The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced today that Tom Brokaw, current host of “Meet the Press” and a special correspondent for NBC News, will moderate the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont University on Tues., Oct. 7, 2008. The town hall format differs from the traditional debate format by allowing the invited participants to pose questions to the candidates. In addition, for the first time in the history of general election debates, the moderator can choose to use questions submitted via the Internet.
Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “We are thrilled to host Tom Brokaw at Belmont University. His professionalism and political expertise are a hallmark of each presidential election season, and we are excited to have a journalist of his caliber on our campus for this historic event.”
The Gallup Organization will choose the audience participants in the town hall meeting from undecided voters from the Nashville, Tenn., standard metropolitan statistical area. While the participants will pose the questions, Brokaw will facilitate the discussion between the audience and the candidates.
The other moderators announced today for the 2008 general election presidential and vice presidential debates are PBS’s Jim Lehrer for the Sept. 26 debate at Ole Miss, PBS’s Gwen Ifill for the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, and CBS’s Bob Schieffer for the final presidential debate on Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in New York. Each debate will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central and last for 90 minutes. The CPD 2008 Candidate Selection Criteria, announced on Nov. 21, 2007, will be the exclusive means of determining the candidates to be invited to participate in the debates.
Brokaw’s political coverage has been widespread throughout his 42-year career with NBC. He has interviewed every president since Lyndon Baines Johnson and has covered every presidential election since 1968. He was NBC’s White House correspondent from 1973-1976 in the midst of the Watergate scandal and anchored all of NBC’s political coverage from 1984-2004, including primaries, national conventions and election nights.
Brokaw stepped into the role as interim moderator of “Meet the Press” in June after the untimely death of his close friend, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and long-time “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert. Brokaw will hold the position through the 2008 presidential election. In 2004, he stepped down after 21 years as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News. He has produced 25 documentaries on subjects ranging from race, AIDS, the war on terror, Los Angeles gangs, Bill Gates, literacy, immigration and the evangelical movement. Brokaw has also written five bestselling books: The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, A Long Way Home and Boom! Voices of the Sixties.
For more information about the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont, please visit www.belmontdebate08.com.
About the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate
The 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont University is made possible through the generosity of our lead sponsors, Hospital Corporation of America, Jack C. Massey Foundation, The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and the State of Tennessee. Additional support is provided by AT&T; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz; Bank of America; Bridgestone Americas; Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.; Pat and George Bullard; Dell, Inc.; Dollar General Corporation; Earl Swensson Associates, Inc.; Enterprise Electric, LLC; Fifth Third Bank; First Tennessee Bank; The Frist Foundation; Gaylord Entertainment; Interior Design Services, Inc.; Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau; Nissan North America; Partnership for Chronic Disease; Purity Dairies, Inc.; Reliant Bank; Sherrard & Roe; The Tennessean; Walker, Tipps & Malone; Waller, Landsden, Dortch & Davis; and Zycron, Inc.