The University of Iceland and the US Embassy of Reykjavík held a forum at the Nordic House yesterday afternoon discussing the 2012 Presidential Debate. The university’s Institute for International Affairs and the embassy brought in political experts Bob Carpenter and Rick Ridder to represent the viewpoints of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. Journalist and former presidential candidate Þóra Arnórsdóttir moderated the event.
The forum, “The US Presidential Campaigns: The View from Both Sides,” began with Rick covering the recent high and low points of each candidate’s campaign, from the President’s “You didn’t build that” speech this summer, to the leaked video that shows Mitt Romney claiming 47 per cent of Americans don’t pay taxes.
Bob, whose experience includes polling and surveying, then broke down which states each candidate was likely to win and how close that would put him to the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election.
During the forum’s closing question and answer session audience members, many of whom were political science students at the university, asked questions on a broad range of topics, including: the appeal of each party to minority voters, the effect of the October 4 presidential debate, the representation of women in American politics and the effect of the Tea Party on the Republicans.
The last question, asked by an Icelandic MP, called on Rick and Bob to “look into their crystal balls” and predict the outcome of the November 6 election. Both agreed that the current president was more than likely to come out on top.
Rick and Bob will speak again today at the University of Akureyri at 12:00, with discussion moderated by Grétar Þór Eyþórsson.