Debate moderator Jim Lehrer comes to Dallas

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By Klara Bradshaw

Debate moderator and former anchor for “PBS Newshour” Jim Lehrer revisited key moments from significant debates in the past and shed insight from his years of experience to a sold-out audience at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Wednesday evening, Sept. 21.

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Inside the George W. Bush Presidential Center where Jim Lehrer gave his speech. Photo credit: Klara Bradshaw

“We saw that this presentation was going to be tonight and we just had to be here,” said Andy Chambers, who attended the event.

Karen Hughes, who was a counselor to president George W. Bush, asked Lehrer and senator (R-New Hampshire) Judd Gregg questions regarding their time with presidential candidates and their inside scoop on the behind-the-scenes of presidential campaigns.

Lehrer served as a moderator for twelve of the nationally televised debates in the last seven presidential elections, with his most recent being the 2012 Obama-Romney debate in Denver.

“I think it’s a very positive event and I think it’s very timely with the presidential debates next week,” said Dallas resident Colleen Nolan, who also attributed the event to the debates between current candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “I was fascinated to hear what the panelists had to say about the process and what to anticipate next week.”

Clips from the Kennedy and Nixon debate aired during the event, along with scenes from George Bush’s campaign and also memorable lines from Ronald Reagan’s debates. There was also a question and answer session.

“I think when you have a presidential library in your town you get access to a lot of fantastic events and speakers,” attendee Nancy King of Dallas said.

The event garnered a lot of attention from the Dallas community, selling out of all 365 tickets before the event started.

“The presidents have changed over the years, yet you have not,” Hughes said regarding Lehrer’s experience.

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