With college students flocking to Barack Obama in unprecedented numbers, Mark Bednar has the toughest of jobs: Organizing UW-Madison students to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
As co-chair of Students For McCain, Bednar says he's ready to argue for McCain's election any time any place. "Sometimes I get pretty loud," he admits.
Bednar, 21, comes from Middelton. He is a senior at UW-Madison majoring in history and political science. He intends to go to law school. Other leaders in the McCain campus campaign include: Allison Nelson, Dan Hoefs and Katie Nix.
Here's what Bednar had to say when The Daily Page asked him about the campaign.
The Daily Page: What kind of support does McCain have on campus?
Bednar: Support has come across from a surprisingly vast array of people, including people you wouldn't necessarily think "vote Republican." I'm a walking example of a McCain supporter who does not necessarily stick to party doctrine but is interested in seeing a new and responsible way of voting. You can't look at somebody and say they are a McCain supporter.
What efforts are you planning to increase support for McCain?
Our biggest thing is targeting a few focal points that impact us, the students, the most within the next few years. That's going to be the war in Iraq, the economy, and climate change. These are the things that are going to affect you and me. We're going to be graduating soon and stepping into that world.
[Detailing] Senator McCain's stances on those issues --those are probably going to be the biggest things we address.
What, in brief, does McCain say that would interest a young person?
We live in an exciting time. The 21st century offers new opportunities and challenges that Sen. McCain is best equipped to address. Economically, Senator McCain wants to make sure Americans can remain competitive in a global market. Energy is also important. Sen. McCain will take the initiatives to secure our energy for the next generations to come.
Are you working with the Republican Party of Dane County and the state Republican Party?
They have my ear and I have theirs. We like to bounce ideas off of each other. We actually work more with the McCain campaign. At this point it is more of an important relationship.
Senator McCain is a different kind of Republican. We want to stress that he is the maverick, he is his own man, his own senator. But we're not shying away from his Republicaness or anything.
We're old enough to remember the last election. Will McCain be easier to promote with students than Bush?
That's interesting because a lot of the sentiment with Bush, and is also an issue now, was "which of the two candidates could you sit down and have a beer with?" Bush won the election because he conveyed a oneness with the typical American worker. I think both candidates are pretty solid at addressing normal American life. They both come from very modest backgrounds. I don't see a reason why McCain wouldn't do a comparable job.
Why do you Support McCain?
I think he has the most sound health care policy. I like addressing solutions to problems from a market stand point.
What's the hardest McCain policy to defend?
The war is a really divisive issue because people are less willing to accept a different point of view.
For more information on Students for McCain, contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Madison McCain campaign can be reached at 658-5151.