A bistate attempt to secure a 2008 presidential or vice-presidential debate at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland is worth supporting for several reasons. A debate here would bring national attention to issues affecting the Northwest. It would provide some relevance for Oregon and Washington in the general election for president, even if primary schedules don’t allow much input from this region in the earlier stages of the campaign. And it would be an educational opportunity for an area that’s never hosted such a debate before. Landing a debate here is no shoo-in. The Portland proposal, which includes support from Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., is one of 16 proposals nationwide, but there will be only four debates for the general election — three for presidential candidates and one for the vice-presidential candidates. The bipartisan federal Commission on Presidential Debates is expected to announce its site selections later this month. We hope the commission gives favorable consideration to the Oregon-Washington proposal.

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