Presidential debate in 2004: WUSTL considered as a host

Washington University is one of 14 sites around the country being considered to host one of the fall 2004 presidential debates, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

This is the fourth consecutive time the University has been listed as a potential debate site.

The University hosted the presidential debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore on Oct. 17, 2000, and was the site of the first nationally televised three-candidate presidential debate on Oct. 11, 1992 — featuring Republican George Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and Reform Party candidate Ross Perot.

In addition, the University was named to host a 1996 presidential debate that eventually was canceled.

“I am delighted that St. Louis is again being considered for one of the debates planned for the fall of 2004,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “We are very excited about the prospect of hosting one of the world’s most widely covered political events.

“If St. Louis is again selected as a host site, it will be a credit to everyone in the region, all of whom have worked together to make previous debates so successful.”

The University is once again offering use of its Field House, located in the Athletic Complex. The expertise and experience of the faculty and staff combined with enthusiastic volunteer assistance from students have been a major factor in the success of previous debates at the University.

Traditionally, there have been three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate. No dates have yet been set for fall 2004.

The CPD is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in 1987 that is responsible for selecting the venues and producing the presidential debates. CPD Executive Director Janet H. Brown announced the commission had received bids to host the 2004 debates from colleges and universities, cities and organizations throughout the nation.

The commission is expected to announce the debate sites in November.