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History of Presidential Debates at Dartmouth

1999: "First in the Nation: A New Hampshire Town Meeting"

1999
U.S. Vice President Al Gore (right) responds to a question from the audience prior to a debate with fellow Democratic presidential candidate, former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., (left) at Dartmouth on October 27, 1999. The two candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination took part in an hour-long "town meeting" forum in Moore Theater. (photo by Win McNamee/REUTERS)

Date: The Democrats held a town meeting-style forum on October 27, 1999

Candidates: Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J.

Moderators: CNN anchor Bernard Shaw and WMUR-Channel 9 news director Karen Brown.

Broadcast Outlets: Presented by CNN and WMUR-Channel 9, the ABC affiliate in Manchester, N.H. The Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth was also a co-sponsor.

Location: Moore Theater in Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts.

  • Called the "New Hampshire Town Meetings," this candidates' forum was held in the Hopkins Center's Moore Theater, which seats 500.
  • Main topics of discussion were health care and campaign finance reform.
  • The event drew hundreds of students to viewing areas across campus.
  • Pre-debate polls from Quinnipiac put Bradley at 47 percet to Gore's 39 percent in New Hampshire.
  • The Dartmouth student newspaper noted that Gore wore cowboy boots "to cultivate the image of a relaxed outsider working from his new headquarters in Tennessee." (Oct. 28, 1999)
  • An excerpt of the candidates' remarks is available online.

1999
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (second from left), puts his hand atop the hands of fellow Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah (left); Alan Keyes (center); Gary Bauer; and Steve Forbes before a "town meeting" forum at Dartmouth on October 28, 1999. (photo by Jim Bourg/REUTERS)

The Republicans held their town meeting-style forum a day later on October 28, 1999.

Candidates: Former Regan administration official Gary Bauer; publishing magnate Steve Forbes; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; former assistant Secretary of State Alan Keyes; and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Moderators: CNN anchor Judy Woodruff and WMUR-Channel 9 news anchor Tom Griffith

Broadcast Outlets: It was presented by CNN and WMUR-Channel 9, the ABC affiliate in Manchester, N.H. The Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth was also a co-sponsor.

Location: Moore Theater in Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts

  • The Dartmouth headline on January 29, 1999: "Students less interested in 2nd forum."
  • Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican frontrunner, didn't attend because he was at a Southern Methodist University alumni awards ceremony for his wife.
  • An excerpt of the candidates' remarks is available online.

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Last updated: 10/09/11