• Kendy Espinal (left) and Kevin Huestis, campaign managers for the Obama and Romney campaign, respectively, give their closing statements during a mock presidential debate at Vilseck High School, Nov. 1.

    Getting down to the issues

    Kendy Espinal (left) and Kevin Huestis, campaign managers for the Obama and Romney campaign, respectively, give their closing statements during a mock presidential debate at Vilseck High School, Nov. 1.

  • Members of the Obama re-election campaign show support by waving a handmade sign to audience members before a mock debate held Vilseck High School five days before Election Day.

    Support for President Obama

    Members of the Obama re-election campaign show support by waving a handmade sign to audience members before a mock debate held Vilseck High School five days before Election Day.

  • Kevin Huestis, a senior at Vilseck High School, takes the podium as Mitt Romney's campaign manager to address why Romney should lead the country in 2013 to his fellow students during a mock debate at the high school, Nov. 1.

    The Romney campaign

    Kevin Huestis, a senior at Vilseck High School, takes the podium as Mitt Romney's campaign manager to address why Romney should lead the country in 2013 to his fellow students during a mock debate at the high school, Nov. 1.

  • Vilseck High School senior Kendy Espinal addresses fellow students as President Obama's re-election campaign manager during the mock debate held at the school, Nov. 1. The decision to re-elect President Obama "goes well beyond political matters," said Espinal.

    The Obama campaign

    Vilseck High School senior Kendy Espinal addresses fellow students as President Obama's re-election campaign manager during the mock debate held at the school, Nov. 1. The decision to re-elect President Obama "goes well beyond political matters," said...

VILSECK, Germany -- With his alpine stature, chiseled jaw and slicked back hair, Kevin Huestis could easy play on the Romney family volleyball team.

Impeccably dressed in a dark suit with the calculable red tie, the high school senior took the stage at Vilseck High School portraying Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign manager during a mock debate, Nov. 1.

While most of the students were ineligible to vote in the real presidential election, the political fervor was teeming as Huestis revealed to his fellow students why Romney should lead the country in 2013.

"To understand Mitt Romney's unique qualifications, one must first understand the nation's situation," began Huestis. "The national debt is over 16 trillion dollars with six trillion added during Obama's campaign. Mitt Romney is a businessman, and will do what needs to be done to keep our nation the supreme super power."

Much like Romney's inability to convince the country of his qualifications to lead, Huestis' team of faux-republicans could not convince Vilseck High School students to shift their democratic credence this election with 68 percent casting their vote to re-elect President Obama. For 18-year-old Kendy Espinal, the decision goes well beyond political matters.

A senior at the school and acting campaign manager for President Obama's re-election campaign during the debate, Espinal cast her vote for Obama in both the mock and real elections stating, "His moral and social beliefs are much like mine. I need to be able to relate to my president."

Espinal articulated her political posture to fellow Vilseck High School students, praising President Obama's accomplishments during his first term in her opening remarks.

"When President Obama took office, the country had not yet begun to recover from President Bush's administration. Our economy was in ruins, the morale was low and the American people were looking for change," she said. "The next four years the Republicans would say no to every bill, every reform and every policy that went through their desk. President Obama heard the cries of the American public and he fought to piece America back together. He passed credit card reform, health care reform and the Wall Street reform. He brought our troops home from Iraq. He ended the 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

When Espinal stated that President Obama, with the help of the Navy Seals, "announced to the world the death of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks," cheers and a hearty "Amen!" echoed throughout the gymnasium.

Espinal concluded: "President Obama accomplished all this and more in just four years. Can you imagine what he could do with four more?"

The mock debate was the brainchild of Government and Politics teacher Richard Ritter, who assigned each of his A.P. Government classes a rival campaign to work on. The goal was to involve the students in the political process to create informed voters.

"This gives them firsthand knowledge of how campaigns work -- the good and the bad. It allows them to problem solve in real world situations," said Ritter. "They dive into the issues and figure out the differences between the two candidates."

During the mock debate, members of each campaign discussed hard-hitting topics including education, energy, entitlements, economics, military, foreign policy, abortion and gay rights, borrowing information directly from the two presidential nominees' offense.

For days that followed, students registered to vote and cast their final ballot alongside their American voting counterparts on Nov. 6.

While most students voted the streamline party candidates, one write-in vote adorned the ballot for quadrennial (and farcical) candidate Vermin Supreme. During the 2012 presidential election, Supreme ran on a platform of zombie apocalypse awareness and time travel research -- two important topics President Obama and Mitt Romney failed to address.

Page last updated Wed November 7th, 2012 at 00:00