Let’s face it, Barack Obama has an easy name to pun. Think “Barack and Bowl” and “Obamania.” And this fall, GW’s own political organizations are playing along to get students to vote.
Rather than a typical College Democrats versus College Republicans debate, this past week’s fight for potential student voters and campaign money brought it to a new level: Nobama versus Oproma.
On Wednesday, the College Republicans portrayed a trendy John McCain with their Nobama Barbecue in Kogan Plaza. But members said their candidate does not need any catchphrases to engage young voters.
“We hope we do not have to do anything to make the election hip,” said Brand Kroeger, chairman of the organization. “McCain is the hippest candidate already,”
The College Republicans fired up the grills to attract students to come to an information social event about McCain and Obama’s political messages. Kroeger said the College Democrats have consistently high turnouts at their events and the Nobama Barbeque was a way his organization could “attract everybody. We know we’re outnumbered.”
Travis Holler, the College Republicans publications director, said the event was also a way to tap into the freshman class, which has been enthusiastic about the current election.
“We have a lot of freshmen interested in going to (McCain’s Virginia) headquarters, campaigning and phoning,” Holler said.
Last Saturday, the College Democrats held Oproma, an event to fundraise for their campaign trips. About 150 students danced, talked politics and saw two students “crowned” King Barack and Queen Michelle.
The event was held “to raise money to take campaign trips, a way for people to come together and celebrate Obama’s candidacy, and celebrate our organizations’ events,” said Matt Ingoglia, communications director for the College Democrats. They raised just under $2,000.
Ingoglia said making the election hip is an absolute goal of the group, but the main focus will always be getting members actively involved with political races.
“A lot of people came at the door. We’re hoping that maybe some people came with their friends and probably heard what we are about and may want to get more involved,” he said.
Although this is the last week of trendy election events, both organizations are planning events to get voters involved up until Election Day. Canvassing is still a popular joint activity, but the organizations are also involved in debates.
As Kroeger said, “We’re a big fan of dialogues.”
This article appeared in the October 9, 2008 issue of the Hatchet.