Huckabee first in PAC mock caucus

By Arlene Freudenberg 2009

After considering the issues presented by representatives from nine presidential candidates, CFHS students gave Mike Huckabee the top spot in the CFHS mock caucus on Thursday Dec. 13.

Huckabee earned 14 votes, and was closely followed by 13 votes for Barrack Obama. The other finishers were Edwards with nine votes and three undecided.

The format followed the Democratic caucuses, and a 10 percent threshold was used to determine viable candidates after the first round of voting.

The mock caucus was held in the school cafeteria. Students were invited to listen as several representatives endorsed different candidates. The students were then allowed to wander to each representative and question him or her individually on anything they wanted to know about a candidate.

Each candidate’s representative was allowed to speak about his or her candidate for roughly two minutes. They presented in alphabetical order. Justin Scott represented Joe Biden. Scott volunteered his time to tell the students why Biden would be the best choice for president.

“Joe is like your favorite teacher. Everybody knows him. They respect him. They know what he’s done,” Scott said. “Joe has the country in mind. He wants to bring the war to an end without leaving chaos back in Iraq. Joe has the country in mind. He also wants to make college more affordable for everyone.”

The next person to speak was Don Smalls, who represented Hilary Clinton. Smalls is a staff member of the campaign who came all the way to Cedar Falls to speak to students.

“Hilary has the experience, the strength and the ambition. She wants to introduce a universal healthcare covering all Americans. Her first plan of action is to get us out of Iraq,” Smalls said. “She wants to make America work for working families again.”

After Smalls, Chris Dodd’s representative, Sam, spoke.

“Chris Dodd is known as the children’s senator. He wants to make community colleges more affordable for everyone,” Sam said.

Following him was the representative for John Edwards, Everett Crosland.

“I think we need to look at who the people are. Edwards has a clean record. He wants to send low-income families to college. He’s willing to take a stand for what he believes in because he remembers where he comes from. He is trying to change his friends’ lives, his families’ lives, as well as ours,” Crosland said.

Julia Rutten represented John McCain. “McCain’s been in politics for quite some years, since the ‘80s. He served in the Navy. Served in Vietnam. He was actually shot down while on a mission. He was held captive for five and a half years in solitary confinement,” Rutten said. “Because of his personal and political experience, he understands all the ins and outs.”

After Rutten finished her sad, but inspirational tale, Sara Elamine spoke about Barrack Obama. Sara Elamine had many followers along with her, all being fellow CFHS students.

“Obama is the candidate that represents change we can believe in. He wants to go into Washington and rewrite and change things because Washington is a dirty, corrupt place right now. Obama is not about mudslinging. He’s about bringing us together. We’re gonna take the country by storm and take the country back,” Elamine said.

Elamine also spoke of a “Party like a Barackstar” party every Tuesday from 4-9. It is located at 4807 University Ave., Cedar Falls, the Obama campaign headquarters. Anyone who wants to come and support Obama is invited to come.

When Elamine finished, John spoke about candidate Ron Paul. “Seventy percent of people are against the war, and the Democrats plans will take about five years long. The Republicans don’t even want to end the war. The first act of Ron Paul is to end the war, and end it now,” John said. “America has lost its freedom. When I was in high school, wearing a seatbelt wasn’t the law and the drinking age was 19. Now all the government has to do is call you a terrorist and they can lock you up without giving you any contact to a lawyer. What happened to our Constitution? I don’t know about you, but I want my freedom back. Paul wants to give us our freedom back. Ron Paul has also never changed or flipped-flopped; he has always kept his stance.”

When John finished, Justin Uebelhor and his guest, Cedar Falls resident Ruth Mahon, took the floor to inform students about Bill Richardson.
“Bill Richardson is the most experience. He’s been a governor and been in Congress for 14 years. He wants to bring our country together, and he has a history of getting things done,” Uebelhor said.

Although candidate Mike Huckabee didn’t have a set representative, CFHS sophomore Alex Clopton arrived to answer any questions students may have on the candidate.
In the initial round of the mock caucus, the results were as follows: 13 for Obama, 9 for Huckabee, 4 for Edwards, 3 for Richardson, 2 for Clinton, 1 for Paul, 1 for Romney and 6 undecided.

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