The Commission on Presidential Debates has finally made their decision regarding who will moderate the 2016 debates between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The first debate is scheduled for September 26th, and it will be moderated by NBC News’ Lestor Holt. The Debate will take place at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. The discussion will be comprised of six 15-minute segments which Holt will personally select and announce ahead of the debate.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC News’ Martha Raddatz will co-moderate the October 9th presidential debate, which takes place in St. Louis Missouri. It will be held on the campus of Washinton University, and half of the questions for the debate will be asked by the audience in a town hall-style format. The focus of this debate will be on “public interest topics.”
The final debate will be moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace on October 19th from UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada. In recent weeks Wallace has interviewed both Trump and Clinton, and said in response to the announcement:
“I am honored to selected by the Commission to moderate one of the debates, and very proud to be the first Fox reporter to get this assignment. It is a big responsibility, and I take it seriously.”
CBS News’ Eliane Quijano will preside over the vice presidential debates on October 4th, which will take place on the campus of Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
So far there hasn’t been any word from the Trump campaign on whether or not their candidate approves of the choices, which could be important because Trump has pulled out of a GOP primary debate in the past due to his issues with one of the moderators, namely Megyn Kelly.
Could Trump do the same thing with regards to the presidential debates? Some experts question how much Trump really has to gain going head to head with Clinton in a debate. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote in July:
Here’s how the arc of Debate Donald usually goes. Positioned in the center of the stage — it’s where he’s been in almost every debate — Trump is active, if not overwhelmingly aggressive, in the first 30-45 minutes. When answering a question during that time, Trump tends to avoid any policy details and has, on occasion, shown a remarkable lack of knowledge on issues. (He had no clue what the “nuclear triad” was in the fifth debate, for example.)
But then, Trump — and I can’t believe I am writing this — tends to fade into the background. He answers the questions asked of him and hits back when someone attacks him. Beyond that, however, he tends to look somewhere between disinterested and sleepy. He does very little to inject himself into the conversation. He is, rather transparently, just waiting for the whole thing to be over.
The Trump campaign could be very aware of their candidate’s weakness and may be seeking a viable “out” for Trump to take that will allow him to snipe at Clinton from a safe distance until Nov. 8th.
Clinton seems to be aware of this potential strategy as well, as her campaign has questioned Trump’s intestinal fortitude to even “show up” to the debates.
“The ‘only issue now is whether Donald Trump is going to show up,'” said John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
Clinton camp says "only issue now is whether Donald Trump is going to show up to debate." pic.twitter.com/NzDwWEB7Ko
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) August 9, 2016
Hopefully, Trump says yes, because the debates with Clinton will be like three extra Christmases for political junkies.
Featured image via YouTube.