On Monday 10th September, in the immediate aftermath of both the Republican and Democratic conventions in the US, JAS members gathered in a packed House of Commons committee room for London’s first Presidential debate in advance of November’s election.
Chaired and organised by Jonathan Isaby, JAS Formal Events Officer, the case for re-electing President Obama was put by Rob Carolina, who chairs the London branch of Democrats Abroad UK. His opponent, making the case for sending Mitt Romney to the White House was Tom Grant, chairman of Republicans Abroad UK.
It was standing room only, and after opening speeches, there were contributions and questions from the floor, raising a whole range of issues, including gay marriage, regulation of financial services, the candidates’ respective attitudes to Israel and the significance of Gov Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Both speakers gave their highly informed insight into the race for the White House and engaged in robust yet courteous verbal combat before summing up their case. A straw poll was then taken amongst attendees, suggesting that if the UK were the 51st state, it would be delivering its electoral college votes for President Obama.