More goes into moderating a debate than meets the eye
September 13th, 2011
03:21 PM ET
3 years ago

More goes into moderating a debate than meets the eye

(CNN) – Moderating a presidential debate is not easy. That is especially true when you have eight candidates on the stage – each one eager to get as much time as possible to make his or her points.

Four years ago, I moderated five CNN presidential debates. Some had eight or even nine candidates on the stage. The final one I did had only two – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Excuses excuses excuses. You failed to ask any of them whether they supported the crowd's sentiment that the uninsured shoudl be left to die without medical care. EPIC FAIL.

    September 13, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What Wolf is saying, it is not easy to keep the lid on the asylum, when 8 people are trying to out crazy each other to attract those teabaggers making up the base of the GOP, who seem to not be playing with a full deck. At least you tried Wolf.

    September 13, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I think you did well. I also think the candidates showed a surprising amount of restraint compared to their previous debates. They seemed to be on their best behavior, or at least trying to appear to be. I guess no one wanted to look unprofessional to the mainstream media. (I find that to be hilarious.)

    September 13, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    How can moderating a debate be difficult? Just ask hardball questions and be able to rebut the answers. DUH!!!!

    September 13, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "$475 billion divided by 1.9 million jobs, costing tax payers $250,000 per job. The government sure is efficient"

    Hey, genius, do you think the cement, wood, tar, gravel and steel and other materials used to repair and build roads and bridges or repair and build schools is free? Do you think the gas it takes to operate heavy machinery comes from squeezing Arabs? WTF is wrong with you people?

    September 13, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Moderating is not nearly as hard as trying to watch one of these!

    September 13, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    $500 Billion divided by 1000 jobs, costing taxpayers $500,000,000 per job. Those Bush Tax Cuts were efficient. They created one job per tax cut recipient. They hired an interior decorator.

    September 13, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Hey, genius, do you think the cement, wood, tar, gravel and steel and other materials used to repair and build roads and bridges or repair and build schools is free? Do you think the gas it takes to operate heavy machinery comes from squeezing Arabs? WTF is wrong with you people?
    ================================================================================================
    Of course it's free! We just force all those evil rich people and corporations to pay for it. And when they're done paying for that, well we'll just have to find something else for them to pay for, maybe your cable bill? Yeah, that is only fair...

    September 13, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    Debates usually we came to know about candidates yesterday was different

    First time we came to know more about tea party booed and cheers

    Example Small government, balance budget, cut spending Ron Paul words but he was booed last night when he was talking spending cut
    So now we know more about tea party

    September 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "We just force all those evil rich people and corporations to pay for it. And when they're done paying for that, well we'll just have to find something else for them to pay for, maybe your cable bill? "

    Yes. And how about we throw in a few abortions, contraceptives for 3 year olds and vaccines full of retardation syrum? Sorry, but nice try...I can't even begin to take your/the Teatroll's brand of stupid even remotely seriously...

    September 13, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    @As GM goes,
    I guess you think the Bush Tax Cuts were free. Most conservatives (Ron Paul even said as much during last night's debate) do not believe tax cuts actually "cost" the government anything. Conservatives just force the evil, lazy, greedy middle class to pay for all of the infrastructure in this country. This way you can fly in your private jet; guided by air traffic controllers paid for middle class taxes, land at airports paid for by middle class taxes, ride home in your helicopter from the airport over the roadways built by your middle class taxes, eat the food that was brought to your house across the roads and bridges paid for your middle class taxes, enjoy the luxuries in an around your house bought to you by the rail systems paid for your middle class taxes. Finally, you can go hide in your armored bunker while being protected by a US military paid for and staffed by your fellow middle class Americans.

    September 13, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Snifit:

    It IS an epic fail whenever a death (hypothetical or otherwise) is shrugged off. I tried to post an earlier comment (CNN didn't accept) stating perhaps this particular group of hopefuls ought to be given a mirror and asked to articulate to we the voters the reflection that meets their own eyes. Apparently whatever compassionate message they think they are sending is getting negative reviews, with good reason. A testament to each of them, absolutely, and a real willingness of many in the media to overlook such careless indifference. Does not bode well for politics, or America.

    September 13, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |