Monday, September 15, 2008

Hofstra debate flying under the NYC radar

I guess there are a lot of things to do in a city of 8 million people, but I really thought more New Yorkers would know about the Oct. 15 presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island. I mean, I realize it's not at Columbia University (where the candidates were last week, which the people I spoke to on the bus didn't seem to know), but given all the excitement around Belmont, I just figured most people knew.

"The conventions were late in the summer, so there wasn't a lot of chatter about the debates," said Hofstra spokeswoman Melissa Connolly when I talked to her about it last week. "When people become familiar with our program, it has worked really well.

"There's always so much news. When it comes, people are going to pay attention."

Connolly said word must be getting around, though, because she has received "thousands" of phone calls asking for tickets (which means she has received fewer requests than I have). Like Belmont and other hosts, the school will hold a ticket lottery for current students only.

The 13,000-student school decided to apply for the debate after President Bill Clinton spoke in Nov. 2005, Connolly said. The school has a center for the study of the American presidency, and has held conferences on every president since FDR.

I'll let you know what it's looking like over there (hopefully) later this week. I think I'll avoid the George Stephanopoulos crush today.

No comments: