Presidential Debates On The Horizon Now That Conventions Are Over

Presidential Debates On The Horizon Now That Conventions Are Over

Presidential debates are the last remaining big-ticket item as the 2012 presidential race nears the finish line, and both candidates are already gearing up for their last push to voters.

In a back-and-forth election season, the candidates are looking toward the presidential debates as chance to directly confront the opponent, and the preparation has already begun for both. Mitt Romney will be spending three days in Vermont this week preparing for the October debates, NPR reported. Obama has already started his debate preparations, the report added.

The presidential debates could help one candidate pull away in a race that remains tight, and the location of the debates should help as well. Two of the scheduled debates take place in what is shaping up to be a swing state — October 3 in Denver, Colorado and October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida — while the third takes place October 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Aside from the implications for the election, the presidential debates also have historical significance, The Huffington Post noted. For the first time in two decades a woman — CNN’s Candy Crowley — will moderate a presidential debate. The vice presidential debate, which takes place October 11 in Danville, Kentucky, will also be moderated by a woman, ABC News foreign correspondent Martha Raddatz.

The presidential debate prep has come a long way since the first televised debates, noted Michael Waldman, a Clinton administration veteran.

“John F. Kennedy prepped for the first presidential televised debate by looking at a few note cards with one aide,” Waldman told NPR.

Today the preparation for presidential debates starts months in advance with each candidate selecting sparring partners chosen to represent their opponent.