Friday, December 19, 2014

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U.Va. Miller Center, ABC ‘This Week’ Team To Air Discussion of Presidential Debates

A special edition of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” produced with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, will air this Sunday and focus on the question, “Do Presidential Debates Change Elections?”

Panelists are scheduled to include:

  • Newt Gingrich, 2012 Republican presidential candidate
  • Chris Dodd, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate
  • Martha Raddatz, moderator of Thursday’s vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan
  • Richard Norton Smith, presidential historian
  • Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Al Gore’s 2000 campaign
  • George Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator

Broadcast before a live studio audience at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the program will be moderated by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.

The panel will take questions from social media, and viewers are invited to post questions on Twitter to @ThisWeekABC and @Miller_Center and on Facebook at  facebook.com/ThisWeekABC and facebook.com/millercenter.

“Ever since John Kennedy and Richard Nixon faced off in the first televised debate in 1960, pundits and historians have analyzed every question, every answer, every look in the presidential debates,” former Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, director and CEO of the Miller Center, said. “But do debates make a difference? Do they change elections?

“We’ve assembled an impressive panel to address that question. I’m pleased that the Miller Center can provide the firsthand perspectives of past administrations through our unparalleled presidential resources.”

The Miller Center has pulled together materials from its vast archives related to presidential debates, including video of past presidential debates; excerpts from oral histories, in which past presidents and their advisers discuss debates; and clips from the secret White House tapes, including Nixon discussing his 1960 debate with Kennedy and his refusal to debate George McGovern in 1972.

The Miller Center also has created supplementary educational materials, including a white paper and blog posts written by leading scholars and lesson plans that middle-school and high-school teachers can use to educate students about election issues.   

“This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and the Miller Center have teamed to produce a series of programs on the key issues of the 2012 election.

“This Week,” ABC's Sunday morning political affairs program, has aired since 1981. The program has been anchored by David Brinkley, Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Christiane Amanpour. After anchoring from 2002 to 2010, Stephanopoulos returned to the show in January 2012. For information and to find out what time the program airs in your area, visit abcnews.com/thisweek.

Founded in 1975, the Miller Center is a nonpartisan institute focused on the presidency, policy and political history that works to inform public debate and national decision-making. It is the leading organization in the country looking to provide historical insights for the policymaking challenges the country faces today. For information and educational resources, go to millercenter.org.

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