October 01, 2008

Media Advisory -- Debate Analysis

We’ve had a chance to see the presidential candidates debate. On Thursday, Oct. 2, we have the chance to see how their running mates fare. There will be the usual political commentary and the usual late-night talk show reactions -- but what does a debate expert say about such niceties as delivery, speaking style and argument strategy?

Todd Graham, director of debate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is available for non-partisan comment immediately after the debate, and in the days following. Arrangements can be made for a live appearance with television or radio broadcast media.

As director of debate, Graham formulates argumentative strategies with his team. Graham’s team includes the current national champion winners of the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, held in March at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. In addition, one of Graham’s debaters in that national champion duo also won the top individual award at the second national championship, the National Parliamentary Debate Association national championship tournament held at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Before coming to SIUC, Graham was assistant debate coach at Arizona State University and director of debate at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. Under his leadership, the Northwestern State team scored more wins than any other school in the country.

In addition to tomorrow’s vice-presidential candidate debate, two more presidential debates are set for Oct. 7 and Oct. 15. Graham also will be available for commentary after each of those debates.

Graham can be reached at 314/495-7278 or 618/453-2291 or at tgraham@siu.edu.