Woodruff and Hunt talk politics with UM students

With the presidential election right around the corner, candidates are forced to focus their efforts on today’s economy, Judy Woodruff, a senior correspondent and political editor for PBS’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and her husband Al Hunt, executive editor for Bloomberg News, told University of Miami students in Gusman Concert Hall Friday.

“Congress will have to agree to get this massive complicated bailout package pushed through, and this problem has to be solved in short order – all of this happening with a lame duck president in office and right in the middle of a presidential election where the odds have never been higher,” Woodruff said.

“Things are constantly changing and the developments are just so shocking, this election is based on experience versus change, and we as nation want both,” Hunt said.

The University of Miami is playing host to a series of events entitled “A Dialogue for Democracy,” and Woodruff and Hunt were featured as the third event in the series.

This discussion attracted approximately 150 attendees, including students, faculty and parents who were in town for the university’s family weekend.

Steve Siegal, director of the Dialogue for Democracy program said that “this event makes a great transition into the family weekend.”

Woodruff and Hunt addressed issues that are pertinent to the upcoming presidential election as well as held a question and answer session with audience members following their presentation.

Woodruff shared her thoughts about what she thought of the upcoming election.

“Both candidates worked very hard to get to this point, overcoming enormous odds each in their own very distinct ways,” Woodruff said.

On the subject of today’s economy, Woodruff said, “I’ve been covering politics for over 30 years and I have never seen anything like this.”

Hunt agreed with Woodruff, adding that this year’s political season has been the most “remarkable thing I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been a journalist.”

“There is also great clash between the candidates as well as a cultural clash due to the factor of race”, Hunt said.

Students enjoyed the fact that the university is hosting the Dialogue For Democracy series.

A graduate student studying broadcast journalism, Chris Emma said, “I think it’s interesting to hear from journalists who are covering the election and to hear their points of view on the subject.”

The political mood continued throughout the evening as several debate watch parties were hosted on campus.

The next event in the series is called “The Way We’ll Be” and will feature John Zogby. It is on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. in the Bill Cosford Cinema.

For complete details on the upcoming schedule of the Dialogue For Democracy series, visit www.miami.edu/decision08.