With election season winding down, we checked in with two of the most politically active students on campus: Jessie Gamble, president of the College Republicans, and Noah An, president of the Young Democrats. Noah was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and Jessie is working on the reelection campaigns of two Washington state Republican legislators. This will be their first time voting for a president.
State your year and the candidate you support for president.
Jessie Gamble: I’m a senior and I voted for Donald Trump.
Noah An: I’m a junior and I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.
Who was your first choice in the primary?
Jessie: Rand Paul.
Noah: Hillary Clinton. I was one of two Hillary supporters in our club during the primary.
Who’s the first candidate you ever remember rooting for?
Noah: My mom was really excited about John Kerry in 2004. I remember hearing about it a lot, so I was sort of rooting for Kerry in the back of my head. The first time I ever felt strongly invested was for Barack Obama in 2008.
Jessie: Oh, boy. My parents weren’t that political. My introduction to politics was reading voter pamphlets, and it was like a comic book to me: You pick your superheroes. In 2008, I liked Ron Paul.
Jessie, do you ever feel isolated as a conservative on a college campus?
Jessie: I like it. That’s the reason I wanted to come to the University of Washington—besides the fact that it was my dream school. I wanted to go somewhere I could have my ideas challenged.
Noah, do you ever feel redundant on a college campus where so many students identify as liberal?
Noah: I wouldn’t say that. Even if you have a campus full of liberals, not everyone is as engaged as they should be, or educated on the issues.
Both of your candidates have incurred their fair share of controversy. What’s the thing you’re most tired of defending?
Noah: The things Bill [Clinton] has done. There are things about Hillary herself that I’m really tired of defending, but the most frustrating thing is defending the thing she was the victim of. I don’t think she was ever rooting to be cheated on.
Jessie: The Trump tapes [recordings of Trump making lewd remarks about women], and I’ll tell you why: I never got asked a single thing about Trump until then. After the tapes, I get asked about him all the time, specifically, “How do you feel about the Trump tapes as a woman?” That just pisses me off, because no one ever asks me about his platform—about his stances—just about how I feel as a woman. It always got reduced to that.
Who was the best president in American history?
Jessie: Teddy Roosevelt.
Who was the worst president?
Noah: I don’t know enough about history to say, but I think Herbert Hoover is up there. Andrew Jackson is probably up there.
Jessie: That’s fair. I’m not a fan of Jimmy Carter—I felt he was really lukewarm on stuff and didn’t have much of a spine. Maybe William Henry Harrison, the guy who didn’t wear a coat and died.
If you were running for president—and this is assuming that you’re 35 years old—who would your running mate be?
Jessie: Ron Paul or Rand Paul. But Ron’s probably a little old.
Noah: Elizabeth Warren.
If WikiLeaks hacked your emails, and all of your secrets came out, who would you have to apologize to first?
Noah: Ooh, that’s tough. I’d probably be less concerned about emails than texts.
Jessie: If it was Facebook Messenger, I’d be done.
The older generation is embarrassed by hot mics and emails, you guys get busted by text messages and Facebook.
Jessie: Yeah, I don’t really email anything bad. Just work stuff.
What are your plans for after college?
Noah: Something in the political world.
Jessie: I’m looking at getting a job in the King County Republican Party, and I’m looking to run for office in my home district.
Anything else you want people to know?
Jessie: Be engaged. Deviate from the path.
Noah: Vote. November 8, by 8 p.m. I still have to vote. There’s a few I’m still deciding on.