Debating the Obama-Vs-Romney Race



Al Akhawayn students and faculty attended the 2012 US Elections Forum on the US elections race between democratic president Barack Obama and his republican opponent Mitt Romney. The debate was held at Al Akhawayn University campus in Ifrane on October 18, 2012.

The US presidential candidates’ race, possible results and their implications, and other important elements were raised by expert panelists during the discussion. Panelists during the forum were Marcus Rosenbaum, a lifelong journalist and former senior editor and producer at National Public Radio; Aziz Mekouar, former Moroccan Ambassador to the US; Ahmed Rhazaoui, Visiting Professor at Al Akhawayn and former UNDP official; and Jeremy Gunn, Associate Professor of International Studies at Al Akhawayn School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“The race to President is so close that no one knows who will win at this stage,” said Marcus Rosenbaum. “Both candidates are unpopular but Americans seem to like Obama more than Romney as they feel the latter is out of touch and favors only the wealthy.” 

“It is felt that Obama has not done much for Africa; it was thought that he would increase efforts to improve Africa as his father is from Kenya but it was not the case,” commented Rhazaoui. 

Along the same lines, Gunn reflected on the US economy and other areas that need improvement; while Mekouar tackled the US-Morocco relationship, history, and trade agreement, emphasizing that “Morocco remains one of the United States’ oldest and closest allies in the Middle East and North Africa, a status affirmed by Morocco's zero-tolerance policy towards Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups.”