Mississippi Moment: 2008 Presidential Debate

Mississippi Moment

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In 2008, the first presidential debate of the election was held in Mississippi, on the campus of Ole Miss. If you remember that, the candidates were the late Sen. John McCain and former President Barack Obama.

The spotlight of America will be on Cleveland, Ohio, tonight for this evening’s debate. Back in 2008, it was on Oxford, Mississippi.

There were some similarities in the state of the nation back then as to now. In 2008, we were in a national financial crisis heading into a major recession. As a matter of fact, there was to have been a major emphasis on foreign policy during that debate, but it ended up being on the economy more than anything.

McCain was called the winner of the debate because of his points on the economy that were more precise that Obama’s counterpoints. Others said Obama showed he could look presidential up against McCain on the foreign policy parts of the debate.

But Ole Miss came out the real winner, because the last time that much national attention had been paid to Ole Miss was during the attempt to block James Meredith from enrolling in the 1960s. The same school was hosting the first presidential debate in 2008 in which an African American candidate was a participant.

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