Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Hofstra presidential debate puts Long Island in spotlight again

A huge banner hangs from Hofstra Univerasity's David

A huge banner hangs from Hofstra Univerasity's David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on Oct. 8, 2008, the location of the next presidential debate to be held on October 15, 2008.. Credit: Newsday Staff / Kathy Kmonicek

This presidential election already was a New York, New York affair with two major-party candidates who call the Empire State home. Now Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will have a chance to go face-to-face in their own backyard with news that Hofstra University will host the first of this fall’s three presidential debates.

And that means Hofstra is poised to play a pivotal role in the most consequential presidential election many of us have ever seen.

Congrats to Hofstra, the first university to host a debate in three consecutive election cycles, for stepping up Tuesday after previously selected Wright State University withdrew from hosting the Sept. 26 debate citing the cost and rising concerns about security. Congrats to the Commission on Presidential Debates, which recognized that Hofstra performed capably in the past and is confident it can pull off in barely two months the huge logistical task of hosting a debate.

Congrats to Hofstra’s students, who will have another opportunity to witness a fundamental part of our democracy and participate in a wide range of associated activities. And congrats to Long Island, which once again will be the temporary center of the American political universe — and home to all those lights and cameras, the Secret Service, and thousands of demonstrators and journalists.

In 2012, President Barack Obama was looking to rebound from a lackluster first debate against Mitt Romney — and did. In 2008, then-Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain debated foreign policy. And this time? Anticipation figures to be at a fever pitch by Sept. 26, given the stakes and the vitriol that have marked this campaign. Whatever is said, we’re delighted it’ll be said here. — The editorial board