Obama courts the ‘one day they’ll be old enough’ vote

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY PAY TV -

some­thing Prime Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard might like to keep an eye on. US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is woo­ing Amer­i­cans not yet old enough to vote in a unique chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion news spe­cial that ri­val Mitt Rom­ney opted to avoid. Obama fielded pre­re­corded ques­tions from un­der-18s on top­ics as var­ied as the econ­omy, gun con­trol, gay mar­riage and heart­break dur­ing the half-hour pro­gram called Kids Pick the Pres­i­dent: The Can­di­dates. ‘‘The good news is that we’re start­ing to bounce back,’’ says Obama in re­ply to a 14-year-old’s ques­tion about hard times. ‘‘The most im­por­tant thing for you guys is mak­ing sure you’ve got a great ed­u­ca­tion.’’ On the is­sue of gun con­trol, Obama favours a ban on as­sault weapons. On im­mi­gra­tion, he says those who en­tered the US il­le­gally to seek a bet­ter life should ‘‘have a chance to earn their cit­i­zen­ship over time’’. In re­sponse to a Cal­i­for­nia teenager with many gay friends, he says: ‘‘I’ve got a lot of gay friends, too . . . Ul­ti­mately, it’s the right thing to do, and the fair thing to do, to al­low gay cou­ples to marry.’’ He also con­fesses to go­ing through heart­break. ‘‘That hap­pened to me,’’ he tells a 15-year-old who asks the Pres­i­dent what lost love had taught him. ‘‘I think the main thing you learn is that, you know, life goes on.’’ Kids Pick the Pres­i­dent pre­miered a day be­fore Obama, who has two young daugh­ters, and Rom­ney, with five grown chil­dren and 18 grand­chil­dren, faced off in the sec­ond of three prime-time de­bates ahead of the Novem­ber 6 elec­tion. Over the com­ing days, Nick­elodeon view­ers can vote on­line for their favourite can­di­date in an in­ter­net straw poll that has – un­can­nily – fore­cast the real win­ner in five of the last six pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.

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