CNN’s Shaw Moderates Discussion as Prelude to Belmont Presidential Debate
Gov. Phil Bredesen and First Lady Andrea Conte, former Sen. Howard Baker and the University of Tennessee’s Baker Center for Public Policy, Belmont University, the Tennessee Business Roundtable and the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center hosted a forum Monday on civil discourse in American politics as a prelude to the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate.
Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw moderated the one-hour forum assessing this year’s presidential race, posing the key question: “Is Uncivil Discourse Sabotaging American Politics and Governance?” The event featured a panel discussion with nationally known media and political experts at Belmont’s Troutt Theater. Participants included Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee; Politico managing editor Bill Nichols, a veteran journalist who has covered six presidential elections; former Democratic Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, now president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers; and Mark Whitaker, senior vice president and Washington bureau chief for NBC News.
“We’re in the homestretch of one of the fiercest and hardest-fought presidential elections in American history,” Bredesen said. “On the eve of Belmont’s Town Hall Presidential Debate, it’s appropriate to hit the pause button to examine the tone and tenor of these campaigns, and hopefully set the tone for a civil conclusion.”
Baker added: “Without civility, without a decent respect for different points of view, our style of government simply will not function. I am proud that the Baker Center is a partner in this important effort to discuss and promote civility.”