City Life

Because We're the Iowa of Presidential Debates 

One of 75 reasons we love St. Louis in 2016

click to enlarge Yes, this man was invited here. But only to debate. - PHOTO BY HOLLY RAVAZZOLO
  • PHOTO BY HOLLY RAVAZZOLO
  • Yes, this man was invited here. But only to debate.

For the sixth consecutive election cycle — that's dating all the way back to the ascension of another candidate named Clinton, in 1992 — Washington University has been invited to host the center stage for one of the national election's most pivotal moments: a presidential or vice presidential debate. Overseen by the Commission on Presidential Debates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will duke it out on October 9 over everything from health care to social justice issues to that damn wall, all while being watched live by millions of citizens here and abroad.

What makes Wash U so desirable as a debate location? Is it the school's reputation for high-quality education and discourse? Perhaps it's because St. Louis is a busy city in the center of the country? Maybe the debate commissioners just really like hanging out near Forest Park?

While all of these reasons make sense to us, none of them is good enough for the Washington Post, which posted a bellyaching opinion piece last year decrying St. Louis' debate-hosting dominance. "Maybe it's time to give Wisconsin a shot," the piece argued.

Yeah, and maybe it's time Wisconsin developed schools that regularly rank higher on U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" list (Washington University is No. 15 among national universities this year).

Until then, we'll happily accept hosting one of the most decisive events every four years and forcing the folks who will run our nation to consider flyover country for once. America, we're ready for our close-up. Yes, again.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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