Bush and Obama join Commission on Presidential Debates

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WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 10: (AFP OUT) U.S. President George W. Bush (R) walks on the colonnade with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama at the White House November 10, 2008 in Washington, DC. This is the first visit for Barack Obama to the White House before he is sworn into office as President of the United States. First lady Laura Bush took soon to be first lady Michelle Obama on a tour of the White House as the President and Mr. Obama walked along the colonnade to the Oval Office where they will have a meeting. On January 20th Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. (Photo by Gary Fabiano-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are lending their support to the debates that will help choose their successors, joining the Commission on Presidential Debates as honorary co-chairs.

They join former President Jimmy Carter and the late Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan in the honorary roles.

The nonpartisan commission was established in 1987 by prominent Democrats and Republicans and has hosted general election presidential and vice presidential debates in every election cycle since.

The commission is still evaluating bids from host applicants for the 2020 debates and will announce moderators and the format next year.

The televised debates are typically the most highly watched political events every four years and can reshape the national political conversation just weeks before polls close.

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