Clinton and Obama Looking for a Home (Updated)
CNN and Univision considering sites around UT campus for debate.
By Richard Whittaker,
1:10PM, Wed. Feb. 13, 2008
So the Clinton/Obama debate has been confirmed for Austin but, contrary to some reports, where exactly it will be is still undecided.
The hot rumor being floated by Texans for Obama was the LBJ Auditorium. This seems to have come from a press release from Univision, and Univision should know, since they are the Spanish-language broadcast partners for the debate. But that may be a little premature, according to the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. "The LBJ auditorium is still being renovated, and the location has yet to be confirmed," said public affairs specialist John Fournier.
So where is it going? According to Texas Democratic Party communications director Hector Nieto, it will be somewhere on the UT campus (probably count out the Frank Erwin Center, which is booked out that night, and the Bass Concert Hall is a building site for the next year.) Univision and CNN staff are visiting today, and are looking at a short-list of three or four locations.
However, just because the LBJ auditorium is out of the running, doesn't mean it can't be somewhere in the building. James Steinberg, dean of the LBJ school, said one possible location is the LBJ Library Atrium ("People may be getting their a-words confused," he said.") Located on the tenth floor, it's a lot smaller than the auditorium, but still possibly in contention. Steinberg hopes that the broadcasters will have a final decision "soon."
UPDATE: And now we do – the invite-only event is going down at UT's Recreational Sports Facility. Begin your Chris Matthews-esque cliches about sports, politics, and "the big game," et al. … now.