UM passed over for ’08 debate

POSTED NOV. 20 AT 8:54 P.M.

The University of Miami applied to host the 2008 presidential debate, competing against 19 other universities, but did not make the final cut.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday that the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.; Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. and Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. will host the debates leading up to the Nov. 4 presidential election.

Washington University in St. Louis, which hosted a presidential debate in 2000 and 2004, will host the vice presidential debate.

UM hosted the first presidential debate during the 2004 campaign, which featured President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

“Hosting the 2004 debate was a tremendous opportunity for students, for faculty and staff at UM,” said Rudy Fernandez, vice president for government affairs. “President [Donna E.] Shalala is still very excited that we are hosting the two Univision/University of Miami forums because she will be able to keep the promise that every presidential candidate still visits the university during the election cycle.”

Karyn Meshbane may be contacted at

Debate dates:
-First presidential debate on Sept. 26 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford
-Vice presidential debate on Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
-Second presidential debate Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
-Third presidential debate on Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Quick Facts:
-UM hosted one of three Presidential Debates. Washington University in St. Louis and Arizona State University hosted the other two.
-Television viewership last time UM hosted: 62.4 million (Nielsen Media Reasearch)
-250 students attended and watched the debate live; the most students ever to watch a debate live on a college campus. They were selected from a group of 689 who submitted essays.
-3,000 credentialed media attended, with “Crossfire” broadcast from the UC Patio and “Hardball” from the UC Rock.
-More than 200 daily newspapers featured the debate, and mentioned the University of Miami the next day.

– Compiled by Chelsea Kate Isaacs