The moderators for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Debates have been named by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The list includes some big names, such as Lester Holt, of the NBC Nightly News, as well as Chris Wallace, of the Fox News Channel.
The details direct from the CPD:
First presidential debate:
Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC Nightly News
Monday, September 26, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Vice presidential debate:
Elaine Quijano, Anchor, CBSN and Correspondent, CBS News
Tuesday, October 4, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Second presidential debate (town meeting):
Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and Co-Anchor of “This Week,” ABC
Anderson Cooper, Anchor, CNN
Sunday, October 9, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Third presidential debate:
Chris Wallace, Anchor, Fox News Sunday
Wednesday, October 19, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Both major campaigns would have gone through a list of potential names and had to give their thumbs up approval in order for a moderator to be named. This means that the Clinton campaign must have given in on Chris Wallace in order for the Trump campaign to give in on Martha Raddatz, for example.
We don’t know all the negotiations that have happened behind the scenes but the campaigns have been negotiating for weeks over the debate moderators. We also know the CPD delayed the release of the names for fear that Donald Trump might ridicule any of the selections he didn’t like as being biased in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Debate moderator selection is crucial given that every utterance from a candidate is scrutinized and replayed over and over again. Anyone who watched the 2012 Presidential debates will remember this segment from the 2nd debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama where debate moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, appeared to “fact check” Romney on the spot. The issue was whether or not the President had referred to the 2012 Benghazi attack on the US embassy as a “terrorist” attack during his first press conference addressing the matter. From October 16, 2012:
Crowley later stated that she thinks Romney was actually correct in principle, but the damage had already been done:
The 2016 Presidential Debates will likely be the most-watched political spectacle in American history. The first debate happens on September 26, 2016. Get more details including the complete debate schedule available here.