Photos by Colin Houck

How About Those Debates?

Eugeneans dish on the many Democratic candidates

With the latest round of Democratic debates in the bag, Eugene Weekly became curious about what the city’s residents think so far. With the election more than a year away, many people say they aren’t really paying much attention to presidential politics.

Others have plenty to say.

In the latest of our series of interviews on what local folks think about the 2020 election, here’s what a handful of Eugeneans think about the very wide field of candidates, their policies and the debates in general.



Photo by Colin Houck

Chris Shannon, 64

I thought the debates were, frankly, very shallow. The ability to really cover the issues is just too difficult. They’re really constrained by the number of participants. I mean, for Christ’s sake, how is anyone supposed to cover the issues when you have that many participants involved? I’m glad I’m on the other side and not 25 now, looking at the future. I think we’re on the Titanic.



Photo by Colin Houck

Angela O’Neil, 31
University of Oregon student

I think framing the questions pitting them against each other really lowers our civil discourse. And the way CNN framed questions like, “So and so said this pitting you against them, how do you stack up to that?” is not a good tactic if you are trying to get at substantive comments. But with so many people on the stage I think the two-minute clips and one-liners aren’t going to raise our discourse from the status quo at the moment.



Photo by Colin Houck

Andy Drake, 31
architectural intern

They need to narrow it down. It was like two hours of going “Oh yeah, this person’s running.” In the second one, obviously [Tulsi] Gabbard going after Kamala [Harris] was kind of fun, because I’m not a huge fan of Kamala. [Joe] Biden did okay, but I was kind of hoping he’d punch back a little more. But there’re really no standouts. That’s what happens when you have 20 candidates.



Photo by Colin Houck

Janice Mason, 36
marijuana farm-owner

I just don’t see a very strong candidate right now. And I don’t think Joe Biden is it. I don’t know, though; nobody really stands out. I do like Marianne Wilson, though, actually. Kamala I think lacks strong conviction. Sometimes she flip-flops on some of the things she’s thinking about. But I think if she gained some strong convictions, she could be a good candidate. There are a lot of candidates, but I think it’s going to get narrowed down. 

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