Nation & World

Ole Miss begins to party at word that the debate will go on

OXFORD, Miss. — A festive atmosphere has overtaken the University of Mississippi since the news came earlier today that the first presidential debate of 2008 is officially on for tonight.

Students, faculty and spectators said they were happy that Republican nominee John McCain has backed off his stance that the debate should be postponed in light of the current U.S. financial crisis, and that the Arizona senator will come to campus tonight to take on Democrat Barack Obama.

The campus is filled with students and locals holding campaign signs. Cable news channels were lined up in front of the student union, and MSNBC was broadcasting live just before noon with Tom Brokaw on the set. A festival known as "Rock the Debate" which includes food and music is underway.

Colin McGee, a senior biology major from Mobile, a photographer for the campus newspaper, the Daily Mississippian, stood in the student union taking in the sights. To have an event of such magnitude hit the campus and to be able to cover it is a fantastic opportunity, McGee said. Seeing all the famous television personalities is also a bonus.

"I just walked past Tom Brokaw," McGee said.

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