The Commission on Presidential Debates is sponsoring the next debate between Senator McCain and Senator Obama in Nashville, TN. Tom Brokaw is the moderator.
This is your chance to see how the candidates respond to questions in a townhall meeting format. Candidates will be questioned by uncommitted voters identified by the Gallup Organization.
Since both parties have already figured out how to "game" the system, there will be a number of party operatives pretending to be "average uncommitted citizens". As a result, we can expect sophisticated "Gotcha" questions from these "average" citizens.
It will be a good test of candidate toughness under fire and will also be a test of moderator fairness.
Tom Brokaw has come under criticism by Obama supporters because he served as a liaison between NBC and the McCain
campaign to diffuse conservative animosity against the network. He also wrote a book with John McCain. We will see if he shows any more favoritism than Ifills did.
Visit the CPD website for full details about the history and format of the debates.
Here is a sample of some important points from the CPD website:
The debate sponsor and the participants must agree on the details and terms of the debate…
Selection of Questioners
Pick a person/persons who are familiar with the issues and candidates in the election being debated. Journalists are likely to be more experienced and comfortable with handling the technical requirements of a broadcast setting. Above all, choose a moderator or panelists whom you and the debate participants trust to be professional and fair.
If you decide to organize the debate as a town meeting, select an unbiased audience. Consider asking a neutral, independent organization, such as a polling or research group, to identify impartial individuals to serve as members of the audience.
General Election Presidential Debate
John McCain (R), United States Senator (AZ) and
Barack Obama (D), United States Senator (IL)
Date:October 7, 2008
Time:9:00 – 10:30 p.m. Eastern
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Moderator: Tom Brokaw, NBC
Topic: All Topics
Format: 90-minute town hall meeting debate. Candidates questioned by uncommitted voters identified by the Gallup Organization. In addition, moderator has discretion to include questions submitted online. Candidates questioned in turn with two-minute responses, followed by one-minute open discussion for each question.
Thanks to Georgia Reynard of Richmond, VA for the link to CPD.