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22 September 2008

Formats for Presidential Debates & Clarke County Dems Watch Party Announced

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has announced the finalized formats of the 2008 presidential and vice presidential debates agreed to by the Obama and McCain campaigns.

Paul G. Kirk, Jr. and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., the co-chairmen of The Commission on Presidential Debates, said, "In a year when unprecedented voter interest in the general election debates is anticipated, the CPD is pleased that the major party campaigns have essentially embraced the goals and breakthrough formats proposed by the CPD."

All four presidential and vice presidential debates will be 90-minutes long with the first debate of the fall campaign occurring Friday, September 26th at 9:00PM. Friday's debate will focus on foreign policy and national security issues and be moderated by Jim Lehrer, anchor of the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer".

The Clarke County Democratic Party will be hosting a debate watch party at the party's headquarters located at 220 Prince Avenue in Athens, Georgia [Source: Athens Banner-Herald, "Democrats to meet, hold debate party", September 22, 2008].

For the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 7th, a town hall format will be used with questions coming from both the audience in attendance as well as from citizens who have submitted their questions online via MyDebates.org. The final presidential debate will focus on economy and domestic policy issues. This debate will be held on October 15th.

The only debate featuring the vice presidential candidates is scheduled for October 2nd.

Below are the formats for the three presidential debates along with the one vice presidential debate:

(All debates begin at 9:00PM)

First presidential debate -

Topic(s): Foreign policy and national security

Moderator: Jim Lehrer

Date & Location: Friday, September 26; University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Format: Two-minute answers, followed by five-minute discussion for each question.

Vice presidential debate -

Topic(s): All topics

Moderator: Gwen Ifill

Date & Location: Thursday, October 2; Washington University in St. Louis, MO

Format: Ninety-second answers, followed by two-minute discussion for each question. Two-minute closing statements.

Second presidential debate -

Topic(s): All topics

Moderator: Tom Brokaw

Date & Location: Tuesday, October 7; Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Format: Town hall, two-minute answers, followed by one-minute discussion for each question.

Third presidential debate -

Topic(s): The economy and domestic policy

Moderator: Bob Schieffer

Date & Location: Wednesday, October 15; Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Format: Two-minute answers, followed by five-minute discussion for each question. Two-minute closing statements.