Celebrities, protesters flock to Hofstra for first presidential - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Celebrities, protesters flock to Hofstra for first presidential debate

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

One presidential debate down, two more to go.

From celebrities to protesters, Monday was a full day of excitement at Hofstra University on Long Island.

Most people Eyewitness News spoke with on the campus said they expected the unexpected.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had vastly different views on how to improve the country. Those views were mirrored by protesters.

The entrance to the debate itself was star-studded.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Rev. Jessie Jackson and Don King were a few of the names looking to get a front row seat to the action.

Hofstra students watched from the sidelines. Their excitement was palpable.

"It's been buzzing," said Ashley Carpenter, a Hofstra student. "There's definitely been a lot going on. It's like a circus out there."

"It's been crazy," said Jamie Ross, a Hofstra student. "It's been fun. They have a lot of activities going on."

The campus inside and out was full of protesters, some holding signs, others making their views heard in silence. Still, others wore red,white and blue and just hoped for a better future no matter who gets elected.

"We want to hear the verbal plans," said Jeanette Lohan, an AARP protestor. "We want to hear the specifics. We want to know exactly what they're going to do to keep us going."

Hofstra's political science chairperson, Rosanna Perotti, said both Trump and Clinton are not only polarizing figures, Trump especially knows how to get a crowd.

"He tends to see say outrageous things in order to get a reaction and that tends to promote a reaction and invites spirited support," she said.

In one of the most-watched political events, Monday was a day many students said they won't soon forget.

"It's just been so surreal to be here on campus and to have this once in a lifetime opportunity," said Meghan Tierney, a Hofstra student.

The next political event is the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

Clinton and Trump will face off again at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9.

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