Although the 2008 election season left little for Colorado’s Republican population to celebrate, CSU’s Republican student leaders urged cross-party unity during Tuesday’s presidential inauguration.
Kelly Carnal, Chairwoman of the CSU College Republicans said despite the feeling of disappointment that permeated the ranks the Republican Party following the November election and the sense of opposition many conservatives feel toward Obama’s proposed policies, she doesn’t think anyone wants the new president to fail.
“I really hope he does well, I really do,” Carnal said. “I hope he can prove (his critics) wrong.”
She said given the array of challenges from the Iraq War to the failing economy — that threaten to expand the political schism that already divides U.S. citizens and government officials, “now is not the time at all” to cling to strict political lines.
“Everyone just has to try to pull together and work together as much as possible,” former chairwoman of the CSU College Republicans Chelsey Penoyer said.
Carnal praised the new President on his “bipartisan” cabinet appointments and said his initial attempts to unify the two parties give her hope for the coming years.
Carnal said she hated hearing people make negative comments about former president George W. Bush and said she hopes her peers will avoid the same kind of disparaging speech.
Instead, she urged her fellow Republican students to understand and respect the views of President Obama and his supporters despite their disagreements
“Nobody is perfect,” Carnal said. “We have to give him a chance.”
Penoyer said she believes that the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency will be critical, something Obama himself had said, saying that the first 100 days will be a “good trial period” and chance to prove himself to Republicans.
She echoed Carnal’s criticism of hostility toward the president.
“He is my commander in chief so I refuse to be disrespectful,” Penoyer said.
Other CSU students, however, did not share Carnal and Penoyer’s optimism and Mike Ochs, a freshman animal sciences major, said he will begrudgingly go along with the Obama administrations decisions.
“We kind of have to go along as much as I’d like to say ‘fight against him,'” Ochs said. “It’s not going to help matters.”
Sophomore business major Karter Skelton said he is still unsure about Obama’s proposed policies, but said he too will support the President out of necessity.
“I doubt he’ll get impeached, so you have to make the best of it . to put it lightly,” Skelton said.
Ochs, who comes from a small-business, ranching family, said he fears that Obama’s tax policies will end up hurting small businesses, the families that run them and the economy as a whole.
“I think he’s going to screw a lot of the small businesses,” he said.
Penoyer shared Ochs concern about taxing small businesses but said she remains optimistic, while Carnal said she encourages her peers to help the end economic crisis by being fiscally responsible themselves.
Both Penoyer and Carnal stressed the importance of bipartisan support to overcome the economic difficulties the U.S. currently faces.
However, Hunter Darien, a sophomore in the College of Agricultural Sciences, who also comes from a family of ranchers, said citizens should only take their support of the president so far.
“If it’s hurting their businesses, they need to take a stand and do something to make it right.”
Senior Reporter Jim Sojourner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.