|"Just Bring it" Vice Presidential Wallpaper|
It will be interesting to see how Joe Biden performs, many detractors perceive him as a "gaffe machine" and have been anxiously waiting for a campaign-derailing flub on his part. A "Gaffe jack-in-the-box" if you will. Biden will be hoping not to replicate the type of outrage against Edward's seemingly innocuous statements about Cheney's family in the 2004 debate.
The September edition of Atlantic Magazine has a comprehensive pre-game analysis of the debates having trawled through every debate (47!) conducted during the Primary season, looking through debate history and examining the role moderators might play.
Rhetorical Questions by James Fallows
As with trial testimony, job interviews, and blind dates, seeing people interact is the only way to understand what is going on. We don’t watch debates to learn what someone thinks about Social Security. We watch to see how the contenders look next to their opponents, how they react when challenged, how well or poorly they come up with the words we later see in print...Time does a smaller preview of their own - A Brief History Of: Presidential Debates
For those interested in learning more about the history of debates, follow CNN's Presidential Debate History
For those interested in why debates do not allow 3rd party candidates go here.
Background: From 1976 through 1984 the televised presidential debates were organized by the non-partisan League of Women Voters until the Republican and Democratic parties decided to control the debates themselves. In 1987 the bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was formed – a private entity run by former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. Each election cycle the two campaigns negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding which the CPD follows. Bill Moyer's NOW has a link to the 2004 MOU (the first one to be made public).The 1st Presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is on Friday, September 26. Moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS
The only Vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin is on Thursday, October 2. Moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS
Read the full listings here - Schedule for U.S. presidential debates
Find the original McCain/Obama wallpaper here