nevada Sagebrush really wishes they’d come down off of the pious soapbox
  1. A political analyst for the Northern Arizona University News decries Mitt Romney’s phony protest against Rick Santorum’s campaign tactics, since he’s played the same game himself in the past.  But then, if the GOP’s leading contenders continue to savage each other, Obama will win in November, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing. 
  1. But at Connecticut College’s Voice, a guest columnist thinks the Romney’s got a legitimate beef, since Santorum’s used some pretty under-handed tactics himself, notwithstanding his public piety.  In any case, he’s dismayed that Santorum’s candidacy seems to be advancing
  1. That’s also the view of this op ed regular for the Syracuse Daily Orange, who doesn’t think Santorum will be the GOP’s nominee.  Good thing too, given his extremely regressive positions on most social issues. 
  1. Whatever the outcome of that little tempest, a regular for the MIT Tech thinks that Romney’s got the nomination locked up.  That’s good for the GOP, since the former Massachusetts governor is the one most likely to give Barack Obama a serious challenge in November. 
  1. Not so fast, says a colleague at the Michigan Daily.  Take a look at what Romney’s been saying recently.  Far from being a moderate, he’s been pandering to the “extreme” elements among GOP primary voters, and that’s going to be hard to let go of when the election campaign gets going. 
  1. Whoever President Obama’s Republican opponent turns out to be, the editors of the University of Virginia’s Cavalier Daily urge their undergraduate readers of all political persuasions to get involved.  It’s an election year, and some old-fashioned student activism would be most appropriate. 
  1. And on that note, a writer for the Kansas State Collegian offers some advice to everyone on how to engage in political controversy without becoming rancorous or rude.  You’ll more likely make your point if you don’t make personal enemies out of political adversaries. 
  1. With respect to another currently hot issue, an op ed analyst for the Yale Daily News finds the Obama administration recent decision on contraceptive provisions in health care plans in conflict with the First Amendment.  A heated comments thread indicates that the issue can really get people going. 
  1. At the same time, the editors of the Duke Chronicle denounce the “regressive and misogynistic” attitudes of the GOP, displayed during recent Congressional hearings on the same subject. 
  1. And by the way, there’s another election in which the right candidate won’t be running: a news beat regular for the Daily Illini is saddened by Maine Senator Olympia Snowe’s decision not to seek another term. 
  1. In any case, when it comes to the presidential election, a writer for the Iowa State Daily, thinks president Obama has it in the bag, whoever the GOP nominee turns out to be. 
  1. That’s also the view of a columnist at NTU’s Washington Square News, who urges the president to push for much higher taxes on the wealthy, once he wins his second term. 
  1. But that’s not at all how his counterpart at the USC Gamecock sees it: she thinks that the President has a much tougher row to hoe for re-election.
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