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CNN's Candy Crowley first woman in 20 years to moderate presidential debates

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WASHINGTON-- Hats off to CNN's Candy Crowley, who becomes the first woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate. It's been a long drought. Before Crowley, ABC's Carole Simpson was the last female--and that was in 1992.

The Commission on Presidential Debates--a bi-partisan non-profit operation--running the three presidential and one vice presidential debates has been pressured recently to not just pick men all the time.

Here are the details on the debate, from the Commission over at Debate.Org
Click below for information on the topics.

First presidential debate:

Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour
Wednesday, October 3, University of Denver, Denver, CO

Vice presidential debate:

Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News
Thursday, October 11, Centre College, Danville, KY

Second presidential debate (town meeting):

Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN and Anchor, CNN's State of the Union
Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Third presidential debate:

Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation
Monday, October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL

below, from the Commission......


The format for the debates, announced on July 25, 2012, will be:

First presidential debate

The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.

The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.

Vice presidential debate

The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.

Second presidential debate

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

Third presidential debate

The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.

All debates will take place from 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be no opening statements and two-minute closing statements in all the debates. In all the debates except town meeting, the CPD recommends that the candidates be seated at a table with the moderator.

The CPD is undertaking an innovative internet-based voter education program that will encourage citizens to become familiar with the issues to be discussed in the debates, and to share their input with the debate moderators in advance of the debates. The program, which will be announced later this month, will be led by a coalition of internet leaders.

The CPD has sponsored and produced all the presidential and vice presidential debates since 1987, the year it was established. For more information, please visit

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 14, 2012 12:46 PM.

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