The Mills College community tuned in for the first 2016 presidential debate on Sept. 26 that featured Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton, and Republican party candidate Donald Trump.
The viewing and discussion was hosted by the public policy program and International City/County Management Association at Mills (ICMA), followed by a discussion guided by Larry Magid, a Mills public policy professor. The debate drew a full room of people, with vocalized criticisms that mostly surrounded republican candidate Donald Trump’s performance in the debate.
Afterwards, Magid asked audience members what surprised them, and what they thought each candidate needed to do to win voters.
Zoey, a public policy graduate student, commented that Trump did a good job appealing to his supporters.
“I’m surprised he didn’t make an attempt to pull third party voters or undecided voters; he just went to his base,” she said.
Rick Rivera, a graduate student, was happy with Hillary’s performance, but raised some concerns during the debate section about race and policing.
“I felt like it was a misstep on her part to go with the soft, law-and-order, policeman position,” Rivera said.
Mills professors also gave commentary about their reactions to the debate. Lori Bamberger, head of the Mills public policy department, was surprised by Trump’s lack of policy.
“I was surprised there wasn’t any policy articulated by Trump,” Bamberger said. “I was more surprised he never got really flustered by his inability to articulate policy.”
Mills’ Public Policy Program will also be hosting a vice presidential debate viewing featuring Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the faculty lounge.