What an amazing night. All of the moderators for the debates: Jim Lehrer, Martha Raddatz, Bob Schieffer and Candy Crowley. Unfortunately Crowley had a family emergency and could not attend.
It was interesting to get the perspective of each of the moderators. Lehrer had done the most debates at 12. Schieffer has done three (he said he would probably not do another one; time to choose someone else). This was Raddatz first. All of them said this was the time for the candidates to speak. It was the candidates responsibility to call into questions their opponents answers.
Raddatz talked about how she really hadn’t followed the campaign and had to cram to get ready for the debate. She said when she was asked to moderate it felt either like winning the lottery or having a terminal disease. She also said it was like taking the LSATs in front of 60 million people.
Schieffer said he didn’t want to cover any of the other debates so as not to have that influence how he moderated the one he did. He also said there was funny tweet asking who he was. One saying isn’t that one of the old guys from the Muppets. Schieffer also thought that the first debate should be right after the last convention. This might help to have the campaign take on a higher tone. He thought the candidates should be seated for the debate. He also added he wasn’t a huge fan of the town hall style debate. Lehrer agreed with that.
Here are a few other things that were said by each of them.
From Martha Raddatz:
Candidates come in with a set idea of what the debate will be like. It takes them a while to adjust to how the debate is really going.
The gothcha question really isn’t appropriate for a debate.
The GOP wanted Ryan to be called Mr. Ryan instead of Congressman. Raddatz didn’t do that.
And this funny statement scrutiny thy name is twitter
From Jim Lehrer:
Not about the questions but what is said. It helps to bring context to what the candidates say.
He only looked at the candidate that was talking so never saw what the other one was doing.
Debates are the only time the candidates are on one stage at the same time talking about the same topic.
He wanted to see 6 debates with each debate being on a single subject.
From Bob Schieffer:
The debates seem to be the only time both sides watch at the same time. They watch to see their candidate but also here what the other one has to say.
He thought Romney played it safe in the last debate because he thought he was ahead in the polls. The reason he didn’t take it to Obama on issues like Benghazi.
They all agreed that the debates were good for the country. And as said early thought there should be more of them and they should be earlier in the final campaign cycle.
It was a really interesting and informative evening.