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Presidential Election Coverage

October 19, 2016

This election year is all about making history. Through Films on Demand, the Library makes videos available for viewing for those wanting to “learn more about it”.

You can review highlights from the 2016 candidates’ acceptance speeches in Trump Accepts GOP Nomination, Lays Out “Law and Order” Platform and Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a “Better Tomorrow”. More videos which include the candidates can be found by searching their names on the Films on Demand web site. (Search results? “Donald Trump” (64); “Hillary Clinton” (112)).


Maybe you were one of the 80 million or so viewers who watched the first Presidential Debate of 2016 on September 26th. Now watch landmark contests with the series U.S. Presidential Election Debates, a fascinating look back at every televised U.S. presidential election debate in history. The series includes the first televised debate – John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon Debate (9/26/1960) – up to the debates of 2012 between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.


Debating our destiny : 40 years of presidential debates, from MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, analyzes pivotal moments from four decades of televised sparring and showmanship. This Public Broadcasting System program explores the presidential debate process through the eyes of those who know it best: the candidates themselves. The NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer presents interviews with contenders in every debate from 1976 to 1996 and sheds light on the prototype of all presidential debates, Nixon vs. Kennedy. Accompanied by footage from the original broadcasts, these intimate conversations produce insights and revelations from Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, John Anderson, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, and Bob Dole. Running mates from nearly every campaign are also featured.


But how important are the debates?


These debates between the candidates continue to be the turning points in how the American public perceives and then selects a president. In New York, on September 15, 2016, The Paley Center for Media convened a panel of experts to explore the risks and rewards of televised debates. The panel considered how new technology and social media have impacted the debate process for the candidates and how voter involvement has been changed by technological advancements and new platforms. Watch As the Nation Decides: Why the Presidential Debates Matter on the Center’s website.