As you may know, the Republican National Committee held one of their presidential debates
at CU-Boulder. The debate was all about the economy, which happens to be what I study. My favorite professor happened to get tickets, so she invited some of her students including myself. The crowd was small so I was lucky to be there and I was really honored that my professor would think to invite me.
There are so many things that go into the debates that we don’t get to see on TV, and since I love politics and TV this was the perfect experience for me to have. First of all, just being on set for a major TV production is an experience in itself. There are so many things going on, it’s like there’s a show to watch before the show with all of the lights, cameras and action.
The other thing that was amazing was how close they let us get to the candidates, their families, and other VIPs. I also love any experience that lets me be around anyone remotely famous, so yes I was quite excited to see Ivanka Trump and Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper. Next time, maybe I’ll be bold enough to get a photo with them.
OK, now to talk about the debate itself. Although I would have watched it live from my bed anyway, seeing it live in person was something especially interesting. Watching what the
candidates do during commercial breaks and how they interact with one another was so
interesting. Even though basically all they did during commercial breaks was mill around the stage and drink water (commercial breaks aren’t that long), it was enough to satisfy me.
Seeing how the candidates look without the special lighting also made me feel like an insider (they look basically the same but that’s beside the point). Getting to go to the debate was an out-of-classroom learning experience because we got to talk with my professor (who’s an extremely smart economist) about the ideas that the candidates said about their economic plans. It was like having an econ translator to explain everything to me.
I also got a cool pass that I’ll show to my grandchildren that they may or may not be impressed by. Overall, a great experience!