August 5th, 2008
10:58 AM ET
13 years ago

Presidential and vice presidential debate moderators announced

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Obama have their first debate September 26."]
(CNN)—Veteran journalists Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Tom Brokaw and Bob Schieffer will moderate the fall presidential and vice presidential debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Tuesday.

Lehrer, Executive Editor and Anchor of The NewsHour will moderate the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain September 26 at the University of Mississippi.

Lehrer has been the moderator of 10 presidential debates over the years. The PBS anchor was chosen in 2004 to moderate the first debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry.

Gwen Ifill, a Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour will moderate the first vice presidential debate from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri October 2. Ifill was also chosen in 2004 to head the vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards.

Tom Brokaw, who is currently the interim moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, and anchor of NBC’s Nightly News for 22 years will head the second presidential debate October 7 from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The format will be town-hall style, in which voters themselves will pose their
questions to the candidates.

The Gallup Organization will be choosing undecided voters from in or around the Nashville, Tennessee area to participate in the town hall meeting, and Brokaw will review each question before it is posed to avoid duplication, a statement from the commission said

The final presidential debate - on October 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York - will be moderated by Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation." Schieffer covered the White House, Pentagon, State Department and Congress during his years as a journalist and was chosen to moderate the third presidential debate in 2004 between Bush and Kerry.

Each debate will last 90 minutes. One of the presidential debates will focus predominantly on domestic policy, one on foreign policy, and one will be town hall style.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. McSame is scripted

    Has anybody notice that Msame is reading everythings he says from cards. It is so funny. He is not very good at it. You can notice when he gets to unfamilar words or words that make him uncomfortable. This is why he hasn't gaffed lately. All you see is his eyelids looking down at the notes Bush prepared for him.

    August 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. The Truth

    Romney-McCain: Not the Kind of Leadership We’d Want, Either
    Romney: McCain's Record "Is Not Of The Kind Of Leadership You'd Want To Have." Romney said, "And frankly, being a committee chairman is not leading a great organization or making great things happen. And for that matter, you know, what's happened in Washington in the last 25 years? Have you seen the kinds of results that America wanted? Did they get the job done? Unfortunately not. So if he has been a leader, where has it led us? Look at his legislation. McCain-Feingold, that hurt our First Amendment rights? McCain-Kennedy, that was granting amnesty to 10 million illegal aliens? And then now, McCain-Lieberman, that wants to put a huge tax, effectively, on American gasoline buyers and rate-payers? His record is not of the kind of leadership you'd want to have." [CNN, Late Edition w/ Wolf Blitzer, 1/27/08]

    August 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Done with Dems

    To: A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Never liked the song and have been especially intrigued by your constant liberal blabber. Keep up the good work. It reminds my exactly why I'm done with dems.

    Hope the sentences are strung so that you can understand them.

    August 5, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Good, now maybe McCain can explain where he gained his experience in leading people?!

    Because it wasn't at the academy!

    August 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. TonyinKentucky

    Reading comprehension is important folks!

    There will be a town hall with independently selected undecided voters. McCain can't stuff the audience with his people and Obama cannot set up for softballs.

    Nobody wants a rigged game for either candidate, nor to have duplicate conversations over and over. The automatic debates, as usual will give plenty of opportunity for contrasting the nominees.

    August 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. LT for Obama

    Many of you say Obama with no teleprompter, how about McCain with no note cards? He cannot even answer an unexpected question without fumbling through his words, trying to figure out what was asked and then talking in circles so that noone but him can understand what he just said.

    August 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Captain Cannabis

    This election is more important than any of these haters could understand. All I can do is sit and stare with what can only be described as shame at the state of our country. At 22 years old even I can see that an entire country of "educated people" is just shouting "My dad can beat up your dad" back and forth. Despite the bumps Obama is taking and making along the way I will still vote for him because he doesn't have any outright evil intentions. You people who fear for your safety now? Wait until after four years of a McCain presidency focused on PROVOKING Iran into conflict. We can sit and make fun Of Barack Obama's funny name all day or we can band together as a country and take ourselves into a new direction. The first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole is stop digging. Well this shovel is labeled McCain. Stop digging your own hole. Or as your mom might have said when you did something wrong. NO!......... NO!

    August 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    To "j" , "Obamanation" and "Turnabout":
    What the heck has the moderator of the debates got to do with the Clintons or race? Please – stay on subject!
    I've grown very weary of people using articles on unrelated subjects to rant and rave about their pet peeves.

    August 5, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. P, CA

    Strange name, Nightingale? I don't know, what about Mahatma Gandhi? That was a strange name, but he turned out alright...

    Judging on a name is as stupid as judging on looks.

    August 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    @Frank Ferina

    you wrote McCain

    "Pro life
    Pro military
    Love country (USA)"

    Are these implications that Obama is none of these? Pro life? Who isn't pro-life (except that crazy guy on the bus in Canada!)? Are you referring to that nasty little divisive wedge issue on abortion? Oh yeah, that issue, which will never amount to anything, comes up each election cycle to get the little know-nothings riled up to vote against their own economic issues.

    Pro military? Obama and the Democrats have been responsible for most pro-military legislation like increased benefits and getting the hell out of the profit-seeking war of Iraq. Where was McCain for the votes on veteran's benefits, by the way?

    Pro country? Trying to save the US from the fiasco it has become these last 8 years IS PRO AMERICAN. Trying to bring back bi-partisan solutions and getting government out of the hands of powerful lobbies and corporate interests IS PRO AMERICAN.

    Obama, while not perfect (all politicians are limited), is the much smarter choice.

    August 5, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. HF from PA

    Mike in Houston:

    Let me have to be at least 60. I am 47 and it makes me feel so good to be the same age as Obama and everyone calling him too young. I am a retired military officer on career #2 and thanks to all of you old grumps, I haven't felt so young in years!

    August 5, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. SJM

    Obama is a horrible debater. Clinton mopped the floor with him in the primary, and it is only going to be worse w/ McCain. Thank god the last debate is a town hall style, this is McCain's strength and Obama is not as appealing when he can't plan out his speeches (which I must admit is a real strength for him).

    McCain/Romney 08

    August 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. judi wegener

    I can hardly wait for the wonderful debates.....will there be a time clock on the answers? Can you imagion if they don't how long and how many times McCain will ask the moderators to repeat the question so that he has time to maybe think of an answer. Loved the reporter's questions to him in Florida while Crist and Cindy stood by as he made a perfect fool out of himself. Sorry to you GOP people that your life will be hell those nights......Maybe McCain can hook up an earplug to Liberman who can send him the answers like the great scene in American Dreamz. Obama/08

    August 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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