Reflections From the Presidential Debate at LMU


January 23, 2020

KidScoop Media Correspondent Joseph Shapiro had an opportunity to interveiw several of the candidates

Joseph Shapiro, 10

KidScoop Media Correspondent

It was December 19, 2019. I'd been looking forward to the Democratic presidential debate since September. I was sweating but I wasn't sure if it was because I was hot or because I was nervous. I took a lot of deep breaths and assured myself everything was going to be fine and that I wouldn't mess up. Then I heard a bunch of shouts and yells that sounded something like, "He's coming! The first candidate is out!"

When I first arrived at Loyola Marymount University at 12:30 PM I was super nervous. I had never interviewed anyone, had a cameraman filming me, or been to any type of debate! I had no idea what was going to happen or how it was going to work. After doing a few mock interviews I gained a bit more confidence, but I was still really nervous.

We went down to the press filing room to interview a few reporters. I interviewed journalists from CNN, NBC, PBS, Voice of America, and other big news outlets. I also got to interview Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General of California, and Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee Chair.

Before I knew it, it was already time to go back up to the media room to watch the debate at my desk. I thought it was going to be really boring and that I would fall asleep in the first twenty minutes, but I actually really enjoyed it. I made sure to pay attention in case I came up with any last minute questions. Even though it had only felt like a few minutes, we had already reached the two and a half hour mark! It was time to go back downstairs.

We were back in the spin room for the last time. After the debate ended, I interviewed Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California. A few minutes later, the first candidate, Andrew Yang, came out, but I didn't get the chance to interview him at the time at first. Next, Mayor Pete Buttigieg came out, and I got to ask him a question. I asked him and the rest of the candidates the same thing, "When you're the president, how will you give kids like me a voice?". He answered and I went to the other end of the room to interview Tom Steyer and Amy Klobuchar. After they answered my question, the last of the five candidates that came out was Elizabeth Warren, but almost no one got to interview her.

I went back to the hotel that night feeling very happy and proud because I interviewed over half of the candidates. Overall, it was such an amazing opportunity. I can't wait to do something like that again!


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