October 5, 2004
A Tribune roundup of news and events surrounding the Oct. 13 Tempe presidential debate.
Before President Bush and Sen. John Kerry meet in their debate next week at Gammage Auditorium, the two rivals should have plenty of time to stop by Celebrity Theatre for a different kind of political theater.
Filmmaker Michael Moore will be in town to screen excerpts from his latest documentary, the politically charged "Fahrenheit 911," at the Phoenix venue just hours before the final presidential debate at Arizona State University.
The showing is part of the national "Slacker Uprising Tour," which aims to rally nonvoters to cast their ballots this year, said Cindy Dach, marketing director for Changing Hands Bookstore.
The Tempe book shop is not sponsoring the event, but Dach said she has been working with Moore to organize the screening.
The show is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Officials at Celebrity Theatre say it will be a couple more days before details, including final confirmation of the event, are available.
Earning more than $118 million since its June release, the film has become the highest grossing documentary in history.
Moore plans similar events throughout the country where candidates are scheduled to appear, said an official with Simon and Schuster.
Moore also plans to be in Tucson on Monday, speaking to a crowd at the McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus.
No word if former President Gerald Ford might attend the debate, but his shoes will spend a week at Memorial Union, the student activities center on the main campus.
The Johnston & Murphy Presidential Shoe Display opens Wednesday for free public viewing through Oct. 15.
Shoes worn by Ford and 11 other past presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan will be on hand, so to speak.
The Nashville-based shoemaker started crafting leather footwear for President Millard Fillmore in 1850, and the company’s handiwork has been in the White House’s closets for every succeeding president.
Among the tidbits you can glean from the exhibit — Bill Clinton wore the largest shoe of any president in the last 154 years at size 13C.
Miami set recycled
The stage inside Gammage Auditorium for the Oct. 13 debate will come with some deja vu, Miami-style.
The Commission of Presidential Debates will reuse the stage setting from the first presidential debate last Friday at the University of Miami, Fla.
So viewers will again see the big blue backdrop with the large commission logo dominated by an eagle facing left.
Officials from Arizona State University said Monday they don’t know when the semitrailer carrying the set will arrive in Tempe.
But the commission takes control of Gammage at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and almost no one will be allowed inside until debate night.