Class Stages Mock Presidential Campaign Debate

November 20, 2009
by Sarah Abrams

Students in veteran political strategist Steve Jarding’s “The Making of a Politician” class got a taste of what a real-world campaign feels like, when they staged a mock presidential campaign debate Wednesday night (November 18). The debate, which took place in the Kennedy School Forum, where, over the years, many real-life presidential contenders have appeared, included candidates, press secretaries, journalists, and bloggers. The six student candidates fielded questions on the environment, health care, and national security from student panelists. This was the first year the the event took place in the Forum. In previous years, the mock debate has been held in the classroom.

“By moving the debate out of our classroom and into the Forum, we have invited a larger audience and challenged the students to not only use their natural abilities and debate preparation, but also start to consider the impact environment and audience can have,” said Naniette Coleman, a former student in Jarding’s class who last year served as a candidate and this year as a course assistant.

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