Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham to kickoff anti-partisan debate series in Dorchester

Debate topics will be announced a week in advance.

Lindsey Graham, Bernie Sanders. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

A coalition of political institutes across the country is trying to do something about the current hyper-partisan culture, and it’s decided on an interesting strategy.

The coalition, which includes the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, is launching a series of Oxford-style debates between U.S. senators “to reintroduce the culture of seeking common ground and consensus.” The debate series is called The Senate Project.


“We initiated this idea in response to what is the most serious division in this country in decades,” Bruce Percelay, chairman of the board of the Kennedy Institute, said in a news release about the series Wednesday.


“It is our hope that this effort will help demonstrate that compromise in the U.S. Senate is actually possible.”

The first debate, happening in Dorchester at the Kennedy Institute’s full-size U.S. Senate chamber replica, will be an hour long and take place on June 13. It will feature Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The debate will be moderated by FOX News Channel’s Bret Baier, and streamed on FOX Nation.

The second debate, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, another member of the coalition, will be held in July at George Washington University and broadcast across C-SPAN platforms.

The final member of the coalition, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation in Utah, will hold a third debate this fall. 

“We hope [the project] will inspire policymakers to not only make the case for their points of view, but to then work towards the example set by Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Orrin Hatch for bipartisan bridge-building,” the coalition wrote in the news release.


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