We’ve already seen the high-stakes drama of the first Presidential debate, along with the down-and-dirty fighting when the vice presidential candidates went head-to-head. Hungering for even more political theater? Don’t worry, we have all of the details on the topics and times of the next two debates. The info is free; bring your own popcorn and witty commentary.
Tuesday, October 16
Tomorrow, the second Presidential debate will be held at an equally obscure location. Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, will host President Obama and Governor Romney for round two. Get ready for something entirely different than either the mannerly exchange of the first presidential faceoff or the aggressive vice presidential bout. This one is in a town hall format, which means that a group of “undecided” voters chosen by Gallup will get to pose their questions to the candidates.
Domestic and foreign policy are both fair game again, so expect lots more finger pointing on Medicare from both men. The moderator this time around is Candy Crowley, the chief political correspondent for CNN. When interviewed, she said that she anticipates a struggle to get the candidates out of their “comfort zone” of talking points and into a substantive discussion with the 80 voters who will be there tomorrow night. It will be interesting to watch how she attempts this. Will she hassle the candidates or give them free rein?
Monday, October 22
The third and final presidential debate will take place on Monday, October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Having had three debates (including the vice presidential debate) to talk about everyone’s favorite subjects-- the economy , Medicare, and Social Security—domestic policy will be off the table during this debate. With foreign policy, you can more or less choose your favored disaster. The Mexican government has little control over rampant cartel rule, the EU is constantly on the verge of a monetary crisis, and China is quietly learning to project it power in East Asia and as far as Africa. Despite all of these problems, expect to hear primarily about Iran and Israel.
Joe Biden had an unexpected take on the Iranian nuclear crisis during the Vice Presidential debates. Rather than ardently defending the decisions of the administration, as he had done on the Benghazi question, he downplayed the seriousness of the threat, insisting that economic sanctions were sufficient. What was odd was his rather dismissive tone when discussing the topic. Mood and tone mean a lot in a televised debate, and we should watch to see if the President’s treatment of the topic matches his running mate’s.
The moderator for the last debate Bob Schieffer, the host of Face the Nation on CBS. There is some bad blood between Schieffer and the Romney campaign; he was unexpectedly quoted in a Romney campaign add. He later protested that he was not consulted about his inclusion and that the add took his comments out of context.
Where to watch: Basically, pick your political leaning and then turn on the corresponding news channel. This is the event of the season, and all the major stations will be carrying it live, including C-SPAN, Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, and MSNBC.
What to follow: Feeling lost, or just longing for some like-minded ranting? Make sure to follow a couple of PolicyMic’s LIVE blogs during the debates for real time commentary, analysis, and, of course, humor. Make sure to follow you favorite pundits on Twitter as well. They just can’t help themselves from posting during something like this, and its usually either informative or vastly entertaining.
Just not enough? If you need a few extra hours to steep in the glory that is the American political process, C-SPAN will present the top Townhall Debates from the past 25 years so you can compare the current candidates to their venerable predecessors.
Debates make you angry?? So what if your guy loses? Just eat some ice cream after its all over and watch some of these great moments in debate history, inspiring, or just plain comedic.
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