Indiana U. Loses Out On Bid To Host 2008 Presidential Debate

This story was written by Brian Spegele, Indiana Daily Student
Indiana University was overlooked Monday to host any of the three Presidential debates next year in the lead-up to the highly anticipated elections, according to a news release from the Commission on Presidential Debates.

IU had been rumored to be among the finalists in the running to hold the debates, but the Commision selected universities in Mississippi, Tennessee and New York instead. In addition, Bloomington was not chosen as a as a back-up site for the events either.

The Commission selected Belmont University, Hofstra University and the University of Mississippi to host the three Presidential debates next fall, while Washington University in St. Louis will host a Vice Presidential debate.

Former IU Student Association President Betsty Henke had originally led an effort to bring the debates to IU last spring. University and Bloomington officials including, President Michael McRobbie and Mayor Mark Kruzan, had supported the effort.

Despite continued optimism by IUSA leaders that Bloomington could be selected as a host city for the event, others speculated IU would not be chosen because Indiana has not typically been classified as a swing state.

Jeff Fraser, IUSA debate director, said he was surprised by the Commision's decision not to select IU, but said he thinks Indiana's one-sided political climate played a role in the decision.

"We had submitted a competitive bid," Fraser said. "Apparently something was not up to par."

Fraser would not elaborate specifically on what factors played into the University not being selected.
© 2007 Indiana Daily Student via U-WIRE