Sunday’s presidential debate struck Halley Ager and Maya McDonald as childish.
And considering they’re 17-year-old seniors at Tacoma’s School of the Arts, that’s saying something.
“It was very childish,” Ager said. “All of it.”
The two were among about two dozen people in the back room of the Harmon Tap House in Tacoma on Sunday evening to watch the debate between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Both wanted Clinton to stay above the fray when Trump launched attacks, to spend more time addressing issues and the audience, and less time addressing him.
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“I expected more from Hillary,” Ager said. “I expected her to be less interactive.”
McDonald was “incredibly disappointed” with Clinton’s performance, but she commended Clinton for being able to stand silently and let many of Trump’s comments go by. McDonald took particular issue with how both candidates addressed a Muslim woman in the audience who asked the candidates about how they would help protect and include Muslims in society. Both danced around the question, from her perspective — she expected that of Trump, but not of Clinton.
“I am a woman of color, a queer woman of color, and I care deeply about minorities,” McDonald said. “I feel like her comments were too broad.”
Ager and McDonald came out for the debate to watch it as entertainment and learn more about the candidates’ stances on political issues, despite the fact that neither will be able to vote in the November election.
Sitting near the teens were Chris LeBlanc, 38, and Wayne Parks, 37, of Tacoma. The two, one a disaffected left-leaning libertarian and the other a staunch liberal, have been married for seven years after having to get married out of state because same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Washington.
“Chris and I have some very interesting discussions,” Parks said.
Parks will be voting for Clinton, while LeBlanc will be voting for Gary Johnson, they said.
“Chris and I cannot vote for a party that wants us dead, and that’s how I really feel about the Republicans,” Parks said.
LeBlanc said Trump’s performance was significantly better than in his first debate with Clinton.
Parks agreed Trump did better in Sunday’s debate, but said his “absolutely abhorrent” comments about women made in 2005 that were released Friday were still looming.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to forget about that in one debate,” Parks said.