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Tuesday Night Club

February 5, 2008

by The Forum

It was barely after 5 pm, and CNN had announced no surprises (“Romney Wins Massachusetts!” “Obama wins Illinois!”), but CMC students were steadily arriving with their laptops and to-go boxes from Collins.  They were coming to The Hub to see the makeshift projection TV and watch Wolf Blitzer at the Super Tuesday Results Party hosted by the Claremont Political Union. The Claremont Political Union was created as a confluence of the Claremont Democrats and Claremont Republicans clubs, and CMC’s two partisan newspapers, the Claremont Port Side, and the Claremont Independent. According to President of the Claremont Democrats, Elaine Maloney (SC '08), “People might be involved in politics, but might not be allegiant to a party.  But this is a good place to start for the same goal.” Mike Whatley (CMC '11), Vice-President of Operations for the Claremont Republicans, echoed this goal: “It is a good thing to come together, and hold events together in a friendly environment.”

Yet, the debate over the choice of TV channel almost turned the event hostile. A half-dozen Republicans charged the party’s organizers with partisanship because they chose CNN over Fox News. To appease both sides, the CPU decided to switch between channels every 30 minutes. Yet, Mr. Whatley told me that “CNN was better anyway.”

By 6 PM, The Hub was full of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, and voting in California was still open for another two hours. Sometime after 6 p.m., CNN made a projection—Barack Obama had won Delaware. The crowd of Obama supporters was glowing and cheering.  On the other side, the response was more hushed during Republican projections—when John McCain won New York, the crowd remained mostly unmoved with a few scattered claps and boos.

None of the organizations in the CPU endorsed a candidate as a club, and are now focused on future events and funding. They are planning an “unconventional partisan debate” during Alumni Weekend, and are seeking funding as an organization (a consortium within a consortium?), instead of using funds from each member club. This time, club funds bought sets of red, white, and blue balloons and a handy delegate chart that was much easier to follow than that of the Situation Room at CNN.

Breaking from the usual CMC party scene, the clubs did not buy alcohol with their funds.  “No one here is looking to get smashed on a Tuesday night,” said Ms. Maloney. Still, a few students improvised with Chardonnay (Obama supporters).

In CMC’s community of political involvement and partisanship, many students loved the bipartisan atmosphere. Molly Doyle (CMC '09) said, “I'm just so excited to be here. This event would only happen at CMC.”

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