While games and jokes characterized the GW’s College Democrats State of the Union address viewing party, the College Republicans hosted an event to provide a serious environment Tuesday evening.
“People’s negativity toward the President is old. I wish I could hear something positive,” said Michael Zekas, a sophomore in attendance at the CRs’ party in the Marvin Center’s Grand Ballroom.
Downstairs, at the College Democrats screening of the President’s speech, freshman Jonathan Miller declared, “I’ll be dead by then!” in response to President Bush’s proposal to reduce gasoline usage by 20 percent by 2017.
The laid-back screening hosted by the CDs was held in Marvin Center’s Columbian Square after the initial location for the event, Thurston Hall’s TV lounge, was discovered to have a broken television.
More than 50 members of the CDs assembled to watch the President’s speech, have snacks and play the “State of the Union Game.” Students predicted how many times President Bush would use phrases such as stem cells, tax cut and freedom, and even what color suit Hillary Clinton would wear. The member with the greatest number of correct answers won free entry to the College Democrats Leadership Summit that will be held in D.C. next month.
The Republicans opted for a different atmosphere, with about 60 guests
“This is a great, respectful environment,” said junior Peter Glessing, director of public relations for the CRs, describing how the event created a suitable place for Bush supporters to convene.
“I’m interested to see what kind of message he delivers, but I know he will not waiver in his principles,” said CRs Chairman Gary Livacari. “I think people are behind him, they know that 20,000 troops are probably a good idea,” Livacari said of Bush’s initiative to deploy 21,500 more troops to Iraq.
In contrast, CDs President Sean Smith said, “Public opinion is stable and low,” of the nation’s support for Bush’s move to send more troops to Iraq.
Various members of each political group at GW expressed polarized responses about the speech.
“He looked extremely confident with the proposals he was putting forward,” CRs college republicans’ member Chris Brooks.
Freshman James Barns, also a Republican, said after the address, “I think President Bush is the savior of modern society.”
College Democrats member freshman Zach Hunter had a different view on Bush’s performance.
Hunter said: “He may get a point or two in the polls, but even a dead cat bounces once.”
This article appeared in the January 25, 2007 issue of the Hatchet.